5 Books About Addiction Every Parent Should Read

Powerful Words for Parents on Drugs and Addiction

For most parents of addicted children, the never-ending struggle to understand their loved ones is usually only fueled or made worse by articles online and WebMD diagnoses. It is truly mind-boggling for people to understand addiction if they have never faced it themselves.

For parents who are looking to try to gain some insight into the minds of their children and loved ones, it may be a more beneficial outlet to look not online, but into books about addiction and the memoirs of those who have been down the rabbit hole, and have lived to tell the tale. Here is a list of some really insightful and honest books about addiction.

5 Books About Addiction

Dharma Punx

Dharma Punx

Author Noah Levine gives a brutal and honest view into the lives of addicted youths in this “in and out again” book about powerlessness and chaos, rebirth, and spreading compassion and inspiration. Coming from a man who used his Punk rock lifestyle as a vessel for destruction in his youth, Dharma Punx brings a certain power and light to the mixed emotions that many of us born in the last thirty or forty years feel driven by.

He describes how the addiction to drugs and alcohol was only agitated by the anger and confusion that we are presented by the world around us, the overpowering expectations to be and act and feel a certain way and to conform to the system that so many of us resent.

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The beauty of Dharma Punx is that not only does it detail the hopeless futility of leading drug-addicted lives, but it provides readers with an insightful way out, to find our freedom on a higher level than the fleeting darkness of superficial drug induced insanity. It encourages the reader to focus all of the anger and desire for freedom and understanding into a healthy outlet, by moving toward a spiritual plane, through the practice of meditation, mindfulness, compassion, and principle.

Noah Levine said about his book,

“This is a story about those of us who have taken ourselves and the struggle off of the streets. Who are now fighting the inner battle against delusions and ignorance, yet continuing to express ourselves in our own unique Punk Rock ways outwardly. Having put down the booze and drugs, having let go of the violence and hatred, having lost countless friends to prison and death, we have found the Dharma.

We have found the highest spiritual truth. The spiritual path has been described by the Buddha as being, “against the stream,” against man’s selfish desires, this fits in perfectly with the punk rock ethic, turning outer rebellion into an inner revolution.”

The Basketball Diaries

These dark and truthful memoirs follow the tragic tale of author Jim Carrol. Starting with an aspiring and talented young basketball star living in New York City, Jim is introduced to drugs through a teammate. The true story follows the decline of Jim as he slowly creeps down a darker and more dangerous path into the abyss of thievery, prostitution, and addiction.

The story, which has since been made into a movie with a star-studded cast, gives an honest view of how rough and desperate it can get for addicts in full-blown addiction. The story, although tragic and at times difficult to read, does end on a positive note, with the author finally getting sober in the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous. This critically acclaimed book about addiction has been around for decades and still accurately represents the unfortunate and dark truths of the lifestyle so many are stuck in. 

How Al-Anon Works

Al-Anon is the spiritual fellowship for family members and loved ones of alcoholics and addicts. This program provides families with tools to cope with and recover from the emotional, physical, and mental turmoil that occurs after loving an active addict. Based on the original 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon provides members with a fellowship of like-minded people who have been through the same situations, a program of action to create and live by a set of spiritual principles and boundaries that aid in the recovery of themselves and the addict, and provide insight and a place of belonging for those who aren’t sure what to do next for their addicted loved one.

This book is a step-by-step manual on how the program works, what you will need to do, and what the program will do for the members. Al-Anon has been a surefooted sidekick to Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous for decades, not only because it helps friends and families learn to cope with their loved ones, but it also provides a “tribe” for its members, so they never feel outcast again.

A Million Little Pieces

A Million Little Pieces

A semi-fictional novel written by author James Frey gives a harrowing look into the life of an addict who wakes up to find himself on an airplane with his front teeth knocked out and his nose bleeding. With no recollection of how he landed in that position or anything from the previous two weeks, the book follows James as he checks himself into rehab as an alcoholic/crack addict with a warning that if he continues on his path, he will be dead in two years.

The story is an account of his 6-week stay in his rehabilitation facility, the dealings of daily life with the other patients, his family, and his mental state. Although the book is semi-fictional, it is a closely related telling of many recovering addicts’ and alcoholics’ stories and can help parents get inside the mind of what it feels like to lose control of one’s life due to drugs and alcohol.

The Addictive Personality: Understanding the Addictive Process and Compulsive Behavior

While this book about addiction is not a memoir, it is a laid out description of the research and practical knowledge of Craig M. Nakken, MSW, CCDP, LCSW, LMFT. As an author, lecturer, trainer, and family therapist specializing in the treatment of addiction, Nakken has over twenty years of working experience in the areas of addiction and recovery.  

The book provides a detailed look into both how a person becomes an addict, and how, once the process starts, it develops into a progressive illness. There are also descriptions of how genetic factors and cultural influences on the development and progression of the disease, and finally, steps that can be taken to recover and break the addictive thinking process.

Books About Addiction an Inside Look

For families and loved ones who are concerned or hurting for an addict or alcoholic in their life, it may be difficult to understand why they act the way they do. It is easy to feel blamed by society or by the media, or even by themselves for not being able to provide what the child needed, or maybe providing too much, but this is far from the truth.

All of these stories and books outline that addicts and alcoholics can be sprung from people of all different social, cultural, and economic backgrounds, and many believe that it is something they are just born with. Whatever your thought process may be, if you are looking for an insider’s scoop of the ins, outs, and why your child is an addict, or if you just want to know that you aren’t alone, take a peek at any of these books about addiction.

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Freedom From Addiction: Found Here

Although reading these books about addiction can offer incredible and raw insight, it’s just the first step to getting help. If you have found yourself or a loved one suffering from addiction or alcoholism, you are not alone! If you are ready to change your life and live free of addiction, then Find Addiction Rehabs can help give you the jumpstart you need in order to experience the recovery you have always wanted for your loved one.

Our recovery representatives refer to programs that don’t just treat the addiction but treat the whole person and the reasons that led to drinking and/or using. Give yourself the break you deserve, and start (or renew) your recovery with a confidential call today!

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