Top 5 Inspiring Reads for Overcoming Addiction

More than 4 million people a year seek treatment for some form of substance abuse issue.

Addiction therapy can take many forms, with behavior therapies forming a key piece to help handle stressful situations, make medical therapies more effective, and improve odds against relapse. We deploy them along with group therapy and other forms as part of your individualized treatment plan.

As part of our treatment program, we have everyone read a series of five books to complement our various therapy and detox services. They become part of the process and an aid to overcoming addiction. The list includes stories of redemption, personal tales of hitting bottom, and tools for living a sober life.

In choosing the books on our list, we weren’t looking for the best books on drug addiction, or even books about addiction. Instead, we wanted to inspire and provide tools to help with coping strategies and sober life.

We’ve found these five books to be excellent choices to do just that.

1. You Are Here

Title: You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment

Author: Thich Nhat Hanh

Written by a world-renowned Zen monk, this book focuses on the essence of Buddhist practice and thought—living in the present moment. It emphasizes the power of mindfulness to transform lives while noting it is not a way to escape life.

The book covers a range of effective practices for developing mindfulness and helping you stay in the present moment. These include awareness of walking and breathing, along with deep listening and skillful speech.

The goal is to change current suffering into compassion, tenderness, and peace. Suffering is seen as leading to key insights and the chance to change ourselves. Looking deeply into the nature of things uncovers sources of pain so we can heal that pain and connect with the world.

While not a book about addiction recovery, it does relate to common therapy techniques of dealing with past pain with love and understanding. It explains that happiness is not a future state and that we should not dwell on past events, but learn from them.

Hanh calls this turning garbage into flowers.

2. The Untethered Soul

Title: The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

Author: Michael A. Singer

This New York Times bestseller explores basic ideas about who we are as spiritual beings. Singer emphasizes that as much as we identify with our thoughts, experiences, and feelings, we are not them.

The book walks you through your relationship with thoughts and emotions to uncover the source of them. The goal is to tap into traditions of meditation and mindfulness to change your relationship with yourself and the world around you.

Singer uses highly relatable and memorable analogies in talking about how fear and shame build barriers to connecting with life and others. The concepts of dwelling in the past, shame, and fear of the future are familiar issues within addiction recovery.

The book references ancient yogic texts as resources that offer ideas supported by modern clinical science. The holistic-recovery path focuses on conscious, healthy living, and self-identification. It builds upon concepts of serenity and peace as a way of allowing us to live in the present moment.

3. Rewired

Title: Rewired: A Bold New Approach To Addiction and Recovery

Author: Erica Spiegelman

This is the only book on our list specifically about addiction and recovery. It’s written by a renowned addiction counselor who includes stories of her struggles with alcoholism and addiction.

The book offers proactive and positive guidance and focuses on holistic addiction treatment. The concept is that you change your mindset to understand that positive life choices and changes affect recovery. It’s an approach that goes beyond abstinence to improve recovery motivation.

Spiegelman gives a list of 12 principles to live life by, including honesty, love, and hope. Each section includes personal anecdotes, success stories, engaging questions, and positive affirmations.

The action-oriented steps given throughout the book allow you to create your own personalized treatment plan. The goal is not just physical sobriety, but also mental, emotional, and spiritual.

4. Love Warrior

Title: Love Warrior

Author: Glennon Doyle

This book is a personal memoir about how a marital crisis led to a painful journey. Doyle tells her compelling story about self-discovery and self-love, opening up about all the dark parts of her life. The crux of the story is about learning to accept the past and move forward.

From bulimia as a child to alcoholism as an adult, Doyle has had many rock-bottom moments. She had gotten things under control when she became a mother, but everything collapsed after her husband admitted a series of infidelities and they separated.

Doyle talks about learning to accept one’s flaws and limitations and to communicate directly and honestly. She uses humor and good storytelling to share how her deepest pain has always led to better self-awareness and an invitation to lead a richer life.

5. The Four Agreements

Title: The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

Author: Don Miguel Ruiz

This lighthearted read is one of the best self-help books out there. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, it encourages us to shed old patterns and let go of destructive behaviors.

The agreements are four principles geared to help you change self-limiting beliefs. These concepts are rooted in ancient philosophy but involve similar ideas used in psychology today.

Ruiz offers simple tools to help you live your best life. He talks about learning to not only be a better human to others but also yourself.

More Steps to Overcoming Addiction

Every path to overcoming addiction is different, but we have found these books to be excellent steps along the way for anyone seeking to recover. The range offers the opportunity to find motivation, empathy, and proactive recovery strategies.

Reading addiction recovery books serves as just part of a full program. If you or someone you know is looking to work through treatment or maintain recovery, our specialists are ready to help guide their healing journey.

Contact us to learn more about our programs and how we can help.

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