From helping you relax to giving you a glimpse into another’s thoughts, reading can be a transportive activity. In fact, reading is such a powerful tool that books and poems have been used (in conjunction with other therapies) to help heal mental and psychological disorders. This process is known as bibliotherapy.
As you work through the recovery process, you may find these addiction recovery books valuable. Whether you prefer firsthand accounts or polished, scientific writing, there’s a book on this list that will pique your interest.
Keep reading for our round-up of the best addiction recovery books.
Addiction Recovery Books: Memoirs
1. One Hit Away: A Memoir of Recovery
Author: Jordan Barnes
One Hit Away is the heartbreaking yet hopeful story of a young man’s struggle with opioid addiction. In it, Jordan Barnes shares how his heroin addiction brought him to the brink of ruin.
Readers follow his journey through addiction, homelessness, loss and eventually rehabilitation. Today, Jordan is a husband and father who has been sober for almost a decade. His new life is an inspiration to those struggling with addiction.
Review: “Barnes' beautifully written memoir takes one by the hand and invites them into the hell of addiction--the suffocation, the trap, and the never-ending fear that one is doomed… More importantly, he delivers a story of hope--that for even the worst addict, if they want help, happiness can be found.” - Tara Cummins, Author
2. In Pain: A Bioethicist's Personal Struggle with Opioids
Author: Travis Rieder
Mismanagement of opioid medication by medical professionals can have life-threatening outcomes. Travis Rieder learned this after his doctor prescribed opioids following several surgeries.
Despite following his doctor’s orders, Travis began to experience the mental and physical suffering of opioid withdrawal. In this story, Rieder explains how he walked himself off the brink of opioid dependence and examines how current medical systems fall short. The unique perspective and call for reform earn it a spot on our best addiction recovery books list.
Review: “With this smart, riveting, real-life account, the author proves himself a convincing and effective advocate for opioid use reform. A harrowing cautionary narrative that speaks to patients and physicians alike on the ugly reality of the enduring opioid epidemic.” - Kirkus Reviews
3. Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines
Author: Nic Sheff
The raw and deeply personal struggles of addiction come to the surface in this bestselling book. In it, Nick Sheff gives a detailed depiction of his daily struggles as an addict. He gives readers a firsthand account of the thoughts and feelings that an addict wrestles with. Many readers that struggle with addiction resonate with Nick and his rocky journey to recovery.
Review: “The trajectory of drug addiction is nothing new, but Sheff's lucid, simple prose makes the heartbreaking journey seem fresh.” - San Francisco Chronicle
4. Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction
Author: David Sheff
Addiction does not just affect the individual struggling. Parents often deal with feelings of helplessness, frustration, guilt and more as they watch their child battle addiction. This moving story discusses addiction from a parent’s perspective. Many parents of addicts can relate to the father in this memoir.
Review: “A welcome balm to millions…who thought they were making this journey alone.” - Armistead Maupin, Author
5. Strung Out: One Last Hit and Other Lies That Nearly Killed Me
Author: Erin Khar
As a popular and accomplished teen, no one suspected that Erin Khar was tumbling towards a life of addiction. But beneath the veneer of success and happiness, Erin felt immense pressure from the world around her. At the young age of 13, she began using heroin.
This book details her 15-year battle with the drug and how she finally overcame her addiction. This novel is a reminder that no one, not even the people who look the most put together, is immune to addiction.
Review: “The way she uses her own life's struggles, her gift of language, her impossibly large sense of empathy and compassion, to make you feel less alone, is a rare thing in this world. You don't want to put this book down as if it is a piece of your own heart, and my guess is that it will become just that.” - Jennifer Pastiloff, Author
Addiction Recovery Books: Guides
6. Overcoming Opioid Addiction: The Authoritative Medical Guide for Patients, Families, Doctors, and Therapists
Author: Adam Bisaga, M.D.
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.
Review: “...an accessible, practical, comprehensive guide for health care providers, patients, and families. A great go-to source of information on all things opioids—I’m recommending it to my patients!” - Anna Lembke, M.D.
7. Finding Your Best Self: Recovery from Addiction, Trauma, or Both
Author: Lisa M. Najavits
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.
Review: “A welcome contribution. Dr. Najavits provides a comprehensive framework for recovery. She has woven her extensive clinical experience with the voices of people in recovery to create a rich resource." - Stephanie S. Covington, Ph.D.
8. Overcoming Prescription Drug Addiction
Author: Rod Colvin
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.
Review: “As a physician working with the problems of addiction, I strongly recommend this book. Prescription drug abuse has not received the attention it deserves. This book sheds light on an important and compelling issue.” - David Smith, M.D.
Find Healing at MATClincs
Learning more about addiction can help you make sense of your struggles 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.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, MATClinics is here to help. We have outpatient treatment centers across Maryland filled with dedicated and compassionate staff. Contact us to learn more about treatment options.