The True Story of 'Beautiful Boy'

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"Beautiful Boy" tells the heartbreaking story of a father desperate to save his son from the clutches of addiction

Based on books by both journalist David Sheff and his son Nic Sheff, the film chronicles Nic's descent into methamphetamine addiction and how his father stood by his side through relapse and recovery.

In an interview that aired last November, Nic spoke candidly about the siren call he felt for drugs and alcohol from when he was just a kid. "I felt just like a heaviness that was kind of almost palpable from a young age," he told the "Today" show.

Nic said he started drinking in sixth grade and was doing drugs by high school. 

But nothing captivated him the way crystal meth did. 

"I think as soon as that drug hit me [the first time I tried it], it was the feeling I'd been looking for my whole life," Nic said. "I spent the next 10 years kind of chasing that feeling."

For his father, convincing his son that he needed help was the hardest thing he ever did. 

"Nic didn't know he was addicted," David said. "He thought he was just partying, having fun."

When David told Nic he had to go to rehab, Nic rebelled even more, he said. 

After a decade of relapses, Nic has been in recovery for eight years. "It really took me a long time to admit to myself that addiction really is a disease and that I have to treat it as a disease," he said. 

It was once he faced that, that he was willing to get help and ultimately heal his underlying feelings of depression. 

"The fact that I get so much joy out of the simple things in life really is the biggest gift that I've gotten in sobriety," he said. "... I'm so lucky." 

David emphasized the importance of sticking by your children when they're struggling with addiction. 

"I spent 10 years trying to save his life," said David. "That's what I would tell other people who are struggling with this now, 'Don't give up.'"

Together, they hope the film sends a message to families who need it. 


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