Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation

Sue Vogelsanger

Drug Slavery. Under Abraham Lincoln's strong leadership, the Civil War was fought in the United States of America to abolish the tragedy of slavery. Now, today's American citizens, and those worldwide, need to declare war on another tragedy; the disease of drug addiction. The most effective ammunition we can use in fighting this war is education. Two of the best suppliers of this education are the books "Clean" and "Beautiful Boy" written by David Sheff. He reports drug addiction is a disease, often genetic, as deadly as cancer. He includes alcohol as a drug and alcoholism as a disease, also often genetic. Sheff knows what he is writing about because he lived through the battle of having son, Nic, afflicted with addiction disease. In "Beautiful Boy," Sheff relates the trials and tribulations of trying to help Nic. During the lengthy process, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage doctors believed was caused by stress. Sheff recovered. Afterwards, he wrote "Clean." He did a tremendous amount of research looking for helpful answers to addiction problems; such as pros and cons of 12-step programs, lack of funding for people who need to be in a rehabilitation center but cannot afford it, how some rehab centers are not properly staffed and only dollar-driven, why 'just say no' programs are worthless, why teenage addicts need separate counseling from adults, plus many other helpful facts. These books should be required reading among school and law enforcement officials, doctors, nurses, all medical personnel, plus people everywhere. I feel fortunate to have read them and learn addiction is a disease needing to be handled accordingly. As Sheff states, "Just say KNOW." Sue Vogelsanger