BURNT: A Teenage Addict's Road to Recovery by Craig & Deirdre Sullivan Fraser

BURNT: A Teenage Addict's Road to Recovery

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An autobiographical account of a young man's journey into and out of drug addiction that seems as self-serving as the rest of his life. Nineteen-year-old Fraser is a ""recovered"" addict who began drinking hard liquor in the sixth grade and smoking marijuana in the seventh. Both substances were easy to get, usually stolen from neighborhood parents' liquor and drug supplies. Fraser's experiments escalated and soon he was buying and selling; by the time he got to high school, he was dealing his way into social acceptance and the clique of his choice. Unlike the stereotype of the young addict failing school and hanging out on a street comer, Fraser was getting good grades, running his own legitimate small business selling birds, and developing expertise in conning adults into accepting his facade as an upright, admirable young man. His drug use escalated both in quantity and variety--LSD was a favorite--leading finally, after a move to boarding school, to an unwilling enrollment in a drag-treatment program, joining Narcotics Anonymous, and this confessional book. Here, he tries to explore the reasons for his drug dependency--dyslexia, allergies, a troublesome move to a new town in the Napa Valley, a difficult older sister, parents too willing to accept his alibis--but it all carries as much conviction as an essay on ""What I did on my summer vacation."" A drug-related glossary at the end is useful, but it is otherwise hard to imagine that here is a recovered addict. As the book ends, an old friend asks, ""How can I believe this book isn't just another lie?"" How indeed?

Pub Date: Sept. 29th, 1989
Publisher: New American Library