Families of addicts are seeking understanding and solutions, which many books on the market today can help with. However, it is usually advised that family members of addicts and alcoholics attend meetings with organizations like Al-Anon, Families Anonymous, and ACOA, in addition to individual counseling alongside these reads. These works will give you a deep understanding of addiction and the challenges that drug users’ families and individuals confront. See our top 6 books for family members of addicts below.
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Books for Family Members of Addicts
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts
Dr. Gabor Mate is a well-known speaker whose insight is valued due to his knowledge of addiction, trauma, child development, and the link between stress and sickness. In this book, Mate explains his theory that early childhood trauma has a significant role in adult addiction. Mate thinks our early subconscious memories may contribute to some trauma; this memory without a direct remembrance of the experience is called implicit memory.
The scope of this book includes a personalized view of Dr. Mate’s patients, where he weaves together the most recent research on addiction and the brain with the stories of real people. Dr. Mate also evaluates his own history of obsessive conduct. Finally, he proposes a sympathetic technique for assisting drug users in filling the void behavioral addictions attempt to placate.
This is a good read for those who find themselves often asking the question, “why?” Why did this happen to my loved one?
Unfortunately, friends and family can look at the disease model of addiction and view the addict as helpless, leading to co-dependent behaviors. Whether or not addiction is a disease, we must empower our loved ones and know they can have the strength within them to overcome addiction.
Dr. Kevin McCauley Pleasure Unwoven is a book/study guide exploring whether addiction is a disease. The book itself accompanies a documentary you can also watch. This read will further your understanding of this school of thought and help you to support yourself and your loved one.
In this study, Dr. Kevin McCauley reviews the most recent addiction research and explains the brain regions involved in addiction using the breathtaking scenery of Utah’s State and National Parks. It transforms challenging neuroscientific ideas into understandable visual imagery that can reassure addicts that recovery is feasible.
This is another book that goes along with a film written from the perspective of a father, David Sheff, and his son, who struggled with addiction. Nic was a bright and joyful boy who excelled academically and as a varsity athlete before developing a crystal meth addiction. His bright, happy world changed after addiction.
Beautiful Boy is an excellent read if you’re searching for a writer to relate to who is similarly concerned with a loved one’s addiction. In this book, David Sheff delves into Nic’s reluctant attempts at recovery and the many questions that plagued him. As a father, he learned that caring for his son had become an addiction in and of itself, forcing David to accept what most loved ones have to: “this is something only the addict can repair.”
Addict in the Family
This is a comforting read written by Beverly Conyers. Sometimes as a loved one to an addict, we also need someone to hear us and understand. Reading books that help us not to feel so alone can be healing. Often this emotional distress stems from the belief that we did something to cause the addiction or contributed later. However, family members are not at blame for their loved one’s addiction, nor are they capable of managing or treating it, as poignant narratives demonstrate in this read.
Family members can seek support, set limits, and set boundaries to detach from their loved one’s addiction and enjoy life more fully. And this book helps us to see why this is important for everyone involved.
Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
If someone else’s condition begins to influence you, you’re probably codependent. It’s natural to rush in to aid individuals we care about while they’re in pain or struggling, but that rarely helps. The great thing about Codependent No More, is that it enables you to overcome old habits and maintain healthy boundaries by using exercises, personal reflections, and instructive examples from real individuals who have faced similar situations.
Codependency is the biggest trap for any friend or family member of an addict. Melody Beattie does an excellent job of laying out how to control our codependent tendencies.This book is for you if you’ve lost sight of your own life while dealing with a loved one’s disease.
It’s Not Okay to Be a Cannibal: How to Keep Addiction from Eating Your Family Alive
This book is written by two famous interventionalists, Andrew T. Wainwright and Robert Poznanovich. Throughout their career, they have learned that addiction is a sickness that ruins families, not just the addict. The defining characteristics of families with addiction include secrecy, sadness, anger, and bewilderment.
These two professionals have helped so many families confront addiction that this is their survival guide. Through engaging case studies and real-life scenarios, the authors describe a practicable plan of action for families to escape the grip of addiction. This process culminates in an intervention for the addict.
Sanctuary Recovery Foundation
If you are the loved one of an addict, your life is just as impacted, and you need just as much support as the addict themselves. Books are a great place to start for both comfort and guidance. Sanctuary Recovery Foundation is a supportive sober living home dedicated to helping your loved one find sobriety. Contact us to discover more.