If you look in a bookstore or online at self-help books you will find that they cover a wide range of topics, including recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. Reading these self-help books will not magically make you sober. They cannot cure your addiction. But they can help you understand your substance use disorder and the issues surrounding it. Addiction self-help books should be a supplement to traditional types of addiction treatment, not a replacement for them.
Read on to learn about five useful self-help books to support your addiction recovery.
A Place Called Self: Women, Sobriety & Radical Transformation by Stephanie Brown
A therapist and pioneer in addiction research, Dr. Brown provides a map to help women get through difficult spots in their sobriety. She offers support and tips to those who feel lonely in their hard-won, newfound sobriety. When a woman becomes sober and is no longer numbed by drugs or alcohol, she must face herself. Dr. Brown uses a combination of personal stories and gentle guidance to help women understand their feelings as they work through their confusion and painful truths to find their true selves.
Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction by Maia Szalavitz
In recovery herself, Maia Szalavitz is a well-known journalist in the field of addiction. Unbroken Brain is a New York Times bestseller. Using her own story of addiction and recovery combined with twenty-five years of research and science, Ms. Szalavitz argues that, much like the spectrum of autistic behaviors, there is a spectrum of addictive behaviors. She does not believe a person with a substance use disorder has an addictive personality or a “broken brain.” She states in her book that when a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they have a learning disorder and need targeted treatment for that disorder. This book offers a new perspective on addiction that is groundbreaking and radical.
Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol by Patt Denning, Jeannie Little, and Adina Glickman
Millions of people are successful in their recovery using 12-step programs. But those programs are not for everyone. Over the Influence introduces the Harm Reduction approach for those in recovery who do not want to be part of a 12-step program. It shows users how to gain control over their substance misuse or addiction, set their own goals, and achieve those goals. The authors help their readers understand which of their habits are harmful and what they would like to change. They show them how to deal with problems such as relationship issues, stress, or depression that stop them from putting their intentions into action. The book is filled with personal accounts, fact sheets, and self-discovery tools.
Being Sober: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting To, Getting Through, and Living in Recovery by Harry Haroutunian
Written by the former physician director of the well respected Betty Ford Center, Being Sober puts forth a realistic step-by-step plan of recovery from addiction. The book shows how those struggling with an addiction can regain the power that comes from living a sober life. Without judgment and using clear language, Dr. Haroutunian explains each step of addiction and recovery. His plan of approaching addiction one day at a time helps to overcome what often seems to be an insurmountable problem. The book also addresses the highly functioning alcoholic or addict. When a person is highly functioning, they are able to attain success in their personal and/or professional life while struggling with their addiction.
The Harder They Fall: Celebrities Tell Their Real-Life Stories of Addiction and Recovery by Gary Stromberg, Jane Merrill
In this self-help book, 21 celebrities tell their stories of addiction and recovery. During the interviews, the authors gained an inside look at the lives of those with fame and fortune and how those lives were greatly affected by drug and alcohol addiction. It shows that the devastating disease can affect anyone regardless of who they are or their position in society. Yet it is a book of hope as it shows how these famous people were able to overcome the devastation of addiction and go on to lead lives with many personal and professional accomplishments. Among those celebrities included are:
- Comedians Richard Lewis and Richard Pryor
- Athletes Gerry Cooney and Doc Ellis
- Actors Mariette Hartley and Malcolm McDowell
- Musicians Alice Cooper, Chuck Negron, Dr. John, and Paul Williams
- US Congressman Jim Ranstad
Do You Need Help?
If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, help is available. Call and speak to a professional at Canyon Vista Recovery Center in Mesa, Arizona. We will answer your questions and help you begin your journey to a clean and sober life.