Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable. Slight water damage may be present.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America's Greatest Tragedy Hardcover – April 2, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 215 customer reviews

See all 11 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$5.90 $1.46

Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The statistics are sobering: drugs kill more than 300 people in the U.S. every day. Almost 10 percent of Americans older than 12 are addicted to drugs. About 90 percent of those who require treatment for addiction never get it. Sheff evaluates our nation’s approach to the problem of drug abuse and finds it sorely lacking. Drug addiction is a chronic illness—like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease—but doesn’t get treated as one. It doesn’t afflict only bad people or just those who lack willpower. It is treatable and preventable. Once we acknowledge that drug addiction is indeed a disease, our public policy, research, and treatment will profoundly change. Sheff chronicled his oldest son’s drug addiction in the memoir Beautiful Boy (2007). Here he lashes out at “the pseudoscience, moralizing, and scare tactics that characterize the current system.” He shares addicts’ stories and information from researchers and experts and reports on his visits to treatment programs. Sadly, no surefire treatment presently exists for all types of addiction. In Clean, Sheff advocates not for punishing drug addicts but for treating them. --Tony Miksanek


"Clean will change not only how you look at drug abuse, but also what you think should be done about it. This book is essential reading about one of our most important social problems." — Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness
"In Beautiful Boy, David Sheff gave voice to the silent — the millions of addicts and their families. Now in Clean, he offers them a path toward healing. Our nation is sinking into an epidemic. This book offers realistic hope for recovery from addiction for those who suffer the disease." — Drew Pinsky, M.D., host of Dr. Drew
"How do we prevent kids from using drugs, and how do we effectively treat addiction? Clean cuts through the technical jargon and marketing nonsense to summarize our best knowledge on these topics. The case studies illuminate the challenging process of treatment and the remarkable changes that occur with recovery. Clean is a major contribution to our understanding of this disease and how to fight it." — Richard A. Rawson, Ph.D., professor and associate director, Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles
"Clean is an important exposé of a failed system; by replacing it, we will save countless lives, help people get clean and stay clean, and help the U.S. end its catastrophic war on drugs." — Sir Richard Branson, founder and chairman, Virgin Group, and member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy
"David Sheff is one of our strongest and most compassionate voices on the profound costs of addiction to the family and to society. Clean should be read by anyone affected by the number-one public health issue in America, which means it should be ready by everybody." — Christopher Kennedy Lawford, author of Recover to Live and Symptoms of Withdrawal
"David Sheff has written the most important book about addiction in a decade. Clean is a blueprint for thinking clearly — and empathetically — about America's costliest and most misunderstood public health crisis." — Benoit Denizet-Lewis, author of America Anonymous

 "Indisputably important."  —  Library Journal

"Gripping and vibrant."  — Publishers Weekly

 "Intelligent and thought-provoking views into the complexities of addiction and recovery."  — Kirkus Reviews

“Providing a wealth of information and practical advice, Clean is the best book on drug abuse and addiction to appear in years… Clean busts a mountain of myths… An extraordinarily valuable book.” – Glenn C. Altschuler, Cornell University, and Patrick M. Burns, Cornell University, reviewing for The Huffington Post



New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 054784865X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547848655
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Deanokat TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As the father of a recovering heroin addict, I will tell anyone who asks me that David Sheff's Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction is probably the best book I've ever read. As a matter of fact, Beautiful Boy helped me come to grips with my own son's addiction and prompted me to work on my own recovery. As a result, I was able to get my own life back. Even better, as I write this review my 23-year-old son is eight months clean and sober--the longest stretch of clean time he's had since he was 16.

That being said, it should come as no surprise that Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America's Greatest Tragedy is probably the most anticipated book ever for me. I pre-ordered it from Amazon as soon as I heard about it and have been eagerly awaiting its publication. Luckily, I was able to get an advance copy through Amazon's Vine program.

David Sheff's latest offering is to be commended for many reasons. First and foremost, though, is its explanation of how addiction works and its attempt to break the stigma frequently associated with this ancient disease. "Most drug use isn't about drugs; it's about life," Sheff writes in the Preface. "Our prevention and treatment efforts have failed mostly because they've focused on dealing with the drugs themselves, but drug abuse is almost always the result of kids starting to use early, genetics, and other problems--stress, trauma, mental illness, or some combination of these factors. The new paradigm is rooted in recognizing that drugs are a symptom, not a cause, and whatever problems underlie them must be (and can be) addressed.
Read more ›
16 Comments 246 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What I appreciate most about this book is that it is the first I have read that does not claim to hold the only way to sobriety, or the only truth about addiction. I appreciate the nod to parents who lose their minds when a child is dying, that we not compound the indignity by taking fire at the parents as "co dependents".

But we have a long way to go. I wish I could put this book in the hands of our local judges, probation officers, jailers and police, and insist that they read it. They continue to mete out punative sentences, or insist upon ineffective treatment, too much or too little, that can especially ruin young lives.

Two of my children have suffered severe addiction lasting over 15 years. I have seen them through Hazeldon (four times), Caron Foundation, Michael's House, Bishop Gooden (3 times)and at least five other top-name facilities... in and out of ICU, chasing paramedics to hospitals after overdoses, into long term in-patient and out-patient treatment facilities for years. I hate to say this... by far the best rehab has been jail. That's not to say anything positive about jail except that it did essentially the same thing as all the rehabs... it bought them time away from the environment and allowed them time to detox (horribly, without any medical attention... but, it is what it is.) In terms of effectiveness, though, they always relapsed again eventually. It is clear to me that there is no punishment strong enough to "cure" addiction.

One of my kid's came through it--the one everyone thought wouldn't live another day and he has been five years sober. It just happened when it was ready to happen. My other son is still struggling addiction with everything he's got, but holds a great job, smiles, is kind, loving and always thoughtful.
Read more ›
2 Comments 68 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
David Sheff not only pulls the curtain back, he blows it off the rod so we all can get a real look at addiction and what is NOT working. He demonstrates how we are 40 years behind on addiction therapy. If you have children, YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK. Addiction can happen anywhere to anyone and it does.

Mr. Sheff was the author of Beautiful Boy - his son's own journey into and through the landscape of drug addiction.

One of the most important take-aways I got from this book was the fact that 9 our of 10 addicts started before 18. Can you even believe that? So, if you could somehow devise a way to keep your kids from trying before they turn 18, 90% of your battle would be won. Anyway - I thought that was some real food for thought.

Another take-away - this one too heartbreaking - just when an addict falls down and off his program - that is when the system fails him and throws him out of the program, the halfway house. JUST when this support and help is needed so much.

A big chapter is devoted to AA. Totally non-judgmental. Just the facts, descriptions. Interesting.

A thorough review of therapies, which ones have the best results and why. Following a daily schedule, chock full of habits - can really help. This seems so simple and yet is so profound.

And Dear G*D - - - the COST of some of these programs - and insurance doesn't help - HOW CAN regular people help their family get this kind of help?!? WHY can't we have more effective treatment programs at better costs, why isn't insurance helping with this?? Lots of food for thought there.

Okay - what I thought could be done a little better:

1. A one page - WHAT DO I DO NOW - for the parent/loved one/etc.
Read more ›
Comment 96 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews