We all need encouragement throughout our recovery process. One of the most helpful ways of receiving continual encouragement is by sharing our stories with each other. Our challenges, victories, and honest process through every step.
Sometimes, one of the best ways to hear a riveting story of recovery is through books! If you’re a reader (or if you aren’t a big reader but want to start learning from some amazing authors that can convert you into a bookworm), we’re sharing some of the best sobriety books out there. There are books that range from fiction-style novels you won’t want to put down, to non-fiction, informational, and harrowing biographies of the realities from addicts’ pasts.
Best Sobriety Books on Alcoholism Recovery
Let’s start with books that get deep into the truth about alcohol addiction. Since alcoholism and binge drinking are kind of a “normal” thing in our society, the following books not only shine sobriety as a proud possibility, they also expose the insanity that revolves around the alcohol industry. Even if your substance of choice doesn’t happen to be alcohol, you can still learn so much from these books and take away any inspiration that follows.
The Naked Mind
by Annie Grace, 2015
This book is a blatant slap in the face to the glamorization of alcohol consumption. It covers in-depth the health risks of alcohol, social stereotypes, and the psychology & sociology of drinking. It even gives evidence for the neurological damage that happens with long-term alcohol abuse.
This book is an amazing combination of scientific proof and entertaining humor of real-life experiences.
The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober
by Catherine Gray, 2018
The author, Catherine, shares many realizations she’s had on the path to sobriety from alcohol dependency. This book is about hitting rock bottom, reaching out, getting help for addiction, and the end of a lifelong compulsive desire to drink.
If you like self-help books, this one definitely has that structure. But it also has some shocking, beautiful story elements to it to keep anyone engaged and amazing at what’s possible after alcoholism. It offers comfort in ending shame to the question, “why can’t you have just one drink?” many of us face while going through recovery’s huge life (and friendship) changes.
Best Sobriety Books on Drug Addiction Recovery
Drug addiction and alcoholism obviously have similar realities, but there’s a difference in being addicted to alcohol vs illegal substances or hard drugs. Not only do they react in the body differently, forming a physical dependency on drugs can be dangerous. The following books are just a few that can spark thoughtful explorations inside the life of drug addiction, and beyond the recovery process of rehab.
Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions
by Russell Brand, 2017
Ok, all controversy aside, this book is honest as hell with Russel Brand sharing how he’s probably done worse than whoever’s reading it. After being sober for 14 years, this book is where he shares what actually helped him through overcoming addiction from all kinds of substances and vices.
One popular quote from his book includes:
“The question is not, ‘Why are you addicted?’ but ‘What pain is your addiction masking?’”
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction
by Gabor Mate, MD, 2010
Gabor Mate approaches addiction from a holistic, whole-recovery perspective. After 25 years of working with what some would call the “worst of the worst” addictions in an impoverished Vancouver area, he realized something. Maybe addiction is more than some “broken people” vying for relief from a mental disease.
In this book, he shares many scenarios of the patterns he observed as a doctor helping addicts in the worst of their drug dependencies. With his own experience with addiction and ADD (attention deficit disorder), he shares clinical proof that how the brain is affected throughout the first years of people’s lives can drastically influence their coping patterns.
This book argues the point that addicted individuals are still people deserving of care, goodness, and the proper help and healing they need. This is a great read if you want to dispel the stigma of addiction in all forms. It’s a necessary tool if you are looking to reach a greater understanding of how addictions functions, what it takes to get lasting help, and how human & economic patterns affect the ones society shuns.
Clean is a book that speaks a more intense and brutally honest language about addiction specifically in America. If you enjoy a historical, economic, and research perspective, get this book! It’s a solid resource for learning about the basic truths of this country’s drug war, how we treat addicts, how rehabs can do better, and more.
Obviously, it’s impossible for one book to give us all the answers when it comes to addiction– or any subject for that matter. But Clean is so needed in the recovery world to momentarily step away from the detailed struggles of “this is my problem and I don’t know what to do with my life!” to a birds-eye outlook on the grander scope of substance abuse. Whatever your current opinion is on the treatment world or the health system in the U.S., this book will be sure to offer anyone a new perspective in a way that is helpful, not hopeless.
Have Any Recommendations on the Best Sobriety Books for Recovery?
We want to know your favorite books on these topics! Let us know in the comments or email us so we can add it to our next review. Fill out the contact form below if you or a loved one needs help overcoming some type of addiction. We are here to help.
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