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February 25, 2019

7 Books on Addiction and Recovery


Are you ready to get clean and looking for some inspiration to help you achieve sobriety? Addiction can feel like it is taking over your life and achieving sobriety can be a daunting task, which is why it’s vital to have support on your journey towards recovery. While your friends, family, and treatment specialists at the addiction and detox center can be a strong support network to rely on during your recovery, it can also be useful to read books on addiction and recovery. Hearing the stories of other individuals who have struggled with addiction and found their way into recovery can help guide you on your path to recovery.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), roughly 21.5 million individuals aged twelve and above suffer from substance abuse disorders. For these individuals and their loved ones, addiction is a huge part of their life and a constant struggle. Reading books of other people who have fought similar battles with addiction can be therapeutic, thought-provoking, and help to drive you towards the lasting sobriety you are seeking.

7 Books on Addiction and Recovery

There are many powerful real-life stories written by individuals who have struggled with various types of addictions and have found recovery, as well as books that help provide useful methods and contextualization for individuals suffering from addiction of drugs and alcohol and overcoming addiction. Below are seven books on addiction and recovery to check out to help you on your journey towards treating addiction and long-term sobriety.

Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis and Larry Sloman

In this raw and brave memoir published in 2004, the story of the life of Anthony Kiedis, the frontman for the band Red Hot Chili Peppers, is told. Seen by some as a cautionary tale for individuals who are susceptible to the glamorization of drug use, particularly heroin use, this memoir takes the reader through the despair, sadness, and struggles that characterize heroin addiction. Both insightful and authentic, this story of heroin addiction details how much an individual can lose to addiction. In the case of Anthony Kiedis, this meant his best friend and bandmate, Hillel Slovak, who passed away due to an overdose.

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

In this book, Erica Spiegelman details a path to recovery that is empowered and centered around thinking differently about living clean and embracing the path to recovery. This book posits that healthy recovery is the culmination of living according to twelve distinct principles, including hope, compassion, love, solitude, and evolution, to name a few. Erica Spiegelman is a respected addiction counselor who has also suffered from alcoholism and addiction.

Gun, Needle, Spoon by Patrick O’Neil

In this harrowing memoir by Patrick O’Neal, readers are confronted with the gritty consequences that can result from a life driven by substance abuse. This story begins with O’Neal’s violent arrest for armed robberies committed in order to support his heroin addiction. After a scary turnaround, he begins his path to recovery, rehabilitation, and sober life. This memoir provides readers with a light at the end of the tunnel from the grips of addiction.

Black Out: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola

In this memoir by Sarah Hepola, she details with both humor and sadness how her life quickly slipped from freedom and fun into the depths of alcohol abuse. Both funny and heartbreaking, she tells readers of how she mistook her own recklessness for feminism and freedom and how this shaped her path into progressive alcoholism.

How to Grow Up by Michelle Tea

In this memoir by Michelle Tea, she tells the readers of how she went from being an adolescent enamored with fashion to becoming an alcoholic, living in dirt apartments with cigarette butt lined floors and maggots in the refrigerator. Her observations about what led to her numbing her pain and sadness with alcohol are both heartbreaking and astute. This how-to memoir is proof that achieving sobriety and being honest about your aspirations are the most rewarding steps you can take.

Permanent Midnight by Jerry Stahl

Jerry Stahl’s memoir about his heroin addiction is colorful and full of humor, despite its dark and honest recollections about his increasingly demanding opiate habit. This memoir documents the toll addiction takes and the struggles that accompany beating addiction in poignant and honest terms.

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown

Researcher Brene Brown, known for her TED Talks on the subjects of shame and vulnerability, delves into the messages individuals receive from society and the media about who and how they should be and how that fuels innate feelings of inadequacy that many individuals suffering from substance abuse disorders experience. With a universal message of recovery, this book is a beneficial resource for those recovering from addiction.

For more information on addiction and recovery and to learn about different addiction treatment plans and programs— from inpatient rehab to long term rehabcontact the experts at Beach House Recovery.


  • Electric Literature. “Six Powerful Books about Addiction and Recovery That Will Make You Feel Capable of Change.” Retrieved from
  • Futures Recovery Healthcare. “5 Best Books on Addiction and Recovery.” Retrieved from
  • Healthline. “10 Books That Shine a Light on Addiction.” Retrieved from