I must admit that I acquired immense knowledge from the book Clean.In Chapter 5, Sheff (2013) emphasizes that if nothing is done toprevent addiction more than three-quarters of the young people belowthe age of 18 years will try drugs. Before reading the book, I wasignorant of the fact that while addiction may be lethal, there aredire consequences for casual drug abuse. There is the concern ofpeople using drugs for the first time and ending up dead or inemergency rooms. Just like Kelvin’s case scenario, I haveencountered a family where most individuals are drug abusers. Fromthe book, I learnt why one-time drug abuse can be lethal to a personwho hails from parents who are addicts.

While it is evident that drug addiction has dire consequences toaddicts and the society, Sheff (2013) emphasizes the need to focus onchildren when dealing with the problem of drug abuse. The reasonprovided is that drug abuse by children and adolescents has moresevere consequences as the brains of individuals in these age groupsare still developing hence more gullible to the damaging effects ofaddiction. Also, targeting the young people below the age of 18 yearsis the most effective way of addressing the malady of drug abuse inthe society. 90% of drug abusers start this behavior before they are18 years old (Sheff, 2013). The statistic brought to my attention theissue of peer pressure and poor parenting. Additionally, it came tomy attention that some parents view the behavior of their childrentrying out drug as normal only to be shocked when the casual use hasalready turned into an addiction. I, also, learnt another reason whychildren are more prone to drug addiction than adults apart from peerpressure, poor parenting, and genetic factors. Children are motivatedby curiosity, which drives them into drug use. I will seek to use theknowledge of the driving force behind most of the young people’sbehavior to ensure that they do not end up finding satisfaction indrug use. Just like crime, I learnt that addiction is a behaviortriggered by the availability of an opportunity. As such, all mycampaigns geared toward addressing the issue of drug addiction inchildren and adolescent will be aimed at eliminating all possibleavenues that may lure these individuals into drug abuse. One of theways children get acquainted with drugs is through their addictedparents. In my experience, I have encountered parents who are veryfrustrated with their children who turn out to be addicts. Afterreading the book, I am now better equipped to help such parentsunderstand that they played a bigger role in encouraging theirchildren to try drugs.

From Clean, I learnt that every individual has a uniquebiology and psychology. Over 13,000 children are born addicted tocrack and heroin, among other drugs (Sheff, 2013). This challenged myearlier notion of drug use being entirely a personal choice. Besides,it informed me that one can ameliorate the problem of drug abuse byteaching parents, particularly mothers that their drug addictionbehavior may be replicated with their children. As I seek to help mypeers and future clients, I will invoke the doctrine of motivationfor behavioral change as a way of taming the problem of addiction.This is after I learnt that drug tests work best when they arecombined with rewards. The book also raised a pertinent issue on howto respond to drug addiction, particularly with children. There hasexisted a misconception that punishment or the threat of it is thebest strategy for addressing drug addiction. However, the bookchallenged this notion and introduced the possibility of punishment,after drug testing turns positive, having the potential to increase achild’s drug abusing behavior.

The book also emphasized on the unclear demarcation that existsbetween drug abuse and addiction. However, I learnt that thereexists a problem with the current DSM on the possibility of ateenager or youth who is experimenting with drugs ending up beinglabeled an addict. While labeling is one of the challenges that haltthe process of recovery, scholars responsible for developing the newDSM had a good reason for increasing the range of behaviors that mayresult in one being termed as an addict. The rationale forclassifying all problematic drug use as addictions is to ensure earlyintervention. At this point, the book complimented the teachings ofthe 12 steps used by Alcoholic Anonymous groups where accepting one’slack of control over his/her addiction is pertinent to staying sober.Furthermore, I found the story of Kelvin and his mother resonatingwith other course readings as it is centered on family membersfalling into a denial when confronted with the reality that some ofthem are abusing drugs. At the beginning of Kelvin’s drug abusingbehavior, his mother thought it was a mere child’s curiosity beforethe situation worsened to a point that drugs controlled the youngman’s life. Not even Kelvin’s love for his mother, having agirlfriend and a job or being incarcerated had much influence on hisbehavior than drugs. On this note, I can recommend the book to allparents for them to understand how casual drug use can turn into anaddiction and result in death. Also, I think that the story of Kelvinand how his curiosity caused his death can be a good lesson to manyteenagers who are trying out drugs. Additionally, I am grateful thatI encountered the book at this point in my life because I can nowmake an informed decision when it comes to drug use.

It is evident that the author of the book is a strong proponent ofthe disease model of addiction. According to the disease model,addiction is a disease that alters the brain’s structure andoperation. The author quotes a definition of disease as a disorder,interruption, or cessation of a body organ function or system (Sheff,2013). Sometimes, addicts may fail to recognize that they are illafter the part of the brain responsible for self-analysis andself-awareness is damaged by addiction. This argument resonates withthe disease model of addiction. The author emphasizes that addictionis not only a disease, but a chronic one that worsens over time ifnot tamed. The book brought to my attention the correlation betweendrug abuse and crime which is pertinent when one is dealing with anaddict who is also facing criminal trials. The author argues thatdrugs make a person feel immune to the consequences of their actions.Additionally, addiction alters a person worldviews such thatirrational behaviors appear rational. From all these revelationsabout the nature of drug addiction, I can recommend the book toindividuals living with an addict. I am confident that the book willhelp them stop blaming the addicts and instead communicate theirdesire to help them overcome their addiction. After reading the book,I now see people suffering from addiction as in need of help, and Iam confident I know several ways I can be of help.


Sheff, D.(2013).&nbspClean:Overcoming addiction and ending America`s greatest tragedy.New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.