More than 19 million people struggle with addiction, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
While knowing that you’re not alone, that doesn’t make it easier. Addiction strains relationships.
It’s hard to know how to show your love and be there for your partner – while also being there for yourself.
Watching your loved one deteriorate right before your eyes is undeniably painful, especially when you don’t know how to help them.
If you’ve found yourself in this position, then it’s vital that you integrate yourself into the worldwide community of people who have similar experiences.
Finding people that you can relate to and turn towards for support is incredibly important, and many times in conversation you’ll hear books recommended that provide wisdom, insight, and help on topics like codependency, healthy boundary setting, and how to show love without enabling.
Knowing which books are best can take a lot of time, so we have created a list of resources here to make it easier.
15 best books on addiction for partners of addicts:
1. Afraid to Let Go. For Parents of Adult Addicts and Alcoholics by Mary Crocker Cook
All parents of addicted children are terrified, regardless of their child’s age.
This book provides support for the parents of addicts.
A licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Cook explores the developmental origins of codependency and helps parents to set boundaries and heal themselves, whether or not their adult child is sober.
2. Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
Codependency is prevalent among people whose loved ones are fighting addiction.
This book has sold more than 5 million copies and does a great job of explaining how to reign in any codependent tendencies.
3. Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change by Jeffrey Foote, Carrie Wilkens and Nicole Kosanke, with Stephanie Higgs
This book provides an engaging way to learn how to help your loved one who is suffering from an addiction.
Rather than encouraging you to check your loved one into rehab and detach from them, it teaches you to play an active and positive role in their life through kindness and love.
And don’t forget to take care of yourself as well. The book stresses the importance of self-care, as you need to take care of yourself before you can help anyone else.
4. Son Down, Son Up: How One Mother Battled Her Son’s Addiction, Found Hope and Survived by Brenda Seals
Who better to learn about loving an addict, than someone who has themselves?
Brenda Seals is the parent of an addict. In this book, she tells the agonizing story of how her son’s addiction affected her entire family.
She uses her personal experience to encourage others to find hope, even when it seems impossible.
5. Addict in the House: a No-Nonsense Family Guide Through Addiction & Recovery by Robin Barnett
Anyone who loves an addict should check out this book by Robin Barnett, an expert in alcohol and drug addiction and recovery.
As the title denotes, the no-nonsense guide will help you understand the causes of addiction. It will teach you how to end enabling behaviors, support your loved one’s recovery, and cope with their relapses.
6. Everything Changes: Help for Families of Newly Recovering Addicts by Beverly Conyers
This book is particularly great if your loved one has already started taking steps towards sobriety.
While you likely feel relief from your loved one’s life-changing decision, a new and difficult set of obstacles is heading your way.
Recovery is as difficult as it is rewarding, and this book will help you to navigate these new challenges.
7. Memoirs of an Addicted Brain: a Neuroscientist Examines His Former Life on Drugs by Marc Lewis
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.
8. Loving an Addict, Loving Yourself: The Top 10 Survival Tips for Loving Someone with an Addiction by Candace Platto
Whether you are the parent, spouse or relative of an addict, this is the perfect first book for you to read.
Candace Platto provides 10 tips to help you navigate the struggles that come with loving an addict.
She highlights the importance of self-care and advises you on how to support your loved one.
9. Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction by Maia Szalavitz
While other books on this list focus on relatable anecdotes and helpful advice, this book takes a more detached and scientific look at addiction.
Addiction is a disease and Maia Szalavitz acknowledges that fact. Only by understanding the reality of this disease, can you start to comprehend what your loved one is going through.
10. I Love You, More: Short Stories of Addiction, Recovery, and Loss from the Family’s Perspective by Blake E. Cohen
This book takes a different approach to help those who love an addict.
It is a collection of fictitious tales about addiction told from a family member’s point of view.Reveal your best, with the best, at European Wax Center.Whether it’s with an eyebrow wax or a full Brazilian, our experts will help you feel as sensational on the outside as you do on the inside.Ad by European Wax Center See More
Though not a list of tips or scientific analysis, Blake E. Cohen’s book reminds you that you are not alone in this difficult situation.
11. Terry: My Daughter’s Life-and-Death Struggle with Alcoholism by George McGovern
Sadly, not all recovery stories have a happy ending.
In this heartbreaking memoir, George McGovern — the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee — shares the painful and tragic story of his daughter’s fatal fight with alcoholism.
12. In the Realm of Hungry Ghost: Close Encounters with Addiction by Dr. Gabor Mate
Dr. Gabor Mate has two decades of experience as a medical doctor working with addicts in the most dire and hopeless positions.
In this book, he combines personal stories with scientific evidence to provide positive support and solutions regarding addiction.
13. Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff
When you love an addict, it’s inevitable that you find yourself asking questions like “what did I do wrong?”
This compelling memoir — which in 2018 was turned into a film starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet — follows a man who found himself asking these same questions when his son became addicted to meth.
14. It’s Not Okay to Be a Cannibal: How to Keep Addiction from Eating Your Family Alive by Andrew T Wainwright and Robert Poznanovich
Using compelling case histories and real-life scenarios, the authors and interventionalists, provide a course of action to help those who love addicts break free from the painful clutch of addiction.
15. Who Says I’m an Addict? by David Smallwood
If you’ve found yourself questioning whether or not someone you love is an addict, then this book is a must-read.
David Smallwood, who is both a former addict and renowned psychotherapist, takes a deep dive into addiction, answering what it is, what causes it and how to recover from it.
Originally published on YourTango