Many people come into sobriety thinking that reading is a chore. It is not something that they participated in during their active addiction and even before that, it was not their chosen activity to pass the time. They then enter into recovery and pick up either the book Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, and they are instantly enamored with the fact that words written on a page decades ago, can speak to their current situation in life. Many find themselves captivated with just how much they can relate to these books and from that point, they become avid and lifelong readers.
Luckily for people who enjoy reading, and who enjoy expanding their knowledge of themselves, there are many great books about addiction available online or in bookstores across the country. It seems that just about every year there are dozens and dozens of new books about addiction released, each one expressing the personal story of the author and each one holding the possibility to enrich your life. So if you are a bibliophile in recovery and you are looking for good books about addiction, below is a list that should keep you busy for quite a while.
10 Great Books About Addiction and Sobriety
1. Alcoholics Anonymous
Starting off our list is the progenitor of all addiction and sobriety related reading material, the book Alcoholics Anonymous. First published in 1939, this book outlines the program of action taken by the first members of Alcoholics Anonymous in their attempt to find sobriety. The book contains the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, and a plethora of other information about what the journey of recovery from alcoholism looks like. For anyone who is interested in sobriety, this book is a must read.
2. Narcotic Anonymous
First published in 1982, Narcotics Anonymous is similar to the book Alcoholics Anonymous in that it’s the basic text of the Narcotics Anonymous program. The book shows how millions of addicts have been able to stop using drugs and start living a clean and sober life, and it’s relatability makes it a must read for any person who is interested in recovery from addiction.
3. Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis
Lauded as one of the more honest accounts of addiction and recovery, this book follows the life of Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis through his long life struggle with opiates. Besides the fact that Kiedis has had a tremendously interesting life as the lead singer of the one of the largest bands in the world, his story of addiction, recovery, and relapse is one that any person who has struggled to maintain sobriety will be able to relate to and find hope in.
4. Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
While this book is not exclusively about recovery or addiction, Codependent No More explores an issue that many people in recovery face, codependency. Beattie’s book exposes how codependency affected her life for a great many years and she shows her readers how she was able to break free from her codependency issues.
5. A New Pair of Glasses by Chuck C
If you have been sober for any period of time then more than likely you have heard of this book. Chuck C’s A New Pair of Glasses is a transcript of a talk he gave at an AA retreat, and its humor and anecdotes of recovery have made it a mainstay in recovery literature for years.
6. Living Sober
Anonymous and it expounds on a number of different topics that are briefly touched up in their seminal work. It is incredibly easy to read and the information that it contains is pertinent to any person who is attempting to stay sober.
7. Drop The Rock: Removing Character Defects by Bill Pittman
Something that is discussed at great length in the rooms of recovery is how to go about removing unwanted character defects. Some people feel that there is nothing you can do in order to aid in this process, while others feel that character defects can be managed and controlled. Regardless of where you stand on this issue, Drop The Rock is a must read if you are interested in being free from your character defects.
8. 12 Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery by Allen Berger, Ph.D.
If you are newly sober, or have been sober for years, then this book is a must read. In it, Allen Berger discusses some of the main reasons that people falter in their recovery. It is an enlightening read because it exposes the things that all addicts and alcoholics are capable of doing, in terms of sabotaging their recovery, and it offers some suggestions on how to avoid these pitfalls.
9. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
Like Living Sober, The 12 and 12 is a continuation of the writing that started in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. It was written by the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson, when he had a number of years sober and it expands on the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions in great length. For instance in Alcoholics Anonymous the 6th and 7th Steps only get a page description, but in the 12 and 12, the steps take up a good portion of the book.
10. Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel
Rounding out the list is Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel, which is an important book because it explores the relationship between addiction and mental health issues. Often times in the realm of discussing addiction, mental health concerns are left out of the conversation due to the fact that they lay outside the scope of most people’s understanding. Wurtzel, however, dives right in and in an incredibly honest manner divulges what it is like to suffer from addiction and a mental health concern.
For more great resources like this, check out our Sober Resources page which has a full list of recovery resources ranging from books to sober groups. Our sober resources page has everything you need for your ongoing recovery journey.