Today I am excited to be a part of the "Sidelined" tour as part of Rockstar Book Tours. For those of you who don't know, "Sidelined" is about the struggles that main character Genna Pierce faces after a freak accident ends her high school basketball career and the only thing to ease her pain is Vicodin.Why Write about Addiction?
When I was thinking through Sidelined, I knew I wanted to take an honest look at a phenomenon occurring more and more frequently with teens: prescription drug abuse. Right now, more teens illegally obtain and abuse prescription drugs—painkillers in particular—than marijuana, cocaine and heroin combined. No longer do friends pool their money, drive to the shady side of town and buy illicit substances. Nope, they raid their parents’ drug cabinet. It’s quick, it’s free, and who would miss a few pills?
The problem is, Vicodin—along with other scheduled narcotics—is highly addictive. I’ve had a few surgeries and have taken prescription painkillers. The high is rapid, and it really kills the pain, no matter what that pain is. The hard part is quitting. I was lucky; I didn’t have to take them for long and had a smooth transition off. However, if your pain isn’t physical, if it’s something deeper, letting go of the pills might feel like crossing a highway at rush hour…blindfolded.
With Sidelined, I didn’t want to preach the ills of drug abuse, or condemn people who get addicted. Instead, I wanted readers to be able to experience Genna’s struggle vicariously, to see what this can be like and how easily the trap can be sprung. This is a girl who lost the one thing that defined her. Of course she was looking for a way out, a way to numb all the feelings battering her from every direction. Genna was responsible, driven to succeed…until she met Prince Vicodin. The good prince changed her life without her even noticing for a while. And when she did notice, she had her excuses ready.
In fact, she came to understand she was willing to throw away everything good in her life for one more pill. Even knowing that…she couldn’t stop.
So why write about addiction? First, to show that no one “type” of person falls into prescription drug abuse. It can be anyone—family, neighbors, friends—and you might never know. Shedding light on the problem might help others recognize it better. Second, to show that addicts aren’t criminals or worthless. With the right help, everyone has a chance. There’s always hope. If one person reads the book and realizes that he or she has a problem—or a loved one does—and seeks help, then Genna’s story will have done its job.
You can find out more about "Sidelined" here:
Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to two self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most critical job. She believes in everyday magic, extraordinary love stories and the restorative powers of dark chocolate.
$25 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card and a women’s collegiate basketball to the first prize winner (US Only)
3 $10 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift cards for 3 second prize winners (International)