Addiction is a personal journey that has its own struggles, but addicts don’t go through their conditions alone. Whether facing alcoholism or addiction, the individual’s loved ones also suffer. Addiction and remission can be overwhelming for everyone involved.

For someone with an addicted loved one, there are no substitutes for therapy and counseling sessions to process their emotions and learn coping techniques to be good support. At Olympus Recovery, we can help you find the resources you need — but that’s only half of the equation. The right books can help spouses, children, and parents of substance abusers learn more about addiction, substance abuse, and recovery.

1. ‘Addict in the House: A No-Nonsense Family Guide Through Addiction and Recovery’ by Robin Barnett

“Addict in the House” outlines the causes of addiction as well as enabling behaviors. Written for family members who don’t know how to best support their addicted loved one, this resource explains how to help and how to handle relapses. The author also provides practical advice on accepting the reality of addiction.

2. ‘Addiction Dilemmas: Family Experiences from Literature and Research and Their Lessons for Practice’ by Jim Orford

“Addiction Dilemmas” discusses how addiction impacts the families and loved ones of addicted persons in a series of narratives, then pairs that information with research on addiction.

3. ‘The Addiction Recovery Skills Workbook’ by Suzette Glasner-Edwards

“The Addiction Recovery Skills Workbook” is a workbook to help recovering addicts create a treatment plan, but families of addicted people may benefit from the resource as well. Meant to be used with therapy or rehab, it provides an overview of motivational techniques, behavior therapy options, and strategies for mindfulness.

4. ‘The Addiction Solution’ by Lloyd Sederer

“The Addiction Solution” was written by an addiction and mental health expert. It provides an empathetic overview of what medical professionals know about the science of addiction and recovery, as well as case studies.

5. ‘The American Opioid Epidemic’ by Michael T. Compton (Editor); Marc W. Manseau (Editor)

“The American Opioid Epidemic” was written for mental health professionals. It contains the latest clinical information on substance abuse — opioids, in particular. While the book is geared toward practicing psychiatrists and those studying to practice, it has information about opioid addiction that some people may find helpful.

6. ‘The Clinic and Elsewhere: Addiction, Adolescents, and the Afterlife of Therapy’ by Todd Meyers

“The Clinic and Elsewhere” looks at the impact of drug dependency and substance abuse while diving into current medical intervention methods.

7. ‘Dopesick’ by Beth Macy

“Dopesick” takes a hard look at medical culture, making a case that strong painkillers have been over-prescribed since the late 1990s, after the introduction of OxyContin.

8. ‘The Essential Guidebook to Mindfulness in Recovery’ by John Bruna

“The Essential Guidebook to Mindfulness in Recovery” was written by a former Buddhist monk. It discusses seven areas of mindfulness — values, attention, wisdom, equanimity, compassion, loving-kindness, and action — and explores meditations or reflections to help achieve those skills.

9. ‘Group Activities for Families in Recovery’ by Joan Zimmerman; Jon L. (Louis) Winek

“Group Activities for Families in Recovery” outlines activities for families that include at least one person struggling with addiction. The exercises are meant to help families move from dysfunctional behaviors to improved communication.

10. ‘Hijacked Brains: The Experience and Science of Chronic Addiction’ by Henrietta Robin Barnes

“Hijacked Brains” is written from the perspective of a primary physician. It brings together narratives from patients in treatment with neuroscience research to describe how addiction hijacks brain functions. It is a useful book for understanding addiction as a chronic illness and the physical challenges of recovery.

11. ‘It Takes a Family’ by Debra Jay

“It Takes a Family” describes an approach families can take to supporting addicted loved ones. The author outlines a compassionate model that makes families part of the recovery team and describes actions loved ones can take to support recovery. The book emphasizes the first year of sobriety.

12. ‘Learning the Language of Addiction Counseling’ by Geri Miller

“Learning the Language of Addiction Counseling” is a book geared toward therapists, social workers, and students. It explains the why’s and how’s of addiction counseling while outlining the knowledge needed to counsel people caught in the cycle of addiction.

13. ‘Loving Our Addicted Daughters Back to Life’ by Linda Dahl

“Loving Our Addicted Daughters Back to Life” is a gender-specific guidebook for parents with daughters struggling with addiction. It covers topics such as how to recognize substance abuse in young women, communicate with addicted daughters, have a dialogue with their caregivers, and cope with the guilt or shame many parents of addicts feel.

14. ‘Mothers, Addiction and Recovery’ by Wendy E. Peterson; Laura Lynne Armstrong; Michelle A. Foulkes

“Mothers, Addiction and Recovery” is focused on the journey of recovery. It includes personal stories, an overview of addiction research, and outlines of substance abuse treatment approaches.

15. ‘Never Enough’ by Judith Grisel

“Never Enough” explores how different drugs impact the brain and explains why those effects make it so difficult to stop using harmful substances. This is a good book for understanding the root of addictive behavior from a scientific perspective.

16. ‘Overcoming Alcohol Problems’ by Barbara S. McCrady and Elizabeth E. Epstein

“Overcoming Alcohol Problems” is a workbook geared toward the unique challenges of alcoholism or substance abuse in couples. It is made for people actively in therapy and covers everything from relapse prevention to monitoring progress.

17. ‘Prescription Drug Abuse’ by Howard L. Forman and Robert L. Bryant

“Prescription Drug Abuse” describes substance abuse addiction as an epidemic. It explores the risks of using drugs and explains the controversial issues in addressing addiction as a public health issue.

18. ‘A Sober Mom’s Guide to Recovery’ by Rosemary O’Connor

“A Sober Mom’s Guide to Recovery” provides advice for mothers recovering from addiction, covering 50 topics from stress to relapse, dating to parenting. While it is written with the addict as an audience, loved ones may benefit from better understanding the path to recovery and the unique stresses mothers with addictions experience as they get help for their substance abuse problems.

19. ‘Strength, Support, Setbacks and Solutions’ by David Best

“Strength, Support, Setbacks and Solutions” is a handbook that explains the pathways to addiction recovery. It contains stories from people who have achieved recovery from substance abuse, including alcohol and drugs.

20. ‘Women and Recovery’ by Kitty Harris

“Women and Recovery” was written by a counselor who is a recovering alcoholic and has been sober for more than 30 years. She presents a model for recovery that focuses on the unique stresses and pressures that women face and how those factors can impact cycles of addiction.

Getting Help to Support Your Addicted Loved One

Supporting a loved one through addiction and recovery is incredibly challenging. Make sure that you are getting the support you need. Reading the right books will help, but consider getting help for your journey as the spouse, parent, child, brother, sister, or friend of an addicted person. Contact Olympus Recovery to learn your options and discover what resources are available for you.




–       The Addiction Solution by Lloyd Sederer

–       Dopesick by Beth Macy

–       The Essential Guidebook to Mindfulness in Recovery by John Bruna

–       Never Enough by Judith Grisel

–       Prescription Drug Abuse by Howard L. Forman and Robert L. Bryant


–       Importance of support (not a book resource)


–       The Addiction Solution by Lloyd Sederer

–       The American Opioid Epidemic by Michael T. Compton (Editor); Marc W. Manseau (Editor)

–       Mothers, Addiction and Recovery by Wendy E. Peterson; Laura Lynne Armstrong; Michelle A. Foulkes


–       Hijacked Brains by Henrietta Robin Barnes

–       Learning the Language of Addiction Counseling by Geri Miller

–       Strength, Support, Setbacks and Solutions by David Best


–       Addiction and Responsibility by George Graham; Jeffrey Poland

–       Addiction Dilemmas: Family Experiences from Literature and Research and Their Lessons for Practice by Jim Orford

–       The Clinic and Elsewhere: Addiction, Adolescents, and the Afterlife of Therapy by Todd Meyers


–       Addict in the House by Robin Barnett

–       It Takes a Family by Debra Jay

–       Loving Our Addicted Daughters Back to Life by Linda Dahl

–       Overcoming Alcohol Problems by Barbara S. McCrady; Elizabeth E. Epstein

–       A Sober Mom’s Guide to Recovery by Rosemary O’Connor

–       Women and Recovery by Kitty Harris


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