Knowing where to begin your addiction recovery can seem overwhelming. What should you do?
Figure out why alcohol dependency has struck you or a loved one, understand who might suffer the same situation, find resources to help cope with family, begin medically-supervised detox, and work the 12 Steps toward your long-term recovery … the list is long and daunting.
Luckily, plenty of materials out there can help shed some light on the various facets of alcohol addiction and alcohol recovery. While attending recovery meetings and working the 12 Steps are crucial as you begin recovery, there are a multitude of books out there that can supplement your process. With the help of In The Rooms members’ recommendations and online reviews, we’ve compiled just six of those books. This list only begins to scratch the surface of all the additional help out there. But it (hopefully) demonstrates the vast number of publications you can access to answer your questions, publications which can help guide you through addiction recovery.
Also known as the “Big Book” in AA meetings, the Alcoholics Anonymous book is what many people consider the cornerstone for overcoming alcohol abuse disorder (AUD). The book is now in its fourth edition (to keep its featured personal testimonies fresh and updated), but the AA website reaffirms that the fundamental recovery principles haven’t changed.
“Since the first edition appeared, in 1939, it has helped millions of men and women recover from alcoholism. Chapters describing the A.A. recovery program remain unchanged. New stories have been added to the personal histories.”– Alcoholics Anonymous
Mindfulness and the 12 Steps
If you’re looking for a way that marries spirituality with your 12-Step journey, ITR members say this book will be a good resource. The book’s Amazon summary explains that “for those of us in recovery, Mindfulness and the 12 Steps offers a fresh approach to developing our own spiritual path through the Buddhist practice of mindfulness, or bringing one’s awareness to focus on the present moment.”
“This author does a wonderful job of translating the steps into understandable and relatable language. She uses storytelling to help do this, sharing from her own life. She then, clearly and simply explains Buddhist concepts that apply to each step.” – Joe N. (User Review)
This Naked Mind
Rated as one of Amazon’s top books on alcohol recovery, This Naked Mind explores the science behind why we drink. Written by recovering alcoholic Annie Grace, the book’s summary states that it “clearly presents the psychological and neurological components of alcohol use based on the latest science and reveals the cultural, social, and industry factors that support alcohol dependence in all of us. Packed with surprising insight into the reasons we drink, this book will open your eyes to the startling role of alcohol in our culture and how the stigma of alcoholism and recovery keeps people from getting the help they need.”
“It works! I have not had a drink in 8 months and don’t want to drink again. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I was the ‘get home from work and open a bottle of wine immediately’ kind of drinker. Alcohol was controlling my life.” – AliceB (User Review)
This follow-up to the Big Book is a 90-page booklet designed to help people going through AA stay sober. The book’s summary exlains that “Living Sober is an extremely informative book which does not offer a plan for getting sober but does offer us sound advice about how to stay sober.”
“My favorite recovery book because I didn’t know how to live sober. This book offers tips on living clean and sober, methods AA members have used for not drinking.” – farmboyWI (User Review)
Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol
Here’s a popular book for anyone—but especially women. Its readers say that the author’s powerful personal narrative helps illuminate the growing amount of girls and women struggling with alcohol abuse. The book’s Amazon synopsis states that “award-winning journalist Anne Dowsett Johnston combines in-depth research with her own personal story of recovery, and delivers a groundbreaking examination of a shocking yet little recognized epidemic threatening society today: the precipitous rise in risky drinking among women and girls.”
“[Johnston] disseminated statistics, information, and advertising methods used to attract female drinkers. And I saw the hooks me and my friends have fallen prey to. This is a very important book about an insidious sneaky habit that can get out of control. If you drink at all, this is a must read.” – Deb’s kitchen (User Review)
The Complete ACOA Sourcebook: Adult Children of Alcoholics at Home, at Work and in Love
Why not try an oldie but a goodie? Readers of The Complete ACOA Sourcebook say that the information, while written in 1980, still holds true today. Updated in 2002, this anthology is one of many books which detail coping with alcoholic parents. According to the synopsis, “readers will find help for themselves: at home, in intimate relationships and on the job. They will discover the reasons for the way they think, believe and feel about themselves; ACoAs often feel isolated, have difficulty in relationships, in the workplace and in feeling good about themselves.”
“If you even remotely think this topic might apply to you or to someone you love – do not hesitate, do not pass go and do not collect $200 … put this book in your shopping cart and hit “Purchase.” I feel very confident in telling you that you will NOT regret it :-)” – Shelly (User Review)
What Now for Your Recovery?
This article barely touches all the recovery reading out there, though hopefully it offers you six places to start. But are you still wondering how to begin your recovery? Our Getting Started Guide can help kickstart your journey. And if you want to know what others are reading for their recovery, you’ll need recovery community. So why not sign up for In The Rooms today?