Books about addiction, especially memoirs, give everyday individuals a look inside the life of an addict. It’s difficult to understand addiction if you have no personal experience with it. The greatest thing about books is their ability to offer you a new way to look at life. When people write about their experiences with substance abuse, they allow others the opportunity to understand.

10 of the Best Books About Addiction

There are hundreds of incredible books about addiction by people from all walks of life. It’s difficult to choose only 10 from all the incredible titles available. If you want to know more about what it’s like to live with drug addiction or alcoholism, choose a few books from this list. Each author draws from their own stories to create a wide range of experience.

Continue on to see our top 10 favorite books about addiction and find your next read.

1. Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions – Russell Brand

Russell Brand got clean and sober 16 years ago on December 13, 2002. Since then he’s been open about his various run-ins with addiction, from alcohol and heroin to pornography. He now realizes that everyone struggles with some type of addiction, and not only to substances. Brand modeled his book after the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. He outlines a program that every single person can benefit from in one of the greatest books about addiction available.

Book: Freedom from our addiction

2. Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction – David Sheff

Beautiful Boy, the book that inspired the recently-released film, details a father’s experience with his son’s addiction. While many people describe their own experience, David Sheff gives a voice to the millions of parents with an addicted child. His heart wrenching memoir also gives addicts a look into the pain they put their loved ones through.

Beautiful Boy - Book

3. Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines – Nic Sheff

Nic Sheff, David’s son, wrote his own memoir about his progressive experience with addiction. His story is like thousands of others: what started as way to have fun ended up turning his life inside out.

Growing Up On Meth

4. Clean – Amy Reed

Clean is a fiction novel about five teenagers who each hit rock bottom and end up in drug rehab together. They each grapple with their dark pasts, the difficulties of early sobriety, and learning to live without getting high.


5. Basketball Diaries – Jim Carroll

Jim Carroll’s Basketball Diaries tells his short but explosive story of addiction. The book is a compilation of his diary entries between the ages of 12 and 16. This is one of the more interesting books about addiction as Carroll’s addiction took place in the 1960s. Various themes from sports to the Cold War to the counterculture movement fill his memoir.

The Basketball Diaries - Jim Carroll

6. Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget – Sarah Hepola

Sarah Hepola writes about her experience living as a blackout drinker while growing her writing career. She writes one of the incredible books about addiction that many can relate to. Too many people wake up with little idea of what happened the night before. Hepola shares honestly about the remorse, confusion, and fear that come along with being a blackout drinker.

Blackout - Sarah Hepola

7. A Piece of Cake – Cupcake Brown

A Piece of Cake is about Cupcake Brown’s life, one that contained more chaos in its first 20 years than most experience in their entire lives. At the age of 11 she found her mother dead in in bed one morning, an event that would send anyone into a panic. She made it through her teenage years numbing a life of prostitution with a hefty drug addiction. After a dealer assaulted her and left her for dead, she meets a lawyer who helps her turn her life around completely.

A piece of cake

8. Drinking: A Love Story – Caroline Knapp

Caroline Knapp documents her 20 year love affair with alcoholism in Drinking: A Love Story. She drank her way through her education at an Ivy League school and an incredible career. Eventually her alcoholic secret caught up with her and she had to face her reality. Today, millions of women nationwide drinking to make it through the day. Knapp offers one of the most important books about addiction that can help other women recover.

Drinking: A Love Story

9. A Million Little Pieces – James Frey

James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces might easily be one of the most controversial books about addiction. At first, Frey advertised his book as a truthful memoir. Oprah Winfrey added it to her book club in September 2005 which it straight to the top of bestseller lists. Three months later, though, the truth came out and Frey admitted he fabricated much of the book. Still, it tells interesting story of a 23-year-old drug addict’s attempt at getting sober.

A Million Little Pieces

10. Dry – Augusten Burroughs

Dry is the memoir of bestselling author Augusten Burroughs’ life of alcoholism. Employed at a successful ad agency in his 20s, Burroughs walks into work one day and into an intervention. His employer sends him to a rehab facility where he tells the wild story of his life up to that point. He writes about his experiences in rehab and his foray into the foreign world of sobriety. Learning to Live Sober

Book: Dry

If you have your own struggles with addiction or alcoholism, one that isn’t just one of these books about addiction, there is a way out. As so many of the above authors wrote about, addiction treatment helps you find a solution. Would you benefit from rehab? Give Hawaii Island Recovery a call today at 877-721-3556 to find out more about the programs available to you!