The autobiographical books of people who have struggled with addiction can be a good source of inspiration to people who may have drug or alcohol abuse issues.

Books about addiction recovery can be a powerful way to hear real-world examples of how people have struggled with and overcome substance use disorder. Books about addiction and recovery may be written from the perspective of someone who has struggled with addiction or the perspective of the parents or friends of people who struggle with addiction issues. 

Hearing stories that resonate with your own personal experiences can be a powerful and inspiring experience. One element of group therapy that many people find helpful is openness in sharing a personal journey of addiction. A book that provides this same insight can be a helpful way to find understanding and inspiration for recovery. 

Here are a few recommended books about addiction recovery.

Books for Those in Recovery

Addiction recovery is a personal process that can be aided by understanding you are not alone. Wherever someone is on their journey to a sober life, understanding the similarity of other people’s experiences – and how they eventually overcame addiction – can be a powerful example that provides hope. Here are some book recommendations for people who are in addiction recovery.

  • “How to Grow Up: A Memoir” by Michelle Tea 

Substance abuse books that turn into inspiring books on sobriety are a source of motivation for people in recovery. Michelle Tea was a writer with a chaotic life and substance abuse issues. Her transformation into a functional adult included shedding volatile and dangerous relationships and habits. She grew into sustainable sobriety.

  • “A Happier Hour” by Rebecca Weller

Books about alcoholism and alcohol recovery often illustrate the before and after of substance use disorder. Alcohol recovery books like Rebecca Weller’s offer firsthand insight into high functioning alcoholism. She challenged herself to three months of sobriety and this book is about how that changed her life. 

Books for Those Struggling with Addiction

Books about addiction can help people who are still wrestling with addiction in the privacy of their own minds. These writings are sober curious books or for people who are interested in understanding what addiction and recovery looks like. These books can offer real help as they illustrate the varied nature of addiction and how the writers found success in recovery.

  • “The Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness, & Change Your Life” by Annie Grace

This book offers answers to the questions many people have who regularly drink alcohol, such as, “could I be an alcoholic?” and other questions about alcohol dependence. This book is a technical analysis of the role alcohol plays in our society and what alcohol dependence or misuse may look like.

  • “Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines” by Nic Sheff

Meth addiction recovery is vividly illustrated in this book. The author dealt with addiction to multiple drugs and unsuccessfully pursued recovery on his own. His story acknowledges the power of drug addiction and the challenges to overcome substance abuse.

There is also a book for the sober curious, or those who are interested in taking a more mindful approach to their drinking instead of permanent abstinence. “Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol” by Ruby Warrington may change how you think about alcohol. 

Books for Families and Friends of Someone Struggling with Addiction

Books about the effects of drug addiction on family members can provide a comforting perspective. These books can help parents, siblings and friends better understand what someone who struggles with addiction is going through and how families can cope with the many issues addiction brings up.

  • “High Achiever: The Incredible Story of One Addict’s Double Life” by Tiffany Jenkins

Jenkin’s high achiever book presents a personal story of opiate addiction. This autobiography leaves no gruesome detail out of one woman’s personal story of opioid addiction, imprisonment, blackmail and her journey to recovery.

  • “Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction” by David Sheff

This is a book written by a father about his son’s addiction, and was turned into a movie about meth addiction. Told from his perspective as he watched his son’s descent into drug addiction, the story provides important insights into the warning signs of addiction.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it is never too early or too late to reach out for help. The Recovery Village has multiple resources to help you begin your journey to recovery.

Joy Youell
By – Joy Youell
Joy Youell is a writer and content developer with a background in educational research. Using sound pedagogical approaches and expert-backed methods, Joy has designed and delivered adult learning content, professional development, and company training materials for organizations. Read more
Renee Deveney
Editor – Renee Deveney
As a contributor for Advanced Recovery Systems, Renee Deveney is passionate about helping people struggling with substance use disorder. With a family history of addiction, Renee is committed to opening up a proactive dialogue about substance use and mental health. Read more
Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.