The "Our Darien" campaign, created by The Community Fund of Darien in partnership with the Thriving Youth Task Force, is encouraging parents to join the conversation about teen substance abuse with its first-ever virtual book group in January and a culminating live discussion via Zoom on February 3rd. The featured book is the #1 New York Times bestseller Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction by David Sheff. The book group is the first in a series of events designed to educate parents about youth mental health, the dangers of substance abuse and how they can best support their teens.
Each week of the month-long “Our Darien Book Group” will explore several chapters of the memoir, with thought-provoking questions provided by the Darien Library. The virtual group will launch on Monday, January 11th on the Our Darien Facebook page (www.facebook.com/OurDarien, click “Groups.”) Participants in the private, moderated forum are encouraged to share their thoughts and formulate questions as they read. The final live discussion Zoom event on Wednesday, February 3rd at 7:00pm will feature Frank Bartolomeo, Ph.D., LCSW from Silver Hill Hospital, who will offer his perspective on addiction, warning signs and prevention tips.
The memoir is available at the Darien Library in print and digitally and can also be purchased at Barrett Bookstore (mention the Our Darien Book Group for a 10% discount) and other booksellers. It is described by famed author Anne Lamott as “a brilliant, harrowing, heartbreaking, fascinating story, full of beautiful moments and hard-won wisdom. This book will save a lot of lives and heal a lot of hearts.”
Publisher’s description: What had happened to my beautiful boy? To our family? What did I do wrong? Those are the wrenching questions that haunted David Sheff’s journey through his son Nic’s addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery. Before Nic became addicted to crystal meth, he was a charming boy, joyous and funny, a varsity athlete and honor student adored by his two younger siblings. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who lied, stole, and lived on the streets. David Sheff traces the first warning signs: the denial, the three a.m. phone calls—is it Nic? the police? the hospital? His preoccupation with Nic became an addiction in itself. But as a journalist, he instinctively researched every treatment that might save his son. And he refused to give up on Nic.
Save the date for the next event in the series: a must-see live Zoom presentation on February 10th featuring former NBA professional basketball player and addiction recovery advocate Chris Herren, who will share his experiences and his road to sobriety.
These programs are made possible with the support of The Community Fund of Darien, Barrett Bookstore, the Darien Depot, the Darien Library, Silver Hill Hospital, Trinity Church and The YWCA of Darien/Norwalk.
For the past four years, The Community Fund of Darien in collaboration with the Thriving Youth Task Force (TYTF) has educated Darien teens and adults about the dangers of teen binge drinking through the “Our Darien” social marketing campaign. This public health initiative aims to shine a spotlight on the impact of alcohol on the teen brain and to offer proven tactics towards healthier attitudes and behaviors. A growing body of research shows an ongoing parent-child dialogue about risky behaviors, combined with clear rules and consequences, equips students to make healthy choices in the short and long term. The “Our Darien” campaign is funded by a grant from the state of Connecticut’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS).