Thursday, April 4, 2013

National D.A.R.E. Day: Books about Drug Abuse

Today is National D.A.R.E. Day. Drug Abuse and Resistance Education is a popular program in schools and communities to educate students about the dangers of drug abuse. Here are some books the look at the dark sides of drug abuse.


Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan. When Blake's friend Marissa sees his photography homework, she's stunned. The passed out junkie is her mother. Marissa needs her friend Blake to help her find her mom. Blake wants to be a good friend, but he also has obligations to his actual girlfriend.

Zoo Station by Christiane F., translated from the German by Christina Cartwright. At the age of 15 Christiane was the face of Berlin's herion epidemic of the late 70s/early 80s. She had been a herion addict since the age of 12, and spent two years as a prostitute to get a hit. Her story was first documented in a magazine article, then a best-selling book, and movie. This is a new translation of the book, with new photographs.

DJ Rising by Love Maia. Marley is an aspiring DJ whose career is just starting to take off, but he has to balance his life-blood of music with a demanding school and his mother's addiction to meth.


Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction by David Sheff. Nic seemed to lead a blessed life, but when he entered high school, things went down hill, and he became addicted to meth. In this memoir, his father looks back to see if he can see the signs, to see if make sense of it.

Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff. A parallel memoir to Beautiful Boy, this is Nic's side of the story of his addiction and struggles to become, and remain, clean and sober. He has a follow-up, We All Fall Down: Living with Addiction.

A Plague Year by Edward Bloor. Tom is from a small coal-mining town. After Flight 93 crashes in nearby Shanksville on 9/11, Tom watches as meth addiction starts and then sweeps through his town. He's always dreamt about getting out, but is now torn between trying to fix his town and running away to escape.


Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. Mark Renton and his friends are junkies without a future. Told in scenes and vignettes (the movie has much more of a plot than the book) this is a mind-opening book about modern Scottish life with the wrong crowd. Published for adults, the heavy dialect and adult language make this one for mature readers, but it's been a favorite of mine since high school.

Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson. When Katrina struck, Laurel lost everything--her home, her mother, and her grandmother. But now she's in Mississippi, a cheerleader with a football player boyfriend. But she still misses everything she lost and when she discovers that meth can easily erase the pain for a while, she quickly falls under its spell.

Flyaway by Helen Landalf. Stevie's mother has disappeared before, but she's always come back. But when her aunt discovers Stevie's on her own, she makes Stevie move in, and when her mom shows back up, sends her to rehab. Stevie feels torn between the stable life she has started to build with her aunt and her loyalty to her mother.

What are your must-read books about drugs addiction? (I know Ellen Hopkins is missing-- but it's National Poetry Month! I didn't want to overload y'all!)

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1 comment:

  1. "A Hero Ain't Nothing But a Sandwich" by Alice Childress - it's about 13 year old Benjie and his heroin addiction. Of course, he can stop anytime he wants or so he believes.


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