15 Inspirational Recovery Books

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Recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction isn’t easy. It’s a long and difficult road filled with countless challenges. However, it is a road worth traveling. Luckily, there are a lot of recovery books out there to help make your addiction treatment a little easier. Reading addiction recovery stories can help you not to feel alone, in addition to the valuable tips you can gain from hearing about other people’s journeys to sobriety. 

Our addiction experts here at Avenues Recovery have compiled this list of the 15 best sobriety books we recommend, based on our vast experience successfully treating countless addicts. Keep reading to find out which ones are worth exploring.

The 15 Best Books For Recovering Addicts

There are a range of recovery books in the list below that are useful for both recovering addicts and those dealing with loved ones battling addiction. Some of the topics included are:

  • Personal narratives
  • The science behind addiction
  • Recovery tips

Here are the 15 best sobriety books we’ve found:

1. Recover to Live: Kick Any Habit, Manage Any Addiction –  By Christopher Kennedy Lawford [1]


This is an excellent resource for anyone looking to understand specific as well as general conditions related to chemical and behavioral addictions.

2. Believable Hope: 5 Essential Elements to Beat Any Addiction – By Michael Cartwright [2]


In his book, Michael Cartwright shares five crucial elements that are necessary to beat any addiction. This is one of the most helpful overcoming addiction books on our list.

3. Dark Wine Waters: My Husband of a Thousand Joys and Sorrows – By Fran Simone [3]


Fran Simone’s book about recovery can help addicts and their spouses find out if they are in a codependent relationship. It gives them hope by showing that they are not alone, and provides them with the necessary strength to take action.

4. What’s Left of Us: A Memoir of Addiction – By Richard Farell [4]


This memoir by Richard Farrell is the perfect choice for both people in recovery who want to read about other addiction recovery stories, and for anyone looking to understand what motivates people to abuse substances to dull the pain of life.

5. Up from Down: A True Story of Recovery from Addiction – By Ted Adamson [5]


This book gives readers a real-life glimpse into the life of an addict while also inspiring them with the author’s ultimate redemption.

6. Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget - By Sarah Hepola [6]


Sarah Hepola gives us a rollicking and introspective look inside a life of making mistakes she never remembered and how sobriety gave her back the gift of her own self. A NY Times bestseller and a read you won't soon forget!

7. Party Girl - By Anna David [7]


Dubbed “a juicy beach read that happens to have a moral center”  by the New York Post, this 15-year-old novel still delivers. You will laugh, cry, and walk away with the message of the destructive powers of addiction ringing in your ears.

8. Original Sins: A Memoir – By Matt Rowland Hill [8]


Matt Rowland Hill bursts onto the writing scene with his tour de force debut. This gripping memoir flawlessly tells a story of losing faith amidst the poison of addiction, and the human spirit of resilience and survival.  

9. Terry: My daughter’s life and death struggle with addiction- By George McGovern [9]


George McGovern, a three-term South Dakota senator and the Democratic Party presidential nominee in 1972, gives us a window into the heartbreak of a loved one struggling and eventually losing a battle with alcoholism. Written over 25 years ago, this courageous and candidly written epoch of pain still moves and still inspires.

10. In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction - By Dr. Gabor Mate [10]


Two decades on the frontlines of addiction medicine and years of experience working in addiction-ravaged Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside gave Dr. Gabor Mate a front-row seat to the lives of those most affected by drugs. In his award-winning and seminal work, he outlines an original and holistic approach to bringing “junkies” back from the brink.

11. Reborn on the Run: My Journey from Addiction to Ultramarathons - By Catra Corbett [11]


A former meth addict turned record-breaking ultramarathon superstar, Catra Corbett, AKA the Dirt Diva, powerfully details how thousands of miles pounding dirt roads changed her life and infused her with hope and strength.

12. Chasing the Scream: The First And Last Days Of The War On Drugs - By Johann Hari [12]


In his breathtaking review of the story of the “War on Drugs”, Johann Hari gives us the truest version of the failed politics and policies of drug criminalization. Chasing The Scream inspired the 2021 film 'The United States Vs. Billie Holliday' and is truly worth the read.

13. Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy - By David Sheff [13]


David Sheff, the acclaimed author of another addiction masterpiece, Beautiful Boy, does a deep dive into the familiar approaches utilized in mainstream drug and alcohol addiction treatment. If you are looking for lucidly written and clear guidance on how to tackle addiction treatment, you will find much wisdom in these wonderfully written pages.

14. A Very Fine House: A Mother's Story of Love, Faith, and Crystal Meth - By Barbara Cofer Stoefen [14]


Barbara Cofer Stoefen unwraps the veil of a seemingly perfect American family and invites us in to experience the shock and raw pain of a daughter battling meth addiction. A tale of self-growth and spiritual awakening, it has already inspired thousands of families in similar situations.

15. The Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous [15]


No recommended addiction reading list is complete without “The Basic Text.”  Now found in over 70 languages, millions of people have started their alcoholism recovery journeys with their outline of the original 12-step program and its clear directions on how to get sober.


The Benefits of Reading Addiction Recovery Books

If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, then you know how alone a recovering addict can feel. Reading overcoming addiction books about others who share the same experience as you, as well as finding your tribe to connect with, can give you that extra boost you need to help with your addiction recovery. 

For even more resources and tools to support your addiction treatment and recovery, reach out to our experienced addiction professionals today. Avenues Recovery is ready and eager to help you on your journey toward sobriety.



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