Best 20 Books About Addiction Recovery to Read in 2020

This begins when one of the parents chooses one child and their addiction over the other children or family members. This book also deals with addiction science, and Hanson is a gifted writer who’s able to express complex ideas in simple, straightforward language. And he also devotes a good deal of time to the care and healing aspects of substance abuse. It takes one to know one, as the saying goes, and Mr. Hanson knows from personal experience and extensive investigative research what it’s like to struggle with addiction. Underrated and underread, this book is right up there with the best on the subjects of addiction and recovery.

addiction recovery books

The Big Fix is the story of a heroin addict who beat the odds, moved past her addiction, and reclaimed her life. She spent many years on the streets of San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. Maia Szalavitz shares a new perspective on the addictive personality. Learn to live your own life and stop assisting a loved one in destroying theirs.

Beautiful Boy by David Sheff

Recover from addiction at home with medication and online therapy––from the leader in virtual addiction care. A memoir of unblinking honesty and poignant, laugh-out-loud humor,Blackoutis the story of a woman stumbling into a new kind of adventure — the sober life she never wanted. Harris Wittels didn’t fit the stereotype of what a junkie looks like. He was a successful comedian, actor, producer, and writer for Sarah Sober Home Silverman and on shows like Parks and Recreation and Master of None. Even with all his talent and jobs coming his way, he was not able to get clean and stay clean, eventually dying from an overdose in 2015 at age 29. Everything is Horrible and Wonderful is written by Harris’s sister, Stephanie, about his tragic death and the aftermath of losing her younger brother who was her best friend and also an addict.

What is the first rule of recovery?

Rule 1: Change Your Life

The most important rule of recovery is that a person does not achieve recovery by just not using. Recovery involves creating a new life in which it is easier to not use.

For the past three decades, Codependent No More has been one of the best books for families of recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. This book is a helpful guide for everyone whose life has been strongly affected by the disease of addiction. Filled with exercises and self-tests, the book is immensely helpful for the individual who has lost himself or herself in the continuous story of a loved one’s addictive behavior. Codependent No More offers practical advice for regaining one’s individuality. So often in drawn out battles of substance abuse, family members fall into familiar rhythms of place an imbalance of energy – for better or worse – into the addicted loved one. Codependency is dangerous for healthy treatment and addiction recovery practices, so we’re grateful for this liberating book. Considered to be one of the best addiction recovery books in recent history, author Erica Spiegelman’s lays out a path to recovery that is empowering and easy to follow. As the title infers, Rewired is about thinking differently about living clean and embracing recovery. The book presents healthy recovery as the result of living in accordance to twelve time-honored powerful principles, including honesty, evolution, solitude, love, compassion and hope. Erica Spiegelman is a well-respected addiction counselor, author and speaker who has had her own struggles with alcoholism and addiction.

The best books and drinking and recovery from alcohol addiction

These three powerful stories have common threads of hope, pain, mistrust, grief, worry, change, acceptance, belief, and the constant presence of varying levels of sanity across a broad spectrum. Those are the wrenching questions that haunted David Sheff’s journey through his son Nic’s addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery. Before Nic became addicted to crystal meth, he was a charming boy, joyous and funny, a varsity athlete and honor student adored by his two younger siblings. More people than ever before see themselves as addicted to, or recovering from, addiction, whether it be alcohol or drugs, prescription meds, sex, gambling, porn, or the internet. But despite the unprecedented attention, our understanding of addiction is trapped in unfounded 20th century ideas, addiction as a crime or as brain disease, and in equally outdated treatment. Addiction is a complex disease that can impact an individual, as well as their family and loved ones. Overcoming addiction is a long and difficult process, so it can help to have some extra perspective on the topic.

We hope that the reader will see things differently and apply the suggested solutions to help improve the situation. We can not stress enough the importance of doing something when children are being addiction recovery books affected. As we said above, if you don’t want to help yourself or the substance user, that is on you. When children are involved, we feel it is child abuse and neglect not to take immediate action.


Recommended by Katherine KetchamFrom Katherine’s list onthe best books about addiction, recovery, and the triumph of the human spirit. Founder of a church called House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado, Nadia Bolz-Weber describes her path from a Fundamentalist upbringing to agnostic comedian to Lutheran pastor. With stories that range from vulnerable to hilarious, this book is fun to read and full of refreshing insights about God, church, hospitality, and grace. I write about spirituality, self-compassion, and mindfulness. The list above is a combination of what I have read and my research. Combining behavioral interventions with brain function research, the strategies and treatment suggested in the program are designed to overcome the biological factors that cause addictive behavior. This book is for anyone who is ready to take control of his or her life and take steps towards recovery now. You can use this book alone or as part of a 12-step program to create a personalized treatment plan that is right for you. If you had tried traditional methods of overcoming addiction such as 12-step program and they didn’t work for you, this book will be a good alternative to try. No matter the addiction, this is an excellent book if you’re seeking to understand addiction and what it takes to attain recovery.

Is depression a chemical imbalance?

It's often said that depression results from a chemical imbalance, but that figure of speech doesn't capture how complex the disease is. Research suggests that depression doesn't spring from simply having too much or too little of certain brain chemicals.

Living fast and hard on the streets of Bend, Oregon, she commits crimes against herself, the community, and her own family. This list would not be complete without a book about America’s opiate crisis. As a health care professional, I see the effects of this crisis daily. She is now a certified addiction specialist possessing a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in public administration. Her focus is on her recovery journey from a street addict to a successful, stable mother of three.

The Big Fix: Hope After Heroin – Tracey Helton Mitchell

As Birdie becomes closer to both Booker and Carlene, she yearns to spread her wings. But when long-buried secrets rise to the surface, everything she’s known to be true is turned upside down. Seventeen-year-old Clare is the overprotected baby; Peter is the typical, rebellious middle child; and Luke is the can’t-do-wrong favorite. But sometimes it’s the people who are closest to us who are the hardest to see.

Some books talk about addictions in general while others are written specifically for a particular addiction in mind. Macy interviews doctors who were sounding the alarm early about liberal prescribing of OxyContin, mothers whose children died of an overdose, people who have used and sold drugs, and many more. She paints a clear picture of how the opioid crisis spread from rural places like Central Appalachia to cities and suburbs—making it clear how it became a national epidemic. While that can be distressing, the book is ultimately hopeful. It highlights the brain’s remarkable ability to learn, adapt, and change—in addiction, but also in recovery. Journalist, Eilene Zimmerman gives her heart-wrenching tale of how she discovered that her ex-husband and father of her children was in active drug addiction and using several types of drugs. This revelation prompted her to explore drug use in white-collar settings and she soon discovered that addiction amongst high-achieving professionals is common.

Emotional sobriety that needs to occur to sustain recovery. From getting real about your circumstances to addressing related issues like relationships and taking responsibility, this book discusses about the emotional work that needs to accompany physical sobriety. For most addicts, removing their addictions doesn’t work in the long-term because their main problem isn’t resolved and they are still running away from it. Challenges the traditional perception of addiction as a brain disease. Someone in your family with addiction problems, this book is for you. To others, their addiction may seem immoral and unacceptable. Takes an intimate look into how being over-stressed and overworked can take people down the path of addiction. Jerry Stahl was a writer with significant and successful screenwriting credits – Dr. Caligari, Twin Peaks, Moonlighting, and more. But despite that success, Stahl’s heroin habit began to consume him, derailing his career and destroying his health until one final, intense crisis inspired him to get clean. Koren Zalickas began drinking at a young age — 14 years old.

This recovery story captures the anguish and doubt that accompany the choice to quit drinking. Specialist Erica Spiegelman highlights the importance of whole-body recovery. Designed to be alongside or in place of 12-step programs, you can use Rewired as a blueprint for a personalized and meaningful recovery plan. He’s participated in all the major 12-step programs, and has now started his own men’s group. In Recovery, he shares for the first time some of the tools he used to get from smoking crack to helping others stay clean. Author Michael Dash, entrepreneur and recovering addict, draws many parallels between his life pursuing business success and his obsession with gambling that caused him to bottom out. Dash also developed a drug addiction before he cleaned up and embarked on the road to recovery. Marketed as a memoir, a 2006 Smoking Gun exposé suggested elements of the story had been fabricated. He continues to write fiction and remains in committed recovery.

  • If you or someone you know someone is struggling with addiction and ready for help, contact Futures Recovery Healthcare today.
  • Why was it so easy to set boundaries and say no when they were children, yet it seems incomprehensible or impossible today?
  • For many people caught up in a destructive rock and roll lifestyle, the thought of sobriety might seem restrictive.
  • As a parent myself, I remember thinking how foolish that sounded as I would die for my children as most would.
  • These two books are suggested reads for addicts and alcoholics.

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