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Teenage Degenerate: A Memoir that Explores the Depths of Methamphetamine and Drug Addiction

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Breaking Bad meets the Basketball Diaries! Amazon Best Seller in Drug Dependency and Personal Health! In 1996, Scott was nineteen and lost in adulthood with an endless job and no future ambitions. Teenage Degenerate is his story about drug addiction, music and growing up. Over the course of ten months, he quickly descends into the dark and dangerous world of crystal metha Breaking Bad meets the Basketball Diaries! Amazon Best Seller in Drug Dependency and Personal Health! In 1996, Scott was nineteen and lost in adulthood with an endless job and no future ambitions. Teenage Degenerate is his story about drug addiction, music and growing up. Over the course of ten months, he quickly descends into the dark and dangerous world of crystal methamphetamine. Scott experiments with crystal meth in a dark, deserted parking lot in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado and soon after his crew of misfits will do almost anything for their next high. One by one, family and friends disappear, and he is left alone with a decision to continue fighting or give up. This is his struggle to reclaim a normal life and the search for something real. Teenage Degenerate is a brutally truthful, humorous and heartbreaking journey that explores the depths of addiction.


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Breaking Bad meets the Basketball Diaries! Amazon Best Seller in Drug Dependency and Personal Health! In 1996, Scott was nineteen and lost in adulthood with an endless job and no future ambitions. Teenage Degenerate is his story about drug addiction, music and growing up. Over the course of ten months, he quickly descends into the dark and dangerous world of crystal metha Breaking Bad meets the Basketball Diaries! Amazon Best Seller in Drug Dependency and Personal Health! In 1996, Scott was nineteen and lost in adulthood with an endless job and no future ambitions. Teenage Degenerate is his story about drug addiction, music and growing up. Over the course of ten months, he quickly descends into the dark and dangerous world of crystal methamphetamine. Scott experiments with crystal meth in a dark, deserted parking lot in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado and soon after his crew of misfits will do almost anything for their next high. One by one, family and friends disappear, and he is left alone with a decision to continue fighting or give up. This is his struggle to reclaim a normal life and the search for something real. Teenage Degenerate is a brutally truthful, humorous and heartbreaking journey that explores the depths of addiction.

30 review for Teenage Degenerate: A Memoir that Explores the Depths of Methamphetamine and Drug Addiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jen from Quebec :0)

    This was a great memoir of a 19 year old struggling with crystal meth addiction. Often, addiction memoirs are hit or miss, as the ppl writing them are not actual WRITERS. However, Scott Sterling could have fooled me! This book has recurring themes, a distinct voice, great character development, and is written in the format of dated entries, like a diary, adding to the immediacy of the plot. It is 1996 in New York City. Scott is 19, and has a core group of friends but no ambition or career or coll This was a great memoir of a 19 year old struggling with crystal meth addiction. Often, addiction memoirs are hit or miss, as the ppl writing them are not actual WRITERS. However, Scott Sterling could have fooled me! This book has recurring themes, a distinct voice, great character development, and is written in the format of dated entries, like a diary, adding to the immediacy of the plot. It is 1996 in New York City. Scott is 19, and has a core group of friends but no ambition or career or college dreams. In 1996, I was 16 years old, and absolutely recognized this late 1996/97 world he describes. Especially- the music. Oh, the music. Music (esp grunge, punk and alternative) was amazing at this time (a GREAT time to be 16!) and Scott adds a 'soundtrack' to his life, peppering his adventures with details and lyrics of the songs that are playing at pivotal moments of his 'adventures', and he and his friends also attend many concerts. Also, he makes note in his entries every time a singer/performer dies IRL from drugs or violence. And it happened a lot in 1996-97...(singers/musicians for Blind Melon, Sublime, STP, Smashing Pumpkins, etc). I too, remember crying over these tragedies and it helped establish the setting perfectly. I could not, however, give this a 5 star rating because of the terrible ending. After a great read full of details from almost every single day of his life between '96-'97, the ending/recovery phase of the book lasts a total of 3 measly pages! He sums up 375 days in 3 pages! After going on this crazy ride with the author, you really want to know MORE about just HOW he was able to overcome his problems, and he denies us that story....unless he is going to save that for a sequel?? Even so, not cool, dude. --Jen from Quebec :0)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tania

    I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. Stepped out of my comfort zone with this book. Was pleasantly surprised. I liked the raw, non-nonsense approach although at times the graphic content was a bit shocking. As a reader I felt part of Scott's journey; the harsh reality of what he was going through could be felt throughout the book. Terrifying and sad. It struck me how he lost friends along the way "it was the last time I ever saw...." What a lonely place to be and it was depicte I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. Stepped out of my comfort zone with this book. Was pleasantly surprised. I liked the raw, non-nonsense approach although at times the graphic content was a bit shocking. As a reader I felt part of Scott's journey; the harsh reality of what he was going through could be felt throughout the book. Terrifying and sad. It struck me how he lost friends along the way "it was the last time I ever saw...." What a lonely place to be and it was depicted very well in the book. Although it wasn't my favourite style of writing or type of book (I am more of a fiction person) I feel the author did a fantastic job with they way he wrote and the way the story was told. Thinking back on the book I felt the need to add a star as the story has been rolling around in my mind for few days which means the book actually left an impression. I highly recommended this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Wow! A must read! Drugs, sex, danger..... I was intrigued throughout the entire book! I don't want to quote any of the book, because the build up to some of the laugh out loud moments is just too good! ....but lets just say someone snorts a Dorito chip thinking it's crystal. Wow! A must read! Drugs, sex, danger..... I was intrigued throughout the entire book! I don't want to quote any of the book, because the build up to some of the laugh out loud moments is just too good! ....but lets just say someone snorts a Dorito chip thinking it's crystal.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Wilhelmsson

    A really important book Every time I read one of this true stories about drug users that gone through hell and back again aka in recovery I felt so proud of them. Might sounds crazy but I have been unlucky to known a couple of addicted, really good friends that never make it back from hell. They didn't have the courage to change the things they could and the drugs sent them to death. I don't like drugs, I hate them most of all things in this world because they are such tricky things, just like th A really important book Every time I read one of this true stories about drug users that gone through hell and back again aka in recovery I felt so proud of them. Might sounds crazy but I have been unlucky to known a couple of addicted, really good friends that never make it back from hell. They didn't have the courage to change the things they could and the drugs sent them to death. I don't like drugs, I hate them most of all things in this world because they are such tricky things, just like this in recovery abuser write about. First you take it at parties and before you know you are capable to trade your mother for the drug... Lots of people look down at this scum bags and hate or dislike the addicted and don't understand that this is a disease just like alcoholism or game player that lives their life in computer games. I am the first to say that drug users are horrible when they are sick, their lives is about lying and stealing and get the next dose no matter what, but behind the mask they are mostly nice people with big hearts. If you don't believe me go to an open meeting at NA and you will be chocked by the lovely way they welcome you. That's the reason why books like is so important, books written by the ones that know how the drug works both when they are high and the back side of it. Not just the withdrawn (that is only right that they suffer) because they have a long list of people that have suffered while they where active, people that love them and cares for them and often gets codependent and enabliers. I think book like this should be read in schools to educate the young people because if just one says No when someone invite them to smoke (it's often the first step) weed it's worth more then any money in the world. I want to thank the author for his courage to tell his story because it's a lot of guilt and shame to get over before you could honestly tell others of your illegal life. And to all that read this please remember that one is to much and thousen never enough...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Zack

    In 1996, "Teenage Degenerate"’s author Scott Sterling was nineteen and lost in adulthood with n thankless job and a future without any promise. The book is Sterling’s firsthand account of shedding his addiction to dangerous drugs as a way of growing up. His rapid decline once in the clutches of crystal methamphetamine addiction is a horror show magnified to highlight all the worst aspects. "Up to that point, I had avoided getting meth sores or 'meth mites,' associated with meth addicts. The sores In 1996, "Teenage Degenerate"’s author Scott Sterling was nineteen and lost in adulthood with n thankless job and a future without any promise. The book is Sterling’s firsthand account of shedding his addiction to dangerous drugs as a way of growing up. His rapid decline once in the clutches of crystal methamphetamine addiction is a horror show magnified to highlight all the worst aspects. "Up to that point, I had avoided getting meth sores or 'meth mites,' associated with meth addicts. The sores usually occur from constant picking at a problem area, and that becomes larger and larger, and then usually spreads to other areas. The sores take longer to heal because meth restricts blood flow to the infected area. A few days before Thanksgiving, I got my first meth sore, it was on my forearm. It was small compared to others I had seen, so I considered myself lucky." In this book, young, misguided Scott experiments with crystal meth in dark, deserted parking lots all over the suburbs of Denver, Colorado, making and breaking deals among an ever changing smorgasbord of mutated outliers desperate for the next rush of chemicals. Inevitably, trusted family connections wither and atrophy in the wake of that synthetic storm of junk, leaving the author with hard cold facts mandating desperate realignment of his withered sensibilities. Teenage Degenerate is a deadpan recounting of the perilous and worsening path trod by its author in the experience and ultimate renunciation of addiction to manmade chemical “fixes,” which always fall short, narrating its author’s arduous effort to wrest back some semblance of normalcy and realness after hitting rock bottom. Continued HERE: http://www.examiner.com/review/teenag...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Huntress

    Intense journal I really like the way the book read as a journal. Very intense and at times exciting. Book was very well written

  7. 4 out of 5

    Crissy

    This is the exact kind of imposingly honest, spare-no-details retelling of a teenager's foray into the world of addiction that I was hoping it would be. Sterling's style of writing and the story itself made me feel like I was talking to a friend about this experience; just save the formalities and tell it like it is. I got so caught up in the story itself that I repeatedly had to take a step back to remind myself that this is true and that it all transpired within one year of a young man's life. This is the exact kind of imposingly honest, spare-no-details retelling of a teenager's foray into the world of addiction that I was hoping it would be. Sterling's style of writing and the story itself made me feel like I was talking to a friend about this experience; just save the formalities and tell it like it is. I got so caught up in the story itself that I repeatedly had to take a step back to remind myself that this is true and that it all transpired within one year of a young man's life. Even with the heavy, over-arching seriousness of the story, Teenage Degenerate was a light, entertaining, and funny read. I would like to thank the author for providing a copy of this book via Goodreads giveaway. I really appreciate your generosity and talent!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laura Michelle

    This book is amazing.. I recommend this book to any one who is willing to take a walk in somebody else's shoes and see what addiction is REALLY about. This book is well written and for me it is really relatable.... so many parts of this book I was like DAM ME TOO.. the book really digs deep down into the feelings an addict eventually feels when your life literally turns to shit right before your very eyes. It was spot on. I read it in a day and a half I could not put it down, I just couldn't wai This book is amazing.. I recommend this book to any one who is willing to take a walk in somebody else's shoes and see what addiction is REALLY about. This book is well written and for me it is really relatable.... so many parts of this book I was like DAM ME TOO.. the book really digs deep down into the feelings an addict eventually feels when your life literally turns to shit right before your very eyes. It was spot on. I read it in a day and a half I could not put it down, I just couldn't wait to see how it ended. I would read other books by the author. I enjoyed his writing and the book is well written.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Sterling makes no apologies as he walks you through the reality of addiction. He blends his love of music into the story and, being of the same generation, his choice of music in itself tells the story. This is a rare book in a sea of addiction memoirs that stands out based on not only the style of writing, but also on the nearly perfect (is anything perfect?) editing job. I read this in one sitting and was nodding my head in recognition for most of the book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nick Page

    Holy wow this was intense!! I have read a few addiction books/memoirs and this one ranks in the top 2 or 3. I would recommend this to anyone with an addiction, a loved one with an addiction problem or someone that loves the genre.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Destiny Jackson

    This book was amazing I have to say that but the last couple of pages I didn't get but maybe it's my fault i don't understand but this book was amazing and written by an amazing author. This book was amazing I have to say that but the last couple of pages I didn't get but maybe it's my fault i don't understand but this book was amazing and written by an amazing author.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sara Wortman

    I was given the book for an honest review. "Teenage Degenerate" is a roller coaster ride of emotions and events through the eyes of an addict. It was brutally honest and hard to put down. I felt every emotion as it happened. I read the book in one day. The book was incredibly interesting until it got to the end. The end was unexpected. I was kind of bummed about the ending. This book is still a great read and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I was given the book for an honest review. "Teenage Degenerate" is a roller coaster ride of emotions and events through the eyes of an addict. It was brutally honest and hard to put down. I felt every emotion as it happened. I read the book in one day. The book was incredibly interesting until it got to the end. The end was unexpected. I was kind of bummed about the ending. This book is still a great read and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ava Mac

    Overall i thought the book was an okay read. Although the novel was a very slow pace, the plot was interesting and kept you wanting more. if the book thought me one things its how to properly cook and use meth, which may come in handy! I saw a review on this book saying all kids in high school should be required to read this book but i disagree. This book ,in my opinion, glorifies the usage of crystal instead of showing the dangers of it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Johnson

    Decent book, especially seeing how the Author gave me a free copy. He's done something I haven't been able to yet, write and publish a book, good for him, and good on his sobriety. On to the next, Im going to Finish White Trash in America if it fucking kills me. Decent book, especially seeing how the Author gave me a free copy. He's done something I haven't been able to yet, write and publish a book, good for him, and good on his sobriety. On to the next, Im going to Finish White Trash in America if it fucking kills me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan Malik

    Gripping Absolutely shockingly honest account of how quickly you can get drawn in the deepest drug addiction and the horrible truths of meth (crystal) addiction in America in the 90s

  16. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    Scariest book ever I read this book to understand life led by substance abuse. Thank you for your detailed account. I guess as Scott says, the user has few choices as to getting clean. Our medical system offers extremely little help, so it's death, prison, or scared straight. Private help is expensive. These people are not throw away citizens. Scariest book ever I read this book to understand life led by substance abuse. Thank you for your detailed account. I guess as Scott says, the user has few choices as to getting clean. Our medical system offers extremely little help, so it's death, prison, or scared straight. Private help is expensive. These people are not throw away citizens.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

    I absolutely loved this book. It’s so we written. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down. I just had to know what happened.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Harvey

    Good read It is an in-depth story of first hand meth addiction. Page turner for sure. I enjoyed it. Liked the realism

  19. 5 out of 5

    cynthia frisco

    Haunting Memoir I honestly could not put this book down! I found myself rooting for a drug addict, which was not something I expected to do when I began reading this book! This memoir will stay with you for quite sometime!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joe Thomas

    Good read A very grown up, insightful and entertaining book. Very worth the read. I believe the author is pretty young but writes like he learned a few lessons.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    I stumbled across this because I am from Denver and enjoy reading books based in Denver/Colorado. That being said, I normally wouldn't read an addiction/drug memoir, but I am glad I did. This is a fantastic book and I feel the author represents Denver perfectly. I stumbled across this because I am from Denver and enjoy reading books based in Denver/Colorado. That being said, I normally wouldn't read an addiction/drug memoir, but I am glad I did. This is a fantastic book and I feel the author represents Denver perfectly.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Angi

    I was sent this book by the author for an honest review and I must say I quite enjoyed this book. I loved that it was very honest he didn't try to hide what happened. He tells it like it is. I find the ending of this drug memoir quite diffrent from other drug memoirs. The ending was surprising and catches you off gard and I really enjoyed it. The story was interesting and I'm glad I read it I was sent this book by the author for an honest review and I must say I quite enjoyed this book. I loved that it was very honest he didn't try to hide what happened. He tells it like it is. I find the ending of this drug memoir quite diffrent from other drug memoirs. The ending was surprising and catches you off gard and I really enjoyed it. The story was interesting and I'm glad I read it

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

    Insightful view into being a teenager spiralling into drug addiction and the chaos that runs its course around you, as you lose family members, friends, reputation, dignity as you find yourself mechanising ways to come up with your next score, day after day, your only daily motivation. Explores the fine line between delinquent drug experimentation spanning out into full blown addiction. I love the journal style of writing, feels very personal, no bullshit, no chaser type of approach and just an Insightful view into being a teenager spiralling into drug addiction and the chaos that runs its course around you, as you lose family members, friends, reputation, dignity as you find yourself mechanising ways to come up with your next score, day after day, your only daily motivation. Explores the fine line between delinquent drug experimentation spanning out into full blown addiction. I love the journal style of writing, feels very personal, no bullshit, no chaser type of approach and just an overall raw account on being addicted to crystal mephampatine.

  24. 5 out of 5

    ✵ Katherine

    Oh god that was an intense and scary and raw memoir. I am incredibly glad that A) I've never become addicted to any drugs and B) there (mostly) aren't people running with guns in the uk. I'm so glad that that Scott made it out alive. Oh god that was an intense and scary and raw memoir. I am incredibly glad that A) I've never become addicted to any drugs and B) there (mostly) aren't people running with guns in the uk. I'm so glad that that Scott made it out alive.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey Menschik

    I read this book for a school literary paper about substance abuse. I liked the story a lot but thought the end was lackluster. He complained about 3/4 the way through the book that if he didn't do Cocaine he craved it and had severe withdrawal until he found another hit. But then at the end when he decides to quit he doesn't have any issues at all. I think it would have really added to the story for there to be more information about that part of the addiction/withdrawal process. I read this book for a school literary paper about substance abuse. I liked the story a lot but thought the end was lackluster. He complained about 3/4 the way through the book that if he didn't do Cocaine he craved it and had severe withdrawal until he found another hit. But then at the end when he decides to quit he doesn't have any issues at all. I think it would have really added to the story for there to be more information about that part of the addiction/withdrawal process.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    GREAT story! S.C. Sterling tells a brutally honest story about his addiction and the losses he endured as a result. There is nothing good about drug use, and he doesn't necessarily go into graphic detail when describing the characters who use needles, but he does describe in detail those who smoke it. I always wondered what "smack" was , and now I know that it's another name for heroine. What I like most about this book is that he predicts what is non-drug users don't know and he explains it to us. GREAT story! S.C. Sterling tells a brutally honest story about his addiction and the losses he endured as a result. There is nothing good about drug use, and he doesn't necessarily go into graphic detail when describing the characters who use needles, but he does describe in detail those who smoke it. I always wondered what "smack" was , and now I know that it's another name for heroine. What I like most about this book is that he predicts what is non-drug users don't know and he explains it to us. Many of these memoirs don't do that, so we are left wondering what the heck the author is talking about while s/he goes on telling the story, continuing to use the term we don't know the definition of. That can be frustrating. That's one of the reasons this one is so good - he defines these things for us. And he makes sure to very bluntly let us know when someone leaves his life by saying, in a new paragraph, and in a line by itself: "That's the last time I saw xxxx" I can't believe he was able to quit like he did, and he should be thankful for that. I wish he would let us know if he ever told his mom what was going on, and if he stayed sober. Apparently he's writing a sequel, and I hope he includes these things (and makes good on the raincheck with his mom!) I highly recommend this book for teens who are thinking of trying drugs (even marijuana, as that does eventually lead to bigger things) or parents of teens who are susceptible to the drug scene. At least you will know what to look for as signs of use. That's something you can never know enough about because they use regular household items. All in all, I highly recommend this book!

  27. 4 out of 5

    David Hone

    God bless I’m very grateful to have read this book and gained the insight of a crystal user I’ve never gone that far down the rabbit hole and never will and my heart goes out to all those who still suffer. Very insightful to see how quickly the life of a user declines and deteriorates.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Urban

    Teenage Degenerate by S. C. Sterling is a powerful tale about falling into addiction and getting out of it. This nonfiction book, took me deeply into the writer's journey from the moment he got hooked until the ending. Raw, emotional, and well-told. I felt the emotions grab me with every page. Addiction is a frightening place to find oneself and then to get to a place where there's only two roads - fall deeper or climb out. Teenage Degenerate is about drugs and it's dark to read. But I highly re Teenage Degenerate by S. C. Sterling is a powerful tale about falling into addiction and getting out of it. This nonfiction book, took me deeply into the writer's journey from the moment he got hooked until the ending. Raw, emotional, and well-told. I felt the emotions grab me with every page. Addiction is a frightening place to find oneself and then to get to a place where there's only two roads - fall deeper or climb out. Teenage Degenerate is about drugs and it's dark to read. But I highly recommend it to readers everywhere. Whether one has been there or knows someone who was or is going through this, it's like getting inside the person's head. I was able to feel and see everything that the writer felt and saw. The writer's thinking and choices along the way...overall, this is a definite book to read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Angie Flom

    Brutally honest and well written. Some excerpts shocked me as raw & unsettling, but completely necessary in order to relay the truth behind Scott's life and addiction during the 10 months he describes, starting at age 19. Scott writes in a diary format starting with his first experience with meth. I became part of the story and felt as if he was a friend and watched him go through this ordeal. Because there are snapshots of days (and obviously not every single day is written about during the tim Brutally honest and well written. Some excerpts shocked me as raw & unsettling, but completely necessary in order to relay the truth behind Scott's life and addiction during the 10 months he describes, starting at age 19. Scott writes in a diary format starting with his first experience with meth. I became part of the story and felt as if he was a friend and watched him go through this ordeal. Because there are snapshots of days (and obviously not every single day is written about during the time covered) I found myself wondering how certain situations were resolved. Music is referenced throughout and provides an even clearer picture of Scott and the time period. Captivated by the story from the beginning I truly hope that Scott continues to write with such raw emotion to share with the rest of us. Highly recommend. * I received this book from the author and Goodreads in exchange for an honest review *

  30. 5 out of 5

    Darlene

    Have you ever seen those mug shots of meth addicts and wondered who they are and how they got there? In Teenage Degenerate, Sterling accounts how meth took hold of his life - getting him into dangerous situations and crazy adventures. Honestly, I wanted to punch the author at times because he was doing such stupid things and being a jerk to everyone around him. I struggled to maintain an objective view and just enjoy the story. I enjoyed the music references in the book. I was 16 during the time Have you ever seen those mug shots of meth addicts and wondered who they are and how they got there? In Teenage Degenerate, Sterling accounts how meth took hold of his life - getting him into dangerous situations and crazy adventures. Honestly, I wanted to punch the author at times because he was doing such stupid things and being a jerk to everyone around him. I struggled to maintain an objective view and just enjoy the story. I enjoyed the music references in the book. I was 16 during the time this book was set, and listened to the same music as the author I wish I knew more about the author's life now and if there are any residual effects of his drug use What steps did he take to rebuild his life? I also wonder what happened to his friends who were using and if they survived. This book reminded me a lot of the Basketball Diaries (which I love). I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you to Goodreads and the author!

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