Reflecting on the "Beautiful Boy" Event
I was reminded once again of why I do the work I do for Being Adept after attending an inspiring fundraising event for the nonprofit, featuring the film, Beautiful Boy, and a reception directly afterward with Dr. David E. Smith, along with two people willing to share their overcoming of addiction. My job at Being Adept as a Youth Educator involves delivering our science-based curriculum in middle schools across the Bay Area to empower youth to make their own healthy decisions. We ask open ended questions to prompt students to think critically about substance use and their choices. We listen with non-judgement as students talk through and process these topics and their experiences together.
Last night’s event reflected the importance of individuals talking to real people about these issues. The powerful film, and the personal stories afterwards, provided a springboard for families to dive into deeper conversations. Often times, people leave documentaries or truth-based films with questions that they may not even know how to find the answer to, but that simply wasn't the case here, making the overall experience that much more powerful. Addiction is something that affects all of us, regardless of what the substance actually is. It is simple for people who depend on coffee to wake them up every morning to differentiate themselves from people addicted to heroin. Films like this pave the way for people who may not understand addiction to humanize those who suffer from it.
This is why I believe Being Adept serves such a crucial part in its local communities by working with the schools and parents to give students the most powerful tool: knowledge. Unlike most drug educational programs, Being Adept doesn't pressure students to make a promise of abstinence from drugs, but instead supplies the students with knowledge and agency for them to make autonomous, educated decisions. Being Adept opens the floor for conversation and curiosity, which is exactly what our youth needs. Again, as someone with personal experiences with addiction, this movie is too powerful not to share, and the Being Adept program epitomizes the importance of spreading this knowledge. I feel honored to be a part of this non-profit organization and can't emphasize enough how badly I wish I could've had a program like this when I was a kid.