14 Outstanding Books About Addiction and Recovery

Wherever you are on your journey to recovery, this practical guide to dealing with emotional and psychological challenges is here to help. Clinical psychologist Lisa M. Najavits imparts her three decades of experience treating patients to create this research-based manual. In it, you’ll learn how to cultivate coping skills, confront personal struggles and alter your behaviors in a more positive direction. This addiction recovery book is also helpful for family and friends looking to support a loved one as they recover. Quit lit books and addiction memoirs are powerful ways to connect with other people who have been exactly where you are. You can learn more about addiction and relate to authors through their stories, reminding yourself that you aren’t alone in your journey. While this listen might appear to be autobiographical, it’s actually a work of fiction that’s meant to be experienced as if it were a memoir. And the portrait of heroin addiction it depicts is a painful reality for many people. Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales tells the story of Nicole, a 19-year-old girl who leaves college life in Maine behind to start over in Boston with her best friend, Eric.

best addiction memoirs

Books diverging from the genre’s hallmarks are already easy to find. Sarah Hepola’s Blackout, while adhering to many narrative beats, also includes lengthy reporting about the science of blackouts. She also writes at length about social and emotional repercussions of losing memory. When women are in a blackout, things are done to them,” one expert tells her. The late New York Times media critic David Carr wrote another notable “addiction memoir that’s not a normal addiction memoir” with 2008’s Night of the Gun, in which he investigated his own descent into cocaine addiction. In it, he confronts the fuzzy parameters of truth as it pertains to memoir by acknowledging his supreme unreliability as a narrator and reporting his own story out by interviewing over 60 people who dealt with him during his darkest days. While the book does end with a fairly typical recovery arc, Night of the Gun is unusual in how directly it deals with the idea of truth coming from one person. Carr’s investigation into his past self also reveals a dark side that is shocking even by the grisly standards of addiction memoirs; he beat women. Beautiful Boy is a great book for family members and friends of people with addiction. The author does a great job of helping the loved ones of people with addictions to feel supported, understood, and not alone.

Woman of Substances: A Journey Into Drugs, Alcohol and Treatment

It’s a book that emphasizes the lack of discrimination in addiction by highlighting common addiction problems that occurred in people from all walks of life. There are countless memoirs about addiction and recovery, but not quite so many about stopping drinking and its aftermath. When author Kristi Coulter stopped drinking, she began to notice the way that women around her were always tanked, and how alcohol affected those around her. Admittedly, there are a lot of lists out there about the best recovery memoirs, but ours is a little different. We were inspired by the diverse experiences of our own community members.

Eco Sober House

But she ultimately forges a path ahead to find a new life worth living. This book will resonate with those who’ve had a tough time at rock bottom. Although the details of our addiction and recovery stories may be different, the core of our experiences is often the same. Identifying with others who have been through the hell of addiction and made it to the other side can provide a cathartic sense of relief, providing both hope and the opportunity to feel seen and perhaps a little less alone. Prolific, brilliant memoirist Mary Karr shines a light on the dark years she spent descending into alcoholism and drug use as a young writer, wife, and mother.

How to Practice Self-Care While Supporting a Loved One in Recovery

In Blackout, Sarah clearly explains why there’s nothing benign about it and describes what is actually happening to the brain when we reach that point of alcohol-induced amnesia. I love her perspective on drinking as an act of counter-feminism—that in reality it actually dismantles our power, our pride, and our dignity as women, though we intended the opposite. Each of these memoirs offers the author’s unique perspective on not only their addiction but also their recovery. For women who are new to recovery, it can help to read these published memoirs from accomplished women who have been through the depths of addiction, pulled themselves out and gone on to achieve amazing things. Sethe is haunted, literally and figuratively, by the daughter she killed while escaping slavery in this devastating Pulitzer Prize-winning classic. This is a book about the abject horror and howling trauma of slavery, but it’s also about how we metabolise the nightmares of our lives before. In my own healing, I have even questioned the use of the word “recovery” in this context at all, since it implies a retrieval of something lost. Some new habits and practices have had to be built from the ground up.

Can you drink yourself sober?

So it would take 15 hours to fully sober up after 5 pints. And no you can not drink yourself sober. You can slowly sober up if you drink less than 1 unit per hour. It's not, however, the drinking that is sobering you up, it is the action of your liver.

This new book argues that a life without alcohol can still be glittering and unpredictable, decadent, messy and thrilling, that it is still possible to be “dirty and wild”, to “trip out on life” and to fall in love without booze as fuel. The reminder that sober life need not be ascetic or dull is welcome to seasoned veterans of recovery and newcomers alike, but I think the blueprint here for an abundant life of pleasure could be useful for anyone. In this memoir, Vargas recounts the childhood that led to her anxiety and panic and how alcohol gave her a release from her painful reality. Predictably though, addiction eventually became part of her painful reality. Writing honestly about her secret dependency and time in rehab, Vargas helps those of us who deal with co-occurring disorders understand taking on both mental health and alcoholism—and how we cannot heal one without addressing the other. This is the book for you if you’re looking for masterful prose. It is also the book for you if you consider faith to be a necessary piece for the puzzle that addiction recovery entails. This is a story of faith and love through the journey of recovery, more than just a tale from alcoholism to sobriety. Allen’s story of being a young woman in a teenage marriage that eventually runs away to Cincinnati, where she begins the destructive pattern of weekend partying and drinking, is a powerful tale.

The simplicity of this idea makes so much sense and is often forgotten in everything from AA to drug law. You don’t need to agree with all of Gabor Maté’s theories to see that he has brought a level of hope and humanity to the conversation surrounding addiction. MATClinics are outpatient Suboxone treatment programs located in Maryland in Laurel, Dundalk and Towson. MATClinics provide monthly maintenance medication assisted treatment in addition to personalized addiction case management. This book details her 15-year battle with the drug and how she finally overcame her addiction.

Ryan Hampton is a former White House staffer and opioid addict who is now a national recovery advocate with ten years clean. Overall, the message is uplifting, giving hope of new directions and possibilities for treatment. We’ve broken down the most important reads on substance use — covering everything from lived experience in memoir, to the latest research, to explorations of what society gets wrong about addiction, and creative interpretation. Learning more about addiction can help you make sense of your struggles best addiction memoirs and inspire you to seek a life of sobriety. While books are a useful tool, you deserve support from trained professionals in your journey to recovery. Gain practical knowledge in this science-based work by clinician and psychiatrist Adam Bisaga. In this work, Bisaga explains why opioid addiction requires a unique treatment approach compared to other drug dependencies. The book also details various methods of treatment for opioid addiction and how to select the right method for yourself or a loved one.

Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol by Holly Whitaker

By addressing causes rather than symptoms, it is framed as a permanent solution rather than lifetime struggle. It removes the psychological dependence; allowing you to easily drink less . Sarah’s writing is sharp and relatable; a more recent, modern voice in the recovery space. So many of us look at “blacking out” as benign, or normal—an indicator of a “successful” night of drinking.

If your feel generous, or just want to help, it’s a worthy cause!! Author of The Liar’s Club and Cherry, Mary Karr’s writing style is sharp, witty and compelling. Her accounts of her years of drinking, parenthood, marriage and eventual recovery are heartbreaking, hilarious and delivered in her unique fashion. Are currently struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, you are not alone. Meth is a powerful and addictive central nervous system stimulant that can affect your brain’s ability to function and communicate with the rest of your body. Our Philadelphia addiction center offers meth addiction treatment that addresses the physical and psychological aspects of addiction and makes long-term sobriety achievable. In this book, celebrated journalist Anne Dowsett Johnston intuitively intertwines her own life story of alcohol use disorder with some great in-depth research and relevant interviews. Her book includes the perspective of those leading the charge in this field, shedding some much-needed light on this crisis and the factors that have contributed to it.

Science is used to back up the theory that addiction is not just willpower, or a “broken brain” but instead a learning/developmental disorder that lies on a spectrum. This book is powerful because it removes the stigma and takes a 21st-century look at an age-old problem. If you are wondering how you or your loved one got to a place where addiction took hold this book will help to provide you answers. Sober Home In this book, Rod Colvin sheds light on a serious and prevalent issue in the United States—prescription drug abuse. This book explores the factors contributing to the rise of this epidemic and explores treatment options. Learn the difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment centers, read advice from medical specialists, learn how to recognize addiction and more in this informative piece.

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