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Eight Amazing Recovery Books that We Think Are Worth Reading

Eight Amazing Recovery Books that We Think Are Worth Reading

It’s nearly impossible to put together a full list of all the informative books on addiction and recovery. The hardest part may be to choose the right book that meets your direct needs. Maybe you have an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or perhaps you’re looking to purchase a book for a family member. We have done our best to create a list of books that will help those who are in the midst of recovery. These books are part of the holistic process of healing that offer self-compassion to addicts as well as insights and tools to help you manage. The books on our list are designed to help you change your attitude about addiction, create a recovery plan for yourself (for the long term), and understand why some recovery tools are so important. Many of these selections will help you become familiar with the physiological effects of addiction. You will get the tools to find happiness and fulfillment, even through the most challenging days of your recovery. We know that working with the emotional parts of yourself are just as important as any other type of recovery so we’ve added books that help you with the following:

  • Keeping up a spiritual practice.
  • Working through your fears.
  • Looking into your shadow side and gaining insight.
  • Learning how to do yoga and meditation.
  • Learning about the addiction scene in it’s totality.
  • Eating nutritious foods to help the body and mind through recovery.
  • Dealing with difficult situations when they arise.
  • Coping with challenging relationships.

There are much more these books will show you as well. Recovering from addiction is a life’s practice so having a book that speaks to you in a genuine way you understand can end up being a lifeline. Perhaps you’ve made it past the detox and the rehabilitation, you’re going to twelve-step meetings and seeing a therapist one-on-one. It’s still nice to have a book you can turn to when you’re alone and aren’t feeling strong or certain. Knowledge is power so let the books help you in your recovery process.

1. Recover to Live by Christopher Kennedy Lawford

Christopher Kennedy Lawford creates this extensive book on recovering from addiction that touches upon topics from symptoms of withdrawal to those wonderful moments of clarity. Lawford himself battled both drug and alcohol addiction that were threatening his life. Now in recovery for over 25 years, he helps raise awareness all over the world as a goodwill global ambassador for drug dependence treatment. Recover to Live focuses on bringing together the most effective self-care treatments for the most common substances affecting people today. This includes alcohol and drug addiction, eating disorders, gambling, smoking, sex and porn, and hoarding. The book includes a collection of over 100 top world experts that were interviewed by Lawford. They examine what the best treatments are, how to help yourself or a loved one through recovery and how to live a happy life thereafter.

2. Believable Hope by Michael Cartwright

Michael Cartwright has been a highly-regarded figurehead for addiction and is a leading advocate for dual diagnoses treatment. This includes being a part of the founding board for the twelve-step program, Dual Recovery Anonymous. Believable Hope was written in a simple way that allows the reader to take lessons from it with ease. The five elements of beating addiction and the main message of the book includes:

  1. Believe and hope
  2. Visualize the life you want
  3. Surround yourself with winners
  4. Put your plan into action
  5. Maintain the life you love

3. Clean, Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy by David Sheff

David Sheff created a book that shatters myths about drug abuse and how to treat addiction based on new research. The book talks about addiction being a treatable disease that is not a moral failing. His scientific approach is less about faith and more about exploring psychology and neuroscience to offer up answers to overcoming addiction. Clean reveals how addiction works and how it can be fought. A guide and manifesto, this book confronts America’s drug problem and puts together sensible advice. For readers who want to know why addiction took over their lives, this is a great read. Full of statistics, resources, and practical advice, it’s helpful for addicts who want to formulate their own opinions and beliefs based on cold, hard facts.

Alcohol Addiction Books That are Helpful

4. The Couch of Willingness, An Alcoholic Therapist Battles the Bottle and a Broken Recovery System by Michael Pond & Maureen Palmer

The Couch of Willingness is written differently than most because the story being told is about an addiction treatment professional who being an alcoholic. Michael Pond and Maureen Palmer were co-writers of the book and tell the tail of addiction being a disorder that doesn’t discriminate. Pond is a respectable husband, father, and addiction treatment professional who is no longer able to cope with helping patients. The book is raw with his stories that include dumpsters, ditches, intensive care, and eventually, prison. Pond loses his home, practice, and family due to alcoholism. He finds himself shamed by the system he worked under as a thriving therapist. The couch that is referred to in the title is the actual couch Pond sleeps on until he surrenders to the fact he’s addicted to alcohol. For anyone struggling with alcohol-related problems, it helps them relate to the similar problems Pond also dealt with. He also helps readers gather information that may help them with their own recovery.

5. Sober for Good by Anne M. Fletcher

In Sober for Good, Anne M. Fletcher gives a new set of solutions for those with drinking problems. By taking advice from those who have successful recovered and resolved their drinking problems, she has put forth recovery paths that fit anybody’s needs. Within the book, there are hundreds of stories from both men and women. There are alternatives mentioned in the book past Alcoholics Anonymous that are also supportive for those looking to recover. A combination of bringing readers success stories with the most innovative scientific research, Fletcher finds there really is no one path for sobriety. There are many ways to get and stay sober. This is a great read for those who have struggled while trying not to drink, are involved with a person who has a drinking problem or for those who aren’t sure if their drinking habits have become a problem.

Drug Addiction Books

6. Survivors Of Addiction by Mary Addenbrooke

Survivors of Addiction by Mary Addenbrooke includes narration of 15 people in recovery and their experiences. Addenbrooke gives readers an overview of how and why the addicted subjects get to where they are. She also writes about the opportunity of a positive life they can have once addiction is behind them. The healing process of addiction is examined through the deep questions one needs to answer to truly recover. For readers who are looking to get into the mind of the addict, this easy to follow, thought-provoking book explores many paths to addiction recovery. She examines addiction from different kinds of people that may otherwise be challenging for a therapist to treat. The book is divided into being caught up in addiction, how and why addicts can stop, the early days of recovery, and the long-term outcomes. This book comes highly recommended for drug rehabilitation clinics, addicts and their families.

Co-Occurring Disorders

7. Co-occurring Addiction and Mental Health Disorders by Mark McGovern

This user-friendly handbook by Mark McGovern offers readers proven strategies for those with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Readers will be informed and empowered to choose their own treatment path and create a program that will address their needs. It is believed that someone suffering from a co-occurring illness needs to find their own individual path for recovery in order for it to be effective. McGovern helps readers find the right team of people and approach that can help them reach goals and make positive changes. It has specifically been written to help those with co-occurring addiction and mental health disorder thrive in recovery.

Books for Family and Friends of Addicts

8. Why Don’t They Just Quit? By Joe Herzanek

For anyone who has been with an addict or a recovering addict, your life may be or was, turned upside down. In Why Don’t They Just Quit? By Joe Herzanek, readers who are involved with an addict find out how to help themselves and their loved one. This is considered one of the best reads for families of addicts. The insights available in the book cover topics such as:

  • Co-dependence.
  • Coping with relapses.
  • Financing addiction treatment.
  • Undergoing an intervention.
  • Letting go of anger, mistrust and other negative things that don’t allow families to move past the addiction.

The reader learns a lot about addiction and why their loved one is doing what they’re doing. By getting into the mind of an addict, there is greater understanding and compassion. There are many more books based on addiction which include how-to books, twelve-step program books, fictional and non-fictional stories and biographies of the famous and their struggle with addiction. There are books that give you holistic tools like meditation, mindfulness, exercise, and journaling. Finding a book that suits your addiction, lifestyle, and mind frame can be a helpful form of long-term support for you. We hope you found our book list on addiction helpful.


NCBI, Int. J Self-Help Self Care (Dec 5, 2007). Why it’s important to take self-help into your own hands, a study.  Substance Abuse Treatment Providers’ Referral to Self-Help: Review and Future Empirical Directions. Retrieved from, NCBI, BMC Psychiatry (Aug. 23, 2006). High effectiveness of self-help programs after drug addiction therapy. Retrieved from, NCBI, J. Substance Abuse Treatment (Sept. 20, 2007). Treatment barriers identified by substance abusers assessed at a centralized intake unit. Retrieved from,