CUP Undergraduate Research



Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2009

Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis


College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences



Degree Name

English, BA

First Advisor

Dr. Kimberly Knutsen


Dopesick: Getting Christy Back is a memoir of my own narrative of my sister Christy’s plummet into the obscure, self-destructive trappings of an addiction to crystal meth. The story is narrated from my first-person perspective representing both me and my family. The chapters alternate with a close third-person perspective to Christy, which was gained by my interviews and time spent with her as the events in the book unfolded.

At the outset, Dopesick was an attempt to reconcile the shock waves of damage our family sustained from the chaos of Christy’s addiction. My goal for this work was that my family could read of Christy’s (perhaps untold) struggles and have a more compassionate and understanding attitude toward her. At the same time, my hope was that Christy could read and understand how far-reaching the consequences of her destructive decisions were to the lives and hearts of those who loved her the most – her family.

I believe that I have achieved this goal; however, the final product of Dopesick took an interesting turn in the course of its writing. Though the central images of the story are Christy’s life and struggles, the focus shifts from Christy as I am forced to come to terms with my slowly-emerging anger toward the madness and division her addiction has caused. In the process I discover my own voice and learn to take a stand when I realize her children are in danger.

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