10 Must-Read Books for Addiction Recovery

On the road to recovery, there are many resources to arm yourself with to keep you on the right track. Books are a great way to stay connected to your "why" and inspire you to stay motivated and committed to the process. These are some of our favorite books to turn to whether you are currently battling addiction, or long down the road to recovery.

March 15, 2023

Literature to Support Your Recovery

Welcome to Studio 64 Recovery, We understand that addiction recovery can be a challenging journey, but we are here to support you every step of the way. One tool that can aid in your recovery is reading. Reading books about addiction can provide insights, comfort, and hope for those in recovery. This article will explore the ten best books to read for addiction recovery.

"The Big Book" by Alcoholics Anonymous

"The Big Book" is the foundational text of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), a 12-step program that has helped millions overcome alcohol addiction since its inception in 1935. The book describes the personal experiences of the program's founders and early members and the principles and methods they used to achieve sobriety. It emphasizes the importance of admitting one's powerlessness over alcohol, seeking the help of a higher power, making amends for past wrongs, and continuing to practice spiritual principles in daily life. "The Big Book" has become a cornerstone of the recovery community, providing hope and guidance to those struggling with alcoholism and inspiring many other 12-step programs that address a variety of addictions and compulsive behaviors.

"Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America's Greatest Tragedy" by David Sheff

"Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America's Greatest Tragedy" by David Sheff is a powerful and insightful book that explores the complex issue of addiction in America. Sheff, a renowned journalist and the author, draws on extensive research, interviews with addiction experts, and his own experiences to provide a comprehensive overview of addiction and its devastating effects on individuals, families, and communities. He offers a nuanced and compassionate approach to addiction, highlighting the need for evidence-based treatment and support systems that address the root causes of addiction. "Clean" is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand addiction and the challenges of overcoming it. Sheff's writing is clear, engaging, and deeply moving, making this book important to addiction studies.

"In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction" by Gabor Maté

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction by Gabor Maté is a powerful and insightful book that delves into addiction's complex and often misunderstood world. Drawing on his experience as a physician who has worked extensively with drug addicts in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, Maté offers a compelling perspective on the root causes of addiction and how it can be treated. He argues that addiction is not simply a matter of individual choice or weakness but rather a response to deep-seated psychological and emotional pain, often rooted in childhood trauma. Through vivid and often harrowing case studies, Maté paints a vivid picture of the struggles faced by addicts and the obstacles they face in their journey toward recovery. Ultimately, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts is a powerful and compassionate call to action, challenging readers to confront their assumptions about addiction and to work towards creating a more just and humane society for all.

"Rewired: A Bold New Approach to Addiction and Recovery" by Erica Spiegelman

In "Rewired: A Bold New Approach to Addiction and Recovery," author Erica Spiegelman presents a fresh and innovative approach to addiction treatment. Drawing on her struggles with addiction and her experience as a counselor, Spiegelman argues that traditional models of addiction treatment are often outdated and ineffective. Instead, she proposes a holistic approach emphasizing the importance of self-care, mindfulness, and healthy relationships in achieving lasting recovery. Through personal anecdotes, case studies, and practical exercises, "Rewired" provides readers with a roadmap for rewiring their brains and breaking free from addictive behaviors. Overall, "Rewired" is a compelling and inspiring read that offers hope to those struggling with addiction and provides valuable insights for professionals in the field.

"Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself" by Melody Beattie

"Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie is a self-help book that addresses the issue of codependency, which is the unhealthy emotional and behavioral reliance on others. In the book, Beattie provides practical and effective techniques for individuals struggling with codependency to break free from the cycle of controlling others and start caring for themselves. She shares her recovery journey and provides relatable anecdotes from others who have overcome codependency. The book is written in an engaging and easy-to-understand style, making it accessible to anyone seeking help with codependency. "Codependent No More" is valuable for those looking to improve their relationships, establish healthy boundaries, and live a fulfilling life.

"Drop the Rock: Removing Character Defects" by Bill P. and Todd W.

"Drop the Rock: Removing Character Defects" is a powerful book co-authored by Bill P. and Todd W. that explores the concept of character defects and how to overcome them. Using personal experiences and insights from the Alcoholics Anonymous program, the authors offer a practical guide for anyone seeking to address and eliminate negative behaviors that hold them back. The book emphasizes the importance of honesty, willingness, and self-reflection in self-improvement and provides a step-by-step approach to identifying and letting go of destructive patterns. With its compassionate tone and practical advice, "Drop the Rock" has become a go-to resource for individuals and groups seeking to cultivate healthier and more fulfilling lives.

"Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps" by Richard Rohr

Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps by Richard Rohr is a book that explores the parallels between the principles of spirituality and the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Rohr, a Franciscan friar and renowned author, draws upon his own experiences with addiction and recovery to provide insight into the spiritual aspects of the Twelve Steps. He argues that addiction is a spiritual disease that can only be cured through a spiritual solution and that the Twelve Steps offer a path to wholeness and healing. Throughout the book, Rohr weaves personal anecdotes, theological insights, and practical advice to provide a compelling case for the importance of spirituality in addiction recovery. Breathing Under Water is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the relationship between spirituality and addiction and those seeking a deeper understanding of the Twelve Steps.

"Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget" by Sarah Hepola

"Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget" is a memoir by Sarah Hepola that offers a powerful and honest account of her struggle with alcoholism. Hepola shares her drinking experiences to the point of blacking out and the emotional pain and turmoil that led her to seek solace in alcohol. Her vivid and raw storytelling highlights the social pressures and expectations that fuel heavy drinking culture, particularly for women. Hepola's journey toward sobriety is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and a reminder that we are not defined by our struggles but, rather, by our ability to overcome them. Her memoir offers a poignant and insightful look into the complexities of addiction and the courage it takes to face and conquer one's demons.

"Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption" by William Cope Moyers

"Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption" is a compelling memoir written by William Cope Moyers, the son of journalist Bill Moyers. The book tells the harrowing story of Moyers' addiction to drugs and alcohol, which began in his teenage years and lasted well into adulthood. Throughout the book, Moyers is brutally honest about the pain and destruction his addiction caused, not only to himself but to his family and loved ones. However, the book is also a testament to Moyers' resilience and strength as he recounts his journey toward recovery and redemption. Moyers' story is both heartbreaking and inspiring and offers hope to those who may be struggling with addiction themselves.

"The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath" by Leslie Jamison

"The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath" by Leslie Jamison is a deeply personal and introspective exploration of addiction and recovery. The book weaves together Jamison's experiences with alcoholism and healing and the stories of other writers and artists who struggled with addiction throughout history. Through her eloquent and honest writing, Jamison illuminates the complex and often devastating impact that addiction can have on individuals and their loved ones. She also highlights the difficulties of maintaining sobriety in a society that often glamorizes alcohol and drugs. Overall, "The Recovering" is an insightful portrayal of addiction and the path to recovery.

These ten books offer a diverse range of perspectives on addiction and recovery. Reading them can provide insight, inspiration, and hope as we navigate our journeys. At Studio 64 Recovery, we believe in the power of literature to support our recovery, and we encourage you to explore these books and others as you continue on your path.

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