14 Must-Read Books About Recovery from Addiction

Overcoming addiction is a challenging endeavor, but there’s no shortage of information on recovery. People in recovery have written numerous books about their experiences, and experts have published an abundance of self-help books for people with a variety of types of addiction.

Having motivation and confidence in your ability to recover is as important as understanding how to recover. This list provides a blend of books that offer inspiration for recovery and information about how to maintain sobriety.

The list includes personal accounts of hitting rock bottom, tales of redemption and stories about life in sobriety. It also includes books that provide insight into the science of addiction, self-help books written by experts and guides on how to live a meaningful life.

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1. “In My Skin: A Memoir”

“In My Skin” Author Kate Holden writes about her heroin addiction, her life as a prostitute and her recovery in her 2007 novel. The book describes the first time she tried heroin as a shy, middle-class college graduate. Holden shares her experience of hitting rock bottom and takes readers along on her recovery journey.

2. “Scar Tissue”

Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis and co-author Larry Sloman take readers behind the scenes of the band’s rise to fame and Kiedis’s experiences with illicit drugs. “Scar Tissue” describes Kiedis’s life as a rock star and the consequences of his actions.

3. “Up from Down: A True Story of Recovery from Addiction”

“Up from Down” provides insight into the embarrassing consequences of addiction from the perspective of author Ted Adamson. The 2011 e-book details Adamson’s time in jail, his experiences with corrupt treatment programs and his path to recovery.

4. “Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption”

With help from co-author Katherine Ketcham, William Cope Moyers describes his spiral into crack addiction in “Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption.” The son of broadcast journalist Bill Moyers describes his failed attempts at rehab and his father’s influence in his life and recovery in the 2006 novel.

5. “Tweak: Growing Up On Methamphetamines”

In a novel based on his experience as a methamphetamine addict, Nic Sheff describes using meth, cocaine and other drugs during adolescence and early adulthood. Sheff recounts how he thought he had control over his drug use before relapsing and hitting rock bottom. He describes the horrors of addiction, but he also provides hope for recovery.

6. “Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions”

Russel Brand walks readers through a recovery process that focuses on selflessness, new perspectives and healthy habits. In his 2017 book, “Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions,” Brand introduces a program of recovery for addictions to alcohol, drugs, sex, love, fame and other unhealthy fixations.

7. “The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star”

In his 2008 memoir, “The Heroin Diaries,” rock star Nikki Sixx shares writings from a year when he was addicted to heroin and other drugs. The book includes diary entries that give readers an authentic look into Sixx’s life as a celebrity addicted to drugs. It also features present-day reflections from Sixx as a sober father.

8. “Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction”

In a 2016 tell-all, journalist Elizabeth Vargas describes her plunge into alcoholism. “Between Breaths” describes Vargas’s struggles with anxiety, addiction to alcohol and first year of sobriety.

9. “Step Up: Unpacking Steps 1-3 with Someone Who’s Been There”

Author Michael Graubart provides insight into 12-step programs for readers who are considering joining a support group. In “Step Up,” Graubart breaks down the first three steps, answers common questions about the programs and provides perspectives based on his own recovery.

10. “Recover to Live: Kick Any Habit, Manage Any Addiction”

“Recover to Live” describes the science of addiction and evidence-based treatments in layman’s terms. Author Christopher Kennedy Lawford shares interviews with more than 100 experts about research on addiction, what treatments work, how to help others and how to live a life in recovery.

11. “Believable Hope: 5 Essential Elements to Beat Any Addiction”

In his 2012 novel, Michael Cartwright explains why recovery from addiction is a process that continues after treatment. He tells the story of his recovery and offers a five-step strategy for changing your mindset to improve your recovery.

12. “Sober for Good: New Solutions for Drinking Problems — Advice from Those Who Have Succeeded”

Hear from people in recovery from alcoholism and discover alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous and inpatient treatment in “Sober for Good.” Medical journalist Anne M. Fletcher interviews people who have overcome problem drinking behaviors through a variety of self-help groups and methods.

13. “Recovery Renewal: Your Essential Guide to Overcoming Dependency and Withdrawal from Sleeping Pills, Other ‘Benzo’ Tranquillisers and Antidepressants”

Baylissa Frederick explains dependency on antidepressants, benzodiazepines and tranquilizers. The 2012 book walks readers through the steps they should take to prepare to get off the drugs, and she explains how to safely taper off drugs and prevent relapse.

14. “Rewire: Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self-Destructive Behavior”

In a 2015 sequel to his self-help book about overcoming depression, Richard O’Connor, Ph.D., explains how the brain makes both conscious and automatic decisions. He teaches readers to overcome reflexive responses, self-destructive decision making and subconscious temptations. “Rewire” provides a plan for overcoming a variety of addictions.

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With the right blend of motivation and understanding, you can recover from problematic alcohol or drug use. These books can help people at any stage of the recovery journey find information and inspiration to overcome addiction.

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