The story of one family’s struggle with drugs has become a Hollywood film – and is showing others they aren’t alone

Nic was a lovely child, though of course I’m prejudiced. I’m his father. According to the external barometers we often use to measure how our kids are doing, as Nic grew up – in California where we live – he was doing great. He was a good student, had good friends and his teachers described him as a leader. Nic did have to endure the trauma of his mother and my divorce (he was four), but he seemed to weather it well. Most important in my mind, he was kind, loving and moral.

I found a bag of marijuana in Nic’s backpack when he was 11. It’s not that I was naive about drugs – I knew about the ubiquity and temptation (when I was a teenager I used many) – but Nic was so young. It broke my heart.

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