In the past decade, admissions to recovery programs have increased 143% for students between the ages of 18 and 24. And yet few schools have adjusted their curriculum to address the increasing need for information about addiction and recovery. Anna David and Nic Sheff take the information gleaned from their own experiences with addiction—which they’ve been able to share through best-selling books, numerous TV appearances and hundreds of published articles—and break down how addiction starts, develops and ends. Through anecdotes that are relatable to addicts and non-addicts alike, David and Sheff track the part low self-esteem, family of origin and genetics play in addiction as well as the role of self-esteem in young people everywhere. The program they’ve developed, AFTERPARTY, is designed to help college students conquer self-defeating insecurities, deal with family members who are addicted and take the shame out of mental illness, addiction and self-doubt.
In over 12 years of sobriety, Anna David has published four books that have explored addiction: the novels Party Girl (Harper, 2007) and Bought (Harper, 2009) and the non-fiction books Reality Matters (Harper, 2010) and Falling for Me (Harper, 2011). Her biography on the actor Tom Sizemore, By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There (Simon & Schuster, 2013), also focuses heavily on the actor’s addiction. For two years, David was the Executive Editor for the addiction and recovery site The Fix and she’s covered addiction and recovery exhaustively in her articles for, among other publications, The New York Times, The LA Times, Details, Women’s Health, The New York Post, Premiere, People, Us Weekly, Maxim, Vanity Fair, Cosmo, Redbook, Self, Stuff, TV Guide, Teen Vogue, Variety, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and Salon. David has also discussed addiction on The Today Show, Hannity, Dr. Drew, Jane Velez-Mitchell, The CBS Morning Show, Showbiz Tonight, The Talk, Attack of the Show and Red Eye, among many other programs. David is currently earning her CAADAC (California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors) at UCLA and leads a weekly group at Friendly House, the oldest recovery home for women in the United States.
“Anna’s candor in sharing her story of battling addiction challenged students to critically reflect on the choices they make in their lives. Her story invites honest dialogue and deep transformation of heart, mind and soul. Students were riveted.”
—Anthony Nicotera, Adjunct Professor, NYU Silver School of Social Work
“Anna captured the attention of our students with her honest, insightful, and thought provoking recount of her personal struggles with alcohol and drugs. Thankfully this wasn’t your typical anti-alcohol & drug lecture, and because of this, students were engaged from beginning to end.”
—Laura Singletary, Student Programs and Leadership Coordinator, Whatcom Community College
Nic Sheff is the bestselling author of the addiction memoirs Tweak and We All Fall Down. His first novel, Schizo, will be released by Simon &, Schuster at the end of 2013. He has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN with Sanjay Gupta, ABC with Diane Sawyer, The Today Show, and Fresh Air with Terry Gross. His articles have been published in Newsweek, Nerve, Wired, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Fix and he’s currently a writer on AMC’s show The Killing. He travels around the country speaking about addiction and recovery. He has been sober over five years and lives with his wife and two hound dogs in Los Angeles, CA.
“Here is a young man who talks about very real issues of drug use and abuse without glamorizing them for a single second. As someone who’s been through so much and come out the other side—with the scars and ongoing challenges to show for it—he has so much to offer students who are locked in their own cages of moderate to severe self-loathing and unease. For school districts uncertain about inviting a former drug addict to speak to the kids, all I can say is, Nic Sheff is the opposite of a bad influence. He might even prove to be a life-changing speaker for some kids in need.”
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