Inspirational Books


Understanding the Limits of Self-Help Books, Movies, Films or Movies for Addiction Treatment

Although self-help books do offer some important benefits in recovery, they should not be used as a replacement for traditional forms of addiction treatment. Detox, counseling, and holistic treatments provide the best foundation for sobriety. 

If you wish to use these as part of your addiction recovery, they are best incorporated into your aftercare plan for maintaining sobriety following appropriate treatment.

Chasing the Scream: The Inspiration for the Feature Film "The United States vs. Billie Holiday" (The Opposite of Addiction is Connection) by Johann Hari - The New York Times Bestseller

What if everything you think you know about addiction is wrong? Johann Hari's journey into the heart of the war on drugs led him to ask this question--and to write the book that gave rise to his viral TED talk, viewed more than 62 million times, and inspired the feature film The United States vs. Billie Holiday and the documentary series The Fix. One of Johann Hari's earliest memories is of trying to wake up one of his relatives and not being able to. As he grew older, he realized he had addiction in his family. Confused, not knowing what to do, he set out and traveled over 30,000 miles over three years to discover what really causes addiction--and what really solves it. He uncovered a range of remarkable human stories--of how the war on drugs began with Billie Holiday, the great jazz singer, being stalked and killed by a racist policeman; of the scientist who discovered the surprising key to addiction; and of the countries that ended their own war on drugs--with extraordinary results. Chasing the Scream is the story of a life-changing journey that transformed the addiction debate internationally--and showed the world that the opposite of addiction is connection.

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction

"While not all addictions are caused by abuse or trauma, I believe they can all be traced back to a painful experience." All addictive behaviours are motivated by a sense of pain. It can be found in gamblers, Internet addicts, compulsive shoppers, and workaholics. The wound may not be as deep, the ache may not be as excruciating, and it may even be completely hidden—but it exists. As we'll see, early stress or negative experiences have a direct impact on both the psychology and neurobiology of addictive behavior in the brain. I first heard Dr. Maté speak at a convention many decades previously and was instantly captivated. He advocates for sympathy toward addicts, viewing them as sick people attempting to recover in the best way they know how. The simplicity of this concept makes so much sense, but it is frequently overlooked in everything from AA to drug law.

The Little Book of College Sobriety: Living Happy, Healthy, and FREE

Stories from College Students, a Few Graduates, and One Mother The path to recovery is a trek from self-discovery to action. COMING SOON The courageous young storytellers in this book describe the journey from the pain of addiction to the joy of connection. journey. Their stories shed new light on ways to grow and sustain good emotional health for anyone wanting to live with steadiness, peace of mind, and joy. Sober Stories When we tell our stories, we become visible. We find our voices and discover all that’s true about us. I’d love to hear from you, and I’m sure many others who come here would too! As a member of the recovery community, I’ve learned there are many reasons we misuse drugs and alcohol. Childhood traumas. How we’re wired, with keen, chaotic brains and sensitive but relentless natures. Sometimes mental illness is involved. But i also hear versions of this, in the hundreds of recovery meetings I’ve attended: “I am unlovable.” Too many young people are dying from that woundedness. So I wrote this book, a form of empowerment, to honor those who have pushed through their pain, and found joy and hope-rich recoveries. They are models to show other young adults that anything is possible if you believe in yourself and all you can become. Self-love, and the grit to press on, undergird all good programs of recovery. The proceeds from the sale of this book go to ARHE, Association of Recovery in Higher Education.


A gripping novel about five adolescent rehab patients. Olivia, Kelly, Christopher, Jason, and Eva all share one trait: they are addicts. Addicts who have reached rock bottom and have been forced to face their problems, sobriety, and themselves in rehab. Nobody wants to be there. Nobody wants to face the truths about their pasts. Because when you're that high, there's only one way to go: down, down, down.

Blackout: Remembering The Things I Drank to Forget

A memoir of unblinking honesty and poignant, laugh-out-loud humor, Blackout is the story of a woman stumbling into a new kind of adventure -- the sober life she never wanted. For Sarah Hepola, alcohol was "the gasoline of all adventure." She spent her evenings at cocktail parties and dark bars where she proudly stayed till last call. Drinking felt like freedom, part of her birthright as a strong, enlightened twenty-first-century woman. But there was a price. She often blacked out, waking up with a blank space where four hours should be. Mornings became detective work on her own life. What did I say last night? How did I meet that guy? She apologized for things she couldn't remember doing, as though she were cleaning up after an evil twin. Publicly, she covered her shame with self-deprecating jokes, and her career flourished, but as the blackouts accumulated, she could no longer avoid a sinking truth. The fuel she thought she needed was draining her spirit instead. A memoir of unblinking honesty and poignant, laugh-out-loud humor, Blackout is the story of a woman stumbling into a new kind of adventure -- the sober life she never wanted. Shining a light into her blackouts, she discovers the person she buried, as well as the confidence, intimacy, and creativity she once believed came only from a bottle. Her tale will resonate with anyone who has been forced to reinvent or struggled in the face of necessary change. It's about giving up the thing you cherish most -- but getting yourself back in return.

The Addiction Solution: Treating our Dependence on Opioids and Other Drugs

Groundbreaking, “timely and well-written” (Booklist, starred review) guide to addiction from a psychiatrist and public health doctor, offering practical, proven solutions for individuals, families, and communities dealing with substance use and abuse. Written with warmth, accessibility, and vast authority, The Addiction Solution is a practical guide through the world of drug use and abuse and addiction treatment. Here, Lloyd I. Sederer, MD, brings together scientific and clinical knowledge, policy suggestions, and case studies to describe our current drug crisis and establish a clear path forward to recovery and health. In a time when so many people are affected by the addiction epidemic, when 142 people die of overdoses every day in the United States, principally from opioids, Sederer’s decades of wisdom and clinical experience are needed more than ever before. With a timely focus on opioids, Sederer takes us through the proven essentials of addiction treatment and explains why so many of our current policies, like the lingering remnants of the War on Drugs, fail to help drug users, their families, and their wider communities. He identifies a key insight, often overlooked in popular and professional writing about addiction and its treatment: namely, that people who use drugs do so to meet specific needs, and that drugs may be the best solution those people currently have. Writing with generosity and empathy about the many Americans who use illicit and prescribed substances, Sederer lays out specific, evidence-based, researched solutions to the prevention and problems of drug use, including exercise, medications, therapy, recovery programs, and community services.

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. Your Guide To A Wholehearted Life

Brené Brown’s game-changing New York Times bestseller, The Gifts of Imperfection, has sold more than 2 million copies in more than 30 different languages and is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in print. Forbes magazine named Gifts one of the "Five Books That Will Actually Change Your Outlook On Life." Through this self-help classic we find courage to overcome paralyzing fear and self-consciousness, strengthening our connection to the world and helping us to believe we are worthy of self-discovery, personal growth, and boundless love. A motivational and inspiring guide to wholehearted living, rather than just the average self-help book, with this groundbreaking work Brené Brown, Ph.D., bolsters the self-esteem and personal development process through her characteristic heartfelt, honest storytelling. With original research and plenty of encouragement, she explores the psychology of releasing our definitions of an “imperfect” life and embracing living authentically. Brown’s “ten guideposts” are benchmarks for authenticity that can help anyone establish a practice for a life of honest beauty—a perfectly imperfect life. Now more than ever, we all need to cultivate feelings of self-worth, as well as acceptance and love for ourselves. In a world where insults, criticisms, and fears are spread too generously alongside messages of unrealistic beauty, attainment, and expectation, we look for ways to “dig deep” and find truth and gratitude in our lives. A new way forward means we can’t hold on too tightly to our own self-defeating thoughts or the displaced pain in our world. Instead, we can embrace the imperfection.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous (also known as the Big Book in recovery circles) sets forth cornerstone concepts of recovery from alcoholism and tells the stories of men and women who have overcome the disease. The fourth edition includes twenty-four new stories that provide contemporary sharing for newcomers seeking recovery from alcoholism in A.A. during the early years of the 21st century. Sixteen stories are retained from the third edition, including the "Pioneers of A.A." section, which helps the reader remain linked to A.A.'s historic roots, and shows how early members applied this simple but profound program that helps alcoholics get sober today. Approximately 21 million copies of the first three editions of "Alcoholics Anonymous" have been distributed. It is expected that the new fourth edition will play its part in passing on A.A.'s basic message of recovery. This fourth edition has been approved by the General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous, in the hope that many more may be led toward recovery by reading its explanation of the A.A. program and its varied examples of personal experiences which demonstrate that the A.A. program works.

Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction

More people than ever before see themselves as addicted to, or recovering from, addiction, whether it be alcohol or drugs, prescription meds, sex, gambling, porn, or the internet. But despite the unprecedented attention, our understanding of addiction is trapped in unfounded 20th century ideas, addiction as a crime or as brain disease, and in equally outdated treatment. Challenging both the idea of the addict's “broken brain” and the notion of a simple “addictive personality,” Unbroken Brain offers a radical and groundbreaking new perspective, arguing that addictions are learning disorders and shows how seeing the condition this way can untangle our current debates over treatment, prevention and policy. Like autistic traits, addictive behaviors fall on a spectrum -- and they can be a normal response to an extreme situation. By illustrating what addiction is, and is not, the book illustrates how timing, history, family, peers, culture and chemicals come together to create both illness and recovery- and why there is no “addictive personality” or single treatment that works for all. Combining Maia Szalavitz’s personal story with a distillation of more than 25 years of science and research, Unbroken Brain provides a paradigm-shifting approach to thinking about addiction.


Telgemeier uses this topic to inform the young adult reader that the first step is to try anything. She also uses this theme to teach young adult readers how to overcome fears, dislikes of people or foods, and feelings of inadequacy.

A Million Little Pieces

Following accusations of literary fabrication, James Frey's book A Million Little Pieces was re-released as a semi-fictional novel after being presented as a memoir. It chronicles the narrative of a 23-year-old alcoholic and drug addict and how he copes with treatment in a 12-step-oriented treatment facility.

My Fair Junkie

Amy Dresner's My Fair Junkie is an intelligent, darkly funny, and unashamedly honest memoir of one woman's battle with all types of addiction, hitting rock bottom, In the vein of Orange Is the New Black and Jerry Stahl's Endless Midnight, and establishing a path to a worthwhile life.

How to Murder Your Life

Marnell's youth in an affluent D.C. suburb, her introduction to drugs, her entry into the world of fashion journalism, and her ongoing battles with addiction, which threatened to derail her career, are all covered in the memoir.

Terry: My Daughter's Life-and-Death Struggle with Alcoholism

Rarely has a public personality shown such courage and fortitude in confronting such complex, personal difficulties. Former Senator George McGovern remembers the events leading up to his daughter Terry's death from alcoholism in a touching and passionate memoir. What McGovern learnt from Terry is an unforgettable, moving storey that is sure to stir both debate and compassion. a collection of photographs

Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions

Russell Brand's Russell Brand, a comedian and actor, writes of his own wild storey with an infrequent mix of honesty, humour, and compassion and needs to share the advice and wisdom he has acquired in his fifteen years of sobriety.

Unwifeable: A Memoir

In this daring, brave, and dizzyingly uncensored book, Mandy reveals every secret she knows about relationships, socialising, comedy, popularity, journalism, psychology, relations, addictions, and the path to find one's true nature. As she recounts her addictive trip, she takes readers behind the scenes (and names).

Girl Walks Out of a Bar: A Memoir

Girl Walks Out of a Bar delves into Smith's early years, focusing on her decade of alcohol and drug misuse. What was once a way for her to escape her insecurities and negativity as a youngster became a way to cope with the worry and stress of an unattainable workload

The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober

Catherine Gray's book, Discovering A Happy, Healthy, Wealthy Alcohol-Free Life. Catherine Gray was trapped in a hellish whirlwind of drinking, making bad decisions, crashing, and repeating. She'd had her share of 'drunk tank' jail cells and topless-in-a-hot-tub mishaps. However, this book goes beyond binges and blackouts to explore uncharted territory: What happens after you stop drinking?

Party Girl

Anna David's true-life novel about a Hollywood party girl and a cocaine addict. Her partying does not pay off, and she eventually loses her job and possibly her mind. She decides to stop using drugs, but she establishes a new, sober identity.


Matt Peterson tells the true storey of his transition from opiate pain relievers to heroin addiction. Matt appeared to be an unlikely candidate for substance abuse as the son of a southeastern Baptist minister, but his storey demonstrates how this illness is not picky and can be conquered.

Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles

Before becoming the celebrated teacher and lecturer today, author Gabrielle Bernstein struggled with eating disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, and constant self-doubt and self-loathing. Bernstein walks readers through to the life-changing lessons that moulded her spiritual journey in her book Ghost Junkie.

The End of Mental Illness: How Neuroscience Is Transforming Psychiatry and Helping Prevent or Reverse Mood and Anxiety Disorders, ADHD, Addictions, PTSD, Psychosis, Personality Disorders, and More

New hope for those suffering from conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, addictions, PTSD, ADHD and more. Though incidence of these conditions is skyrocketing, for the past four decades standard treatment hasn’t much changed, and success rates in treating them have barely improved, either. Meanwhile, the stigma of the “mental illness” label―damaging and devastating on its own―can often prevent sufferers from getting the help they need. Brain specialist and bestselling author Dr. Daniel Amen is on the forefront of a new movement within medicine and related disciplines that aims to change all that. In The End of Mental Illness, Dr. Amen draws on the latest findings of neuroscience to challenge an outdated psychiatric paradigm and help readers take control and improve the health of their own brain, minimizing or reversing conditions that may be preventing them from living a full and emotionally healthy life. The End of Mental Illness will help you discover: -Why labeling someone as having a “mental illness” is not only inaccurate but harmful -Why standard treatment may not have helped you or a loved one―and why diagnosing and treating you based on your symptoms alone so often misses the true cause of those symptoms and results in poor outcomes -At least 100 simple things you can do yourself to heal your brain and prevent or reverse the problems that are making you feel sad, mad, or bad -How to identify your “brain type” and what you can do to optimize your particular type -Where to find the kind of health provider who understands and uses the new paradigm of brain health

Drinking: A Love Story

Author Caroline Knapp gets to share her memoir and serves to highlight the fact that alcoholism affects more than 15 million Americans each year, with 5 million of them being women. Caroline describes how she drank her way through her years at an Ivy League college and her award-winning career while posing as a responsible daughter and expert.

Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself

Melody Beattie's this true masterpiece by one of America's best-loved and most inspirational authors holds the framework for understanding codependency and breaking free from its suffocating grip on your life. This book is a must-read for recovering addicts and their families and friends.

High Achiever: The Incredible True Story of One Addict’s Double Life

Tiffany Jenkins's This true storey reads like a suspenseful novel. Tiffany Jenkins breaks down the stigma and silence surrounding the disease to offer hope and inspiration to anyone dealing with it, whether it's an adored one or themselves. Tiffany's life as an energetic opioid addict, her 120 days in a Florida jail, and her eventual recovery are chronicled in this raw, page-turning memoir.

Smacked: A Story of White-Collar Ambition, Addiction, and Tragedy

Eilene Zimmerman, an author and journalist, reveals the shocking moment she found her ex-husband, the father of her children, was a drug addict. She then takes the readers on an affectionate journey of how she began trying to rebuild life about herself and her children while researching how prevalent drug abuse is in fair skinned settfair-skinned

Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction

David Sheff's What must have happened to my lovely boy? What about our family? What went wrong for me? These were the agonising questions that haunted David Sheff's voyage through his son Nic's drug addiction and tentative steps toward recovery. This New York Times #1 Best Seller follows a father's journey with a son addicted to crystal meth.

The Big Fix: Hope After Heroin

After surviving nearly a decade of heroin abuse and hard living on the streets of San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, Tracey Helton Mitchell decided to get clean for good. With raw honesty and a poignant perspective on life that only comes from starting at rock bottom, The Big Fix tells her story of transformation from homeless heroin addict to stable mother of three—and the hard work and hard lessons that got her there. Rather than dwelling on the pain of addiction, Tracey focuses on her journey of recovery and rebuilding her life, while exposing the failings of the American rehab system and laying out a path for change. Starting with the first step in her recovery, Tracey re-learns how to interact with men, build new friendships, handle money, and rekindle her relationship with her mother, all while staying sober, sharp, and dedicated to her future. A decidedly female story of addiction, The Big Fix describes the unique challenges faced by women caught in the grip of substance abuse, such as the toxic connection between drug addition and prostitution. Tracey’s story of hope, hard work, and rehabilitation will inspire anyone who has been affected by substance abuse while offering hope for a better future.

Dream Land: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic

From a small town in Mexico to the boardrooms of Big Pharma to main streets nationwide, an explosive and shocking account of addiction in the heartland of America. In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital center of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America--addiction like no other the country has ever faced. How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland. With a great reporter's narrative skill and the storytelling ability of a novelist, acclaimed journalist Sam Quinones weaves together two classic tales of capitalism run amok whose unintentional collision has been catastrophic. The unfettered prescribing of pain medications during the 1990s reached its peak in Purdue Pharma's campaign to market OxyContin, its new, expensive--extremely addictive--miracle painkiller. Meanwhile, a massive influx of black tar heroin--cheap, potent, and originating from one small county on Mexico's west coast, independent of any drug cartel--assaulted small town and mid-sized cities across the country, driven by a brilliant, almost unbeatable marketing and distribution system. Together these phenomena continue to lay waste to communities from Tennessee to Oregon, Indiana to New Mexico. Introducing a memorable cast of characters--pharma pioneers, young Mexican entrepreneurs, narcotics investigators, survivors, and parents--Quinones shows how these tales fit together. Dreamland is a revelatory account of the corrosive threat facing America and its heartland.

I Love You More: Short Stories of Addiction Recovery and Loss From the Family’s Perspective

Most family members do not know where to turn for support and guidance when a child, parent or spouse becomes ill. Society offers little to educate the public or de-stigmatize the problem of addiction. I Love You More is distinct and unique from other books on the market on addiction as it is meant to be an emotional education on the family systems affected by addiction using three, fictional short stories, all with very different endings. These three powerful stories have common threads of hope, pain, mistrust, grief, worry, change, acceptance, belief, and the constant presence of varying levels of sanity across a broad spectrum. The author, Blake Cohen, is currently in recovery from a substance use disorder himself for multiple years. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, is a Certified Addictions Professional, and is currently earning his Master’s degree in the field of Leadership. He currently works in the field of substance abuse treatment as an Interventionist and Recovery/Family Coach. Blake’s role allows him to be of assistance to families, and their loved ones, as they begin their journey into recovery. Blake is also a public speaker using his experience and education to help bring understanding to the public regarding the disease of addiction.

American Fix: Inside the Opioid Addiction Crisis – and How to End It

Ryan Hampton is a ten-year-sober former White House staffer and opioid addict who is now a national recovery advocate. With American Fix, he provides an inside account of the opioid crisis predicated on firsthand knowledge gained from his own journey of discovery, as well as a call for new, long-term, evidence-based treatment models that have been shown to be much more effective than traditional 28-day model. Overall, the message is uplifting, providing hope for new instructions and treatment options.

Rewired: A Bold New Approach To Addiction and Recovery

One of the best addiction recovery books in recent history, laying out a path to recovery that is both empowering and simple to follow. Rewired, as the title suggests, is about thinking differently about living clean and appreciating recovery. The book argues that living in accordance with twelve time-honored potent principles, such as sincerity, evolvement, loneliness, adore, kindness, and hope, leads to good recovery. Erica Spiegelman is a well-known addiction counsellor, author, and speaker.

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors

Dopesick pulls together [Macy's] decades of research and interviews to highlight why and how doctors, dealers and drug companies conspired (in some cases knowingly) to get large swaths of the American population addicted to painkillers.