James is a drug addict whose life is spiraling out of control to the point that death might be a possibility. The novel is written by James Frey who is later revealed to be the main character of the book. He faces not only the physical struggles of withdrawal, but also many emotional trials due to the constant irritation of his superiors, family, and friends. He feels “bugs” crawling on him and is always craving alcohol or drugs. As a replacement to his old addiction, he becomes infatuated with Lily, a female patient whom he is forbidden to interact with or talk to. His counselors and staff of the Rehabilitation Center attempt to convince him to read and abide by “The 12 Steps” of “Alcoholics Anonymous”. However, he completely disregards the advice and finds his own way. Lily challenges him to face his drug addiction after being clean by running away from the rehab center when they tell her she cannot see James any longer. The climax of the novel is reached when James rescues Lily from a crack house without falling back into the temptation that his drug ridden site provides. He then proclaims himself fully recovered and moves on to a better life.