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10 Best Books About Recovery

by Landmark Recovery

July 23, 2020
A stack of books that focus on drug and alcohol recovery


With COVID-19 still making our lives harder in many ways, we’re trying to share as many recovery resources with you as we can.


After last week’s collection of the best recovery podcasts, we’re turning our attention to literature today.


When you’re struggling with the challenges of leaving drink or drugs behind, reach for an inspiring book if you’re tempted to fall back into your old ways.


Educating yourself about all aspects of recovery is a smart move. The more tools you have at your disposal, the more readily you can embrace the road to recovery.


Here, then, are our best books about recovery. Once we started, we realized there was still room for many more of our personal favorites. Consider this the first in an ongoing series as we help you throughout the ongoing pandemic.


10 Best Books About Recovery

A stack of books that focus on drug and alcohol recovery

  1. A Million Little Pieces
  2. Beautiful Boy
  3. Being Sober: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting To, Getting Through, and Living in Recovery
  4. Chasing the High
  5. Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America
  6. Drop The Rock: Removing Character Defects – Steps Six and Seven
  7. Fentanyl, Inc: How Rogue Chemists Are Creating the Deadliest Wave of The Opioid Epidemic
  8. Letting Go of the Thief
  9. Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions
  10. Rewired: A Bold New Approach To Addiction and Recovery


1) A Million Little Pieces

James Frey’s autobiographical novel about addiction to alcohol and crack cocaine is a riveting first-hand account of a life completely out of control.


Aged just 23, Frey finds himself on a plane with no idea how he got there or where he is going. He soon discovers his brother has arranged for him to head to rehab.


Resistant to 12-step recovery, Frey finds rehab intensely challenging, yet he persists. Inside the recovery center, he forms a close bond with an older Italian-American called Leonard. This relationship with this gangster forms the backbone of the narrative.


Frey never glamorizes addiction, but rather outlines the train wreck his life had become in spare but always engaging prose. With run-on sentences and a disregard for traditional punctuation, this intense monologue leaves you in no doubt about one thing…


Even if you feel your life has been shattered into a million little pieces, recovery is always possible. Always.


Marketed as a memoir, a 2006 Smoking Gun exposé suggested elements of the story had been fabricated. This led to Frey being dropped by his publisher. He continues to write fiction and remains in committed recovery. Don’t let the fact vs fiction debate over this book put you off. It’s a must-read for anyone grappling with addiction.


2) Beautiful Boy

In Beautiful Boy, journalist David Sheff details his sporty son’s descent into crystal meth addiction.


We read how Nick Sheff went from performing strongly in the classroom and as a varsity athlete to stealing from his brother and living on the streets.


Father David explores every possible avenue of treatment in a dedicated attempt to get his son back on track.


Painful, candid, and now the subject of a major movie, Beautiful Boy is the true story of the opioid epidemic that continues to cripple the US.


3) Being Sober: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting To, Getting Through, and Living in Recovery

Author Dr. Harry Haroutounian worked as the physician director at the world-famous Betty Ford Clinic. In Being Sober, you benefit from his expertise at the forefront of recovery and addiction treatment.


This book contains plenty of actionable advice and it gives you a blueprint for recovery without the prescriptive nature of a 12-step program.


If you want to learn about the various phases of addiction and recovery, as well as uncovering some powerful strategies for staying sober, order a copy of this book today.


4) Chasing the High

To be an entrepreneur is to be a successful risk-taker. Unfortunately, this type of behavior can easily manifest in other more harmful ways.


Author Michael Dash, entrepreneur and recovering addict, draws many parallels between his life pursuing business success and his obsession with gambling that caused him to bottom out. Dash also developed a drug addiction before he cleaned up and embarked on the road to recovery.


This is a highly instructive read for anyone grappling with an addictive personality and a tendency to overindulge.


5) Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America

The opioid epidemic claimed over 450,000 victims between 1999 and 2018 as opioid painkillers were aggressively prescribed in the late 90s.


Beth Macy gives you the lowdown on this opioid crisis from start to finish, showing how big pharma misled doctors into believing these painkillers were not addictive. We all know what happened from there, but where do we go from here?


In Dopesick, Macy brings to life unemployed chancers using opioids to blot out the boredom and wealthy youngsters trading illicit pills for kicks.


With a behind-the-scenes look from the perspective of families and first-responders, you can see the effects of the opioid crisis up close and personal.


6) Drop The Rock: Removing Character Defects – Steps Six and Seven

If you’re already in recovery, you quite possibly attend a 12-step group like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.


The sixth and seventh steps of both AA and NA are identical. After accepting that you have character defects preventing you from staying sober, you ask your higher power to remove these defects.


If you’re finding it hard to work through these steps, semi-anonymous authors give you practical tips on harnessing these steps, improving your character, and forging forward with long-term recovery.


7) Fentanyl, Inc: How Rogue Chemists Are Creating the Deadliest Wave of The Opioid Epidemic

If you thought regular opioids were bad, fentanyl is ten times worse. This lethal synthetic opioid is much more potent than heroin and it’s now wreaking havoc where OxyContin off.


Ben Westhoff spent 4 years laying bare the trade in synthetic drugs. From Asian factories where the drug is made in bulk to the streets of the US where it’s claiming victims every day, read about all aspects of illicit opioids.


8) Letting Go of the Thief

Pamela D Pesta gives you a snapshot inside the mind of someone descending into full-blown alcoholism.


This book can be instructive if your loved one has AUD. You can perhaps get a clearer indication of some of the thought processes typically shared by heavy drinkers. You might gain a stronger insight into why your loved one is behaving as they are.


Equally, Letting Go of the Thief is an empowering book if you have alcohol use disorder yourself.


9) Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions

The central premise of Russell Brand’s Recovery is that you can only be free once you are free from addiction. For many people caught up in a destructive rock and roll lifestyle, the thought of sobriety might seem restrictive. By reframing it and considering that you can only attain that bohemian freedom you’re seeking once no longer dependent on drink and drugs, this could help you if you’re tempted to relapse.


Brand has been in active recovery for 14 years now. He’s participated in all the major 12-step programs, and has now started his own men’s group. In Recovery, he shares for the first time some of the tools he used to get from smoking crack to helping others stay clean.


10) Rewired: A Bold New Approach To Addiction and Recovery

Last but not least, Rewired outlines a new approach to addiction treatment.


Specialist Erica Spiegelman highlights the importance of whole-body recovery. Designed to be alongside or in place of 12-step programs, you can use Rewired as a blueprint for a personalized and meaningful recovery plan.


We can’t recommend this book strongly enough, especially if you have tried and failed to stop using drink or drugs in the past.


What To Do Next

If you’re struggling with alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder, don’t let the ongoing pandemic stop you from taking action.


Here at Landmark Recovery, we can help you whether you need residential rehab or an intensive outpatient program. If you’re serious about getting back the life you left behind, call us today at 888-448-0302.

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