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Books For Family Members Of Addicts

Books To Explain Addiction To Children

Family Dynamics Of Addiction: Addiction Counselor Exam Review

by Terry Hurley | Apr 25, 2019 | Articles

When a child grows up in a home where a parent or other loved one has a substance use disorder, they often feel confused and frightened. Their home life may be chaotic and unpredictable. They may hear arguing, crying, or yelling and have no understanding of why it is happening. Some children draw the conclusion that they are the cause of the problems. Others become withdrawn, act out, or become aggressive.

What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline

SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

What To Expect After Treatment

Treatment is just the first phase of recovery. A person who is in recovery from addiction will need aftercare, often in the form of 12-step recovery programs. Family support groups and treatment are also essential to helping the recovering person strengthen their family relationships and maintain long-term recovery.2

Also Check: How To Help An Addict In Denial

Adult Children Of Alcoholics

Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet Woititz describes the common challenges experienced by adult children of alcoholics. This was one of the first CoA books I read I remember thinking, Oh my gosh, yes, thats me! Shes practically in my head! After reading it, I felt a lot less alone in my struggles and a lot more hopeful that I could heal from all of this heavy stuff. It may help you learn how to recognize opportunities for healing.

This is another great codependency-focused book. By Karen Power, Codependence and the Power of Detachment: How to Set Boundaries and Make Your Life Your Own, highlights codependent thinking and behaviors. Seriously, you may not think youre codependent until you read this book. I read it and had several aha moments. It helped me more clearly see my unhealthy thinking and behavior. I didnt even realize I was doing half of it! Though I still have to remind myself to detach from situations frequently, I credit this book as being among the first books to get me detaching and becoming healthier.

Facing Codependence By Pia Mellody

Listen to Addict In The Family Audiobook by Beverly Conyers and Randye Kaye

In Facing Codependence, author Pia Mellody presents a framework for identifying codependent thinking, emotions, and behaviour showing codependency as a legacy of physical, sexual, spiritual, intellectual or emotional abuse during childhood on adult behaviour and relationships. Mellody proposes that solutions for overcoming codependence are rooted in addressing past abuse and trauma and liberating oneself from the toxic emotions attached to them that often lead many to self-medicate by abusing substances and partaking excessively in unhealthy behaviours.

Don’t Miss: How Does Alcohol Addiction Affect The Family

From Addict To Advocate: A Poetic Outlook On A Recovering Addicts Journey To Sobriety By Abdirahman Warsame

Theres a lot of bad news out there for parents of addicts, but there are inspiring stories, too. Stories that can give you perspective and give you hope. Warsames story is just that. Today the co-founder and Executive Director of Generation Hope, a youth-led recovery organization, he was once in active addiction. This is a unique look into the experience of addiction and recovery by someone whos lived it.

Books You Need To Read If You Were Raised By Alcoholics

I wrote this book for fellow adult children of alcoholics. Its

Ive spent the last 11 years healing from tough experiences, reprogramming my brain and creating an awesome life. In seven short chapters, I share realizations and practical tactics that helped me write my own playbook to heal and enjoy the life Id dreamed of as a little girl. This modern guide for adult children of alcoholics will inspire you to create the life you want and deserve.

The following books helped me recognize that my experience as a child of an alcoholic REALLY affected me as an adult. They helped me develop a plan to tackle challenges stemming from being a totally, TOTALLY normal ACoA and gave me hope for the future.

Read Also: How Easy Is It To Become Addicted To Alcohol

The Big Red Book: Adult Children Of Alcoholics

This is probably one of the most referenced books on the topic, as it breaks down the The Adult Children of Alcoholics Laundry List. Created by the Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families World Service Organization, this book is about three inches thick! It will give you a solid overview of ACoA traits. Lots of oh-my-gosh-thats-me moments with this one it includes practical advice for healing.

Lisas blog is another great resources to understand the science of addiction.

Why You Should Read Boundaries

Dealing With An Addicted Family Member

In this insightful and extremely helpful book, you will learn about a simple concept that can change your life: healthy boundaries. John Trent, PhD

In this very practical guide, Melody Beattie walks her readers through three basic things:

  • The 12 Steps and how each applies to your particular issues
  • Specific exercises and activities to use both in group settings and on your own
  • A directory of the wide range of programs for families in recovery
  • You May Like: How To Convince An Addict To Go To Rehab

    Adult Children: The Secrets Of Dysfunctional Families


    Alcoholic families are not the only ones that produce adult children with dysfunctional characteristics. In this book, John and Linda Friel explore how perfectionism, workaholism, compulsive overeating, intimacy problems, depression, and problems sharing feelings can create a dysfunctional family system.

    One hallmark of all dysfunctional families is that they try to keep secrets.

    Children may be discouraged from discussing the emotional, sexual, or physical abuse they suffered at the hands of a family member. Books such as this can help children of alcoholics learn to stop hiding issues and seek support and help.

    Here Is A List Of What We Think Are The 10 Best Books To Help Families Along The Way To Recovery

    *We recommend finding immediate medical or clinical support if you have concerns about your loved ones health or of any family member.

    Addiction Recovery: A Familys Journey, Diana Clark

    Offers guidance to family members of those struggling with substance use disorders and mental health concerns addresses both addiction and the recovery process, includes engaging exercises and case examples.

    Addict In the Family: Stories of Loss, Hope, and Recovery, Beverly Conyers

    Details how a family can support an addicted loved one without enabling and stresses the importance of boundary setting, prioritizing self-care, and finding therapeutic or spiritual resources in the community recounts personal stories from the authors experience with her daughters addiction and recovery as well as from others struggling with the same issues.

    Everything Changes: Help for Families of Newly Recovered Addicts, Beverly Conyers

    Addresses the new and difficult challenges facing not only recovering loved ones but also those who love them gives advice on how to navigate this challenging time so that the whole family can move forward.

    Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change, Jeffrey Foote, Carrie Wilkins, Nicole Kosanke, and Stephanie Higgs

    Get Your Loved One Sober: Alternatives to Nagging, Pleading, and Threatening, Bob Meyers and Brenda Wolfe

    Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption, William Cope Moyers with Katherine Ketcham

    Read More: Substance Abuse and Addiction

    Don’t Miss: How Do You Know If You Are Addicted To Alcohol

    Does Your Family Member Have An Addiction

    But how do you know if your loved ones use of substances is an addiction? Some questions you can ask yourself regarding the behavioral and emotional signs of substance abuse include:3

    • Do they try to cut back or stop using, but are unable to do so?
    • Do they use more of a substance than they intend to?
    • Do they spend a great deal of time looking for the substance, using it, and recovering from using it?
    • Do they use a substance in risky situations, such as driving?
    • Do they continue taking the substance, despite knowing the substance causes a physical or emotional condition to get worse?
    • Are they unable to manage their responsibilities including home, school, or work?
    • Do they give up important activities in order to use?
    • Do they continue to use a substance, even knowing that it causes problems in relationships?
    • Does your loved one show physical signs of abuse, such as taking more of the drug to get high or craving it?

    Having at least two of these signs in the past 12 months could indicate that the person has a substance use disorder.

    AAC is in-network with many insurance companies. This means your addiction treatment could be free depending on your policy.

    Four Must Read Books For Parents Of Drug Addicts Include:

    Alcoholics: 3 Books Combined on Dealing With an Alcoholic Family Member ...
  • Codependent No More
  • Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melanie Beatty is a self-help book focused on helping individuals acknowledge their behaviors and modify them. This book, initially published in 1986, is still one of the most recommended self-help books in relation to alcoholism recovery and number one in the category on Amazon.

  • Beautiful Boy
  • Beautiful Boy: A Fathers Journey Through His Sons Meth Addiction by David Sheff is an insight to addiction from the parents point of view. Describing the feelings and emotional turmoil of loving a child with addiction, David weaves a story opening up about addiction and the impact it has on family. Beautiful Boy is the Editors Pick for Best Biographies and Memoirs on Amazon.

  • Dont Let Your Kids Kill You: A Guide for Parents of Drug and Alcohol Addicted Children
  • This guide written by Charles Rubin, shows the damage addiction can cause on parents and guides individuals on how to let it go. Rubin combines interviews with other parents and his own personal experience to provide practical advice for parents suffering in similar situations, urging them to realize that their childs addiction is not their fault.

  • Everything Changes: Help for Families of Newly Recovering Addicts
  • These four books for parents of drug addicts offer a comprehensive look at addiction from a family members point of view.

    Recommended Reading: How To Get An Addict Into Rehab

    Extremely Inspiring Memoirs By Adult Children Of Alcoholics

    Some of the most extraordinary people are children of alcoholics

    • Canadian Olympian Leah Pells is one of them. Her book, Not About the Medal, is one of the most moving autobiographical stories Ive read on the power of hope and resilience and being the daughter of an alcoholic mother.
    • Actress and model Brooke Shields memoir, There Was A Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me, feels like it is the story of MY mother and me. Its my new favorite and now one of must-read recommendations when I speak with adult children of alcoholics. I purchased the audiobook version Brookes reading was stellar.

    Take good care of yourself and keep on learning!

    Overcoming Opioid Addiction: The Authoritative Medical Guide For Patients Families Doctors And Therapists By Adam Bisaga Md

    If youre a person who spends hours and hours on various medical sites, trying to learn the latest on addiction treatment, this is the guide for you. Bisaga is very much an M.D. and this book reads very much as though its written by an M.D. Its very informative and sensation-less. If you want just the facts, thanks, then this is what youre looking for.

    As you read through this list of books for parents of addicts, you might have noticed that most of the authors listed here are white. Addiction is not a disease that only affects white people, yet many recovery spaces are very, very white.

    There are likely a few reasons for this, including the reality that, as Amy Dresner and Joe Schrank put it, White People Go to Rehab, Black People Go to Jail. While books about addiction by BIPOCs are largely missing from the conversation, there are people working on this. You can check out this great list of to understand why representation matters generally and specifically in this area, as well as find Black recovery advocates to follow.

    Read Also: How Long Does It Take To Recover From Heroin Addiction

    Beautiful Boy: A Fathers Journey Through His Sons Addiction

    I tell people this is the book that saved my life while my son was battling his addiction, and I mean that with every ounce of my being. Its the best book Ive ever read because it moved me like no other book has. David Sheff is a master storyteller whose writing is brutally honest and thought provoking. This isnt just a book about a sons addiction and how it affected all those around him, its a parental love story one that will make you realize youre not alone, while validating all of the thoughts and feelings youve ever had about your addicted loved one. Better than that, Beautiful Boy is also a story of hope.

    Why Should I Read About Substance Use Disorders And Addictive Behaviors

    Setting Boundaries With Addicted Family Members (for your sanity and theirs!)

    With how prevalent an issue substance abuse is in our society, it is likely that you have come across someone or know of someone who has struggled with substance abuse issues.

    As addiction is an inability to prohibit certain behaviors or activities, you can be addicted to pretty much anything such as shopping, video games, or even internet surfing. The difference between addictions to alcohol and drug use is the capacity for damage.

    While being addicted to shopping, gaming, or internet surfing can harm you financially or socially, the consequences are typically manageable. With drug and alcohol addiction, the changes within the body and social rejection can lead to life-threatening situations.

    Reading information on these topics can help with understanding some signs that may arise within ourselves as well as within our loved ones. Building an understanding of this topic allows for hope in times of need.

    Don’t Miss: How To Beat Opiate Addiction

    Loving An Addict Loving Yourself Shows You How To Stop The Cycle Of Pain And Chaos

    Loving an Addict, Loving Yourself presents a dramatically fresh approach to help you get off your loved ones roller-coaster chaos of addiction, maintain your own sanity and serenity, and live your best life.

    The book clearly and simply outlines 10 things you can do to take back control of your life. It covers all aspects of loving an addict. It will help you:

    • Understand the true nature of addiction.
    • Face the truth even when you dont want to.
    • See your own behavior more clearly.
    • Set boundaries with the addict when they ask for something that will only hurt themor youfurther.
    • And most importantly, how to look after YOU.

    This book helps you see that its not your fault. Your intentions have been in the right place, you just havent known what to do. Youve done everything you can to try to help, and yet nothing youve done has worked. Its time for a new approachan approach that works!

    Candace Plattors work has effected a powerful positive change in my life.

    Loving An Addict, Loving Yourself was my crucial first step in breaking free from the pain of an addictive relationship. This little blue book is so wise and wonderful. It was instrumental in creating the joyful life Im now living.

    Thank you Candace!

    Alexandra P.

    Strung Out: One Last Hit And Other Lies That Nearly Killed Me By Erin Khar

    Addiction does not discriminate. All sorts of people can and do become addicts, from the stereotypes your brain box shows you when you think about addicts, to good people like Travis Rieder and overachiever Erin Khar. In her memoir, she discusses her introduction to heroin at 13 and the 15-year battle the followed it. This is a book thatll grab you by the throat and shake tears out of you.

    Recommended Reading: How To Rid Of Addiction

    Recovery: A Guide For Adult Children Of Alcoholics


    Herbert Gravitz and Julie D. Bowden explain the journey of recovery for adult children of alcoholics. This includes making the transition from ignorance to awareness to integration and self-acceptance.

    The authors offer a guide to determining which issues and treatment options are most appropriate for adult children of alcoholics and dysfunctional families.

    Memoirs Of An Addicted Brain: A Neuroscientist Examines His Former Life On Drugs By Marc Lewis

    Full E

    If you prefer a narrative story to an informational guide, then this is the book for you.

    For years, Marc Leis was a drug addict dependent on an array of substances, from LSD to heroin. Now, he is a distinguished neuroscientist.

    His book tells the compelling story of his experience as an addict, while simultaneously analyzing what was going on in his brain.

    Also Check: Where To Go For Drug Addiction

    Books Websites Videos And Other Resources To Help You Learn Craft

    Listed below are several ways for you to step into the work of learning the skills and perspectives that CRAFT-based approaches have to offer.

    There are many options available, so start with what ever seems most approachable to you. Like reading books? Click on the Books filter below to focus on the books available. Prefer to learn by watching videos? There are resources that offer that too. There are websites and community groups. Some options are free or donation based, others are offered for a fee. Some are specifically tailored to Parents. All of the resources listed here are available from anywhere, at anytime.

    There are other resources too that arent listed on this page. If you want to work one-on-one with a CRAFT-based provider, our Helping Families Help Provider Directory is the place to find that personal support. For time-based offerings such as ongoing groups see our Groups for Families page or for one-time workshop opportunities check out our Events for Families page.

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