Go Ask Alice is a haunting story of a young girl’s descent into drug addiction and her desperate attempt to break free again. Her journal entries detail the highs and lows she experiences as she falls deeper under the spell her addiction to LSD. Through Alice’s eyes the reader sees her family’s desperate struggle to reach her, and the seductive power of the chemicals that pull her away from them.
First printed in 1971, Go Ask Alice still remains one of the most popular works about teen drug addiction.
It’s definitely a dated tale, but I think one of the reasons it survives is how haunting the story is. Something about it reminded me a little bit of That Was Then, This is Now by S. E. Hinton.
Did you know?
Those of you Go Ask Alice buffs… Did you know that though Alice is generally accepted as the unclaimed diary of a teen-aged girl wrestling with drug addiction, it is in fact a novel! As in… fiction. Yep. Check out the info posted on the Snopes Urban Legend web site. Posing as a diary gave the story a huge amount of credibility, but nope. It’s all made up.
With the entrance of drugs into Alice’s world follows sex. Her experiences are reflected back upon via her diary entries. The references are not drawn out, but still briefly state what occurred. Some characters also refer to homosexual experiences.
While there isn’t really any violence as a part of the story, some of the hallucinations Alice experiences are vivid and really creepy.
This is a book about drug addiction, so there are several scenes that detail Alice’s drug abuse. The book also shows the consequences of drug addiction– her life spirals out of control, she winds up in a sanitarium, has physical side effects from detox and long term abuse.