New York Times writer David Sheff discovers his teenage son Nicholas is missing and two days later, he reappears in their home. Seeing obvious signs of drug use, David takes Nic to a rehab clinic. Progress is made, and Nic requests to be transferred to a halfway house, where there is less security, and free time is given outside of a facility, to which David and Nic's doctors agree. Days later, however, Nic does not return home, and David goes out and finds him in the streets. Back at the rehab facility, Nic reveals that he has been consuming not only marijuana, but other drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy and, most recently, crystal Meth. Time goes by and Nic has made a full recovery, and seeing his improvements, David sends him off to school to become a writer. Nic's newfound freedom and sobriety start off great, as he becomes a good student and starts a relationship with his classmate. However, at his girlfriend's parents' house, he finds a bottle of pills and slowly relapses, to the point where he purchases crystal Meth using money David sent him..