Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Crack'd Up: Crackhead Tales of Addiction & Recovery" by Sheryl Johnson

Sheryl Johnson is the real deal. Crack addicts are a tricky lot. They can zone out for days at a time, but when the urge strikes they hunt their next hit with an unshakable focus. It makes sense that if they were going to take advice, it would come from one of their own. Someone who has felt the desperation of being on her hands and knees combing through the carpet for remaining grains. She represents in the flesh that change is possible.

Crack'd Up is written in the language of the street. It's not meant to be grammatically correct. The book's style provides a sense of familiarity for its intended audience. For readers not immersed in the drug culture, Johnson provides a glossary of common slang terms.

She offers personal details from her own struggle against dependency. However, the majority of the book is an anonymous retelling of the stories of other addicts she encountered. By enlarging the scope of the narrative, she does the personal nature of addiction justice. Addicts from every walk of life will be able to recognize themselves in these pages.

On a personal note, I admire Johnson's accomplishments. I can only imagine the strength required to remain clean. But I feel she finds the will by reaching out to others. It can't be easy offering counsel to those who can easily expose her to the world she has left behind. She's right on the front lines visiting group homes and prisons. By relating her own story, she shows that quitting is possible. And not only that, but a creative outlet is available. Through Critter Care Publications, she is dedicated to promoting the works of recovering author-addicts.

Overall, this is a book that a crack addict looking to stay clean would trust.

Crack'd Up: Crackhead Tales of Addiction & Recovery by Sheryl Johnson is available for $16.99 at and

A complimentary review copy was provided by Sheryl Johnson.

Enter to win a FREE copy of Crack'd Up: Crackhead Tales of Addiction & Recovery by leaving a comment below along with your email address. A winner will be chosen on February 1, 2010.

Congratulations to our winner: Amy K. Nichols!


  1. Sounds like a book that addicts should read (as well as those of us who know next to nothing about addiction). I know of a gal who just got out of jail because of her meth addiction. She has a son, who is in her mother's custody. She is, or was, a beautiful girl, but meth has taken so much of her life away. She's tried to get clean at various points in her life, but unfortunately, has been unable to.

  2. I'm adding it to my list. Thanks for the review!

  3. This sounds like an important and necessary book. I'm glad she wrote it, and I hope kids read it. Like Katie, I have a friend who gave her life away to meth. So painful for everyone involved.

  4. I don't know why but I like reading books and memoirs on drug addiction. I've never been addicted to drugs so it's not like I can identify with it. Anyways I'd love to win.

    callista83 AT cogeco DOT ca