Solutions Staff Picks For Addiction Recovery

Step into any bookstore and you will see countless genres, categories and sub-categories. One popular and seemingly growing section in every book store is how-to and self-help books.

These sections can be a bit overwhelming. Without some guidance, it may be tough to know which is the best book on yoga, cooking or our favorite; addiction recovery.

To assist in the difficult task of finding helpful books to read during the addiction recovery process, we asked the Solutions Recovery staff for a little help.

Recommendations by David Marlon

Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book

Alcoholics Anonymous-The Big Book-has served as a lifeline to millions worldwide. First published in 1939, Alcoholics Anonymous sets forth cornerstone concepts of recovery from alcoholism and tells the stories of men and women who have overcome the disease. With publication of the second edition in 1955, the third edition in 1976, and now the fourth edition in 2001, the essential recovery text has remained unchanged while personal stories have been added to reflect the growing and diverse fellowship. The long-awaited fourth edition features 24 new personal stories of recovery.

Drop the Rock

Resentment. Fear. Self-Pity. Intolerance. Anger. This cast of character defects will undermine the best-laid plans for recovery from addiction. It’s not uncommon for individuals in recovery to hang on to negative, self-defeating behaviors after they’ve given up their addiction. These are the “rocks” that can sink recovery – or, at the least, block further progress. With more than 100,000 copies sold, Drop the Rock is the definitive guide to removing character defects that can prevent gratifying, long-standing recovery. Based on the Twelve Step program, particularly the principles behind Steps Six and Seven, Drop the Rock combines personal stories, practical advice, and powerful insights to help readers move forward in recovery. The second edition features additional stories, a reference section, and information about starting a Drop the Rock study group.

Recover to Live

For most of his early life, Christopher Kennedy Lawford battled life-threatening drug and alcohol addictions. Now in recovery for more than 25 years, he works to effect change and raise global awareness of addiction in nonprofit, private, and government circles, serving as the goodwill ambassador for drug dependence treatment and care for the United Nations.

For the first time, Recover to Live brings together all of the most effective self-care treatments for the seven most toxic compulsions affecting every culture on the planet today—alcohol dependence, drug dependence, eating disorders, gambling, hoarding, smoking, sex, and porn.

In Recover to Live, more than 100 of the world’s top experts interviewed by Lawford share their research and wisdom on how to determine if your bad habit is becoming a dependency, what treatments will work best for you, how best to help yourself or a loved one recover from addiction, and how to lead a fulfilling and productive life in recovery.

Recommendations by Kristin Berg

Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction

What had happened to my beautiful boy? To our family? What did I do wrong? Those are the wrenching questions that haunted every moment of David Sheff’s journey through his son Nic’s addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery. Before Nic Sheff became addicted to crystal meth, he was a charming boy, joyous and funny, a varsity athlete and honor student adored by his two younger siblings. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who lied, stole, and lived on the streets. David Sheff traces the first subtle warning signs: the denial, the 3 A.M. phone calls (is it Nic? the police? the hospital?), the rehabs. His preoccupation with Nic became an addiction in itself, and the obsessive worry and stress took a tremendous toll. But as a journalist, he instinctively researched every avenue of treatment that might save his son and refused to give up on Nic.

Beautiful Boy is a fiercely candid memoir that brings immediacy to the emotional roller-coaster of loving a child who seems beyond help.

Recommendations by Tedi Anne Templeton

Just for Today: Daily Meditations for Recovering Addicts

One full Year of meditations and positive thoughts based on the 12 step programs. Each day is suggested reading and a prayer. Nice family bedtime prayer.

The Dance of Anger

“Anger is a signal and one worth listening to,” writes Dr. Harriet Lerner, in her renowned classic that has transformed the lives of millions of readers. While anger deserves our attention and respect, women still learn to silence our anger, to deny it entirely, or to vent it in a way that leaves us feeling helpless and powerless. In this engaging and eminently wise book, Dr. Lerner teaches women to identify the true sources of our anger and to use anger as a powerful vehicle for creating lasting change.

Symptoms of Withdrawal

Born into enormous privilege as well as burdened by gut-wrenching family tragedy, Christopher Kennedy Lawford now shares his life story, offering a rare glimpse into the private worlds of the rich and famous of both Washington politics and the Hollywood elite. A triumphantly inspiring memoir, the first from a Kennedy family member since Rose Kennedy’s 1974 autobiography, Lawford’s Symptoms of Withdrawal tells the bittersweet truth about life inside America’s greatest family legacy.

As the firstborn child of famed Rat Pack actor Peter Lawford and Patricia Kennedy, sister to John F. Kennedy, Christopher Kennedy Lawford grew up with presidents and movie stars as close relatives and personal friends.

Lawford recalls Marilyn Monroe teaching him to dance the twist in his living room when he was still a toddler, being awakened late at night by his uncle Jack to hear him announce his candidacy for president, being perched atop a high-roller craps table in Las Vegas while Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack swapped jokes and threw dice, and other treasured memories of his youth as part of America’s royal family.

In spite of this seemingly idyllic childhood, Lawford’s early life was marked by the traumatic assassinations of his beloved uncles Jack and Bobby, and he soon succumbed to the burgeoning drug scene of the 1970s during his teen years. With compelling realism mixed with equal doses of self-deprecating wit, youthful bravado, and hard-earned humility, Symptoms of Withdrawal chronicles Lawford’s deep and long descent into near-fatal drug and alcohol addiction, and his subsequent formidable path back to the sobriety he has preserved for the past twenty years.

Symptoms of Withdrawal is a poignantly honest portrayal of Lawford’s life as a Kennedy, a journey overflowing with hilarious insider anecdotes, heartbreaking accounts of Lawford’s addictions to narcoticsas well as to celebrity and, ultimately, the redemption he found by asserting his own independence.

In this groundbreaking, courageous, and exceptionally well-written memoir, Lawford steps forward to rise above the buried pain that first led to his addiction, and today lives mindfully by his time-tested mantra: “We are only as sick as the secrets we keep.” Symptoms of Withdrawal keeps no secrets and is a compelling testament to the power of truth.

Recommendations by Erin Grissmen

Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines

Nic Sheff was drunk for the first time at age eleven. In the years that followed, he would regularly smoke pot, do cocaine and Ecstasy, and develop addictions to crystal meth and heroin. Even so, he felt like he would always be able to quit and put his life together whenever he needed to. It took a violent relapse one summer in California to convince him otherwise. In a voice that is raw and honest, Nic spares no detail in telling us the compelling, heartbreaking, and true story of his relapse and the road to recovery. As we watch Nic plunge the mental and physical depths of drug addiction, he paints a picture for us of a person at odds with his past, with his family, with his substances, and with himself. It’s a harrowing portrait—but not one without hope.

Recommendations by Danuelle Shiflet

Lit: A Memoir

The Liars’ Club brought to vivid, indelible life Mary Karr’s hardscrabble Texas childhood. Cherry, her account of her adolescence, ‘continued to set the literary standard for making the personal universal’ (Entertainment Weekly). Now Lit follows the self-professed blackbelt sinner’s descent into the inferno of alcoholism and madness–and to her astonishing resurrection.

Karr’s longing for a solid family seems secure when her marriage to a handsome, Shakespeare-quoting blueblood poet produces a son they adore. But she can’t outrun her apocalyptic past. She drinks herself into the same numbness that nearly devoured her charismatic but troubled mother, reaching the brink of suicide. A hair-raising stint in ‘The Mental Marriott,’ with an oddball tribe of gurus and saviors, awakens her to the possibility of joy and leads her to an unlikely faith.

Not since Saint Augustine cried, ‘Give me chastity, Lord-but not yet!’ has a conversion story rung with such dark hilarity. Lit is about getting drunk and getting sober, becoming a mother by letting go of a mother, learning to write by learning to live. Written with Karr’s relentless honesty, unflinching self-scrutiny, and irreverent, lacerating humor, it is a truly electrifying story of how to grow up–as only Mary Karr can tell it.

Recommendations by Chris Gordon

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

Rooted in traditional Toltec wisdom beliefs, four agreements in life are essential steps on the path to personal freedom. As beliefs are transformed through maintaining these agreements, shamanic teacher and healer don Miguel Ruiz asserts lives will “become filled with grace, peace, and unconditional love.”

The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery

In this long-awaited sequel to The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz collaborates with his son, don Jose Ruiz, to offer another powerful agreement for transforming our lives. The fifth agreement encourages us to see the truth, to recover our authenticity, and to change the message we deliver not only to ourselves, but to everyone around us.

The Four Agreements provides the foundation for breaking thousands of agreements that create needless suffering and with The Fifth Agreement you recover all the power of your authenticity, which is who you really are when you are born.

Recommendations by Adam Higdon

Back To Basics

In this book, Wally P. will take you through the Twelve Steps as they were taken by the early A.A. pioneers. You will learn how to develop a direct two-way communication with the “God of your understanding”, and how to follow the “Guidance” you receive. You will have the opportunity to experience the life changing spiritual awakening that occurs as the direct result of completing the Twelve Steps in four one-hour sessions. In addition, you will learn how to become a “life changer” by carrying this life-saving message of hope to others.

Recommendations by Stella Margaritis

We All Fall Down: Living with Addiction

In his bestselling memoir Tweak, Nic Sheff took readers on an emotionally gripping roller-coaster ride through his days as a crystal meth and heroin addict.

Now in this powerful follow-up about his continued efforts to stay clean, Nic writes candidly about eye-opening stays at rehab centers, devastating relapses, and hard-won realizations about what it means to be a young person living with addiction.

Recommendations by Kim Miller

Moments of Clarity

In his New York Times bestselling memoir, Symptoms of Withdrawal, Christopher Kennedy Lawford chronicled his deep descent into near-fatal drug and alcohol addiction, and his subsequent hard-won journey back to sobriety, which he has maintained for more than twenty years. The overwhelming response his book received impressed upon Lawford the number of people struggling to find their own way back from addiction and the need to share their stories. The histories gathered here are the recollections of lives snatched back from the brink of a precipice so wide and deep it threatened to engulf them.

Moments of Clarity includes stories from men and women, young and old, across all barriers of celebrity, color, and class. Represented in these pages are the singer and the actress, the writer and the anchorman, the man from the movie screen and the woman who lives down the street. This book brings together a myriad of different moments, all with the common understanding of where these men and women have been and where they must go. As they bravely share their stories, they shed light not only on their own experiences but also on the journey we all take as human beings who are trying to make sense of our world.

Recommendations by James Halverson

A New Pair of Glasses

In a world of proliferating pop-psychology and self-help publications, a reasonable questioner might wonder if “A New Pair of Glasses” serves any purpose whatsoever: And, if so, what makes it different. I think the two most significant factors contributing to the special value of this book are that they represent the backbone of applied principles from the single most dynamic and successful philosophy of this century…discussed by a man who literally went from a “tongue-chewing, babbling idiot” to one of the most charismatic men in the world. Special Printings one through nine of this reproduction were hardcover editions and included the first 164 pages from the 1955 edition of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Don’t Let Your Emotions Run Your Life

When we are regularly undone by our emotions, we become victims of damaged relationships, trapped circumstances, self-sabotage, and illness. Don’t Let Your Emotions Run Your Life offers help to all of us who want to gain the upper hand on our feelings and our lives. Even high reactors, people disposed to experiencing strong, even overwhelming emotions on a regular basis, will find its strategies easy to use and effective at managing frequent emotional flare-ups.

This book develops proven DBT techniques into worksheets, exercises, and assessments that show you how to pay attention to emotions when they arise, assess blocks to controlling them, and overcome them to eliminate overpowering feelings. Learn what emotional triggers exist in your environment and become less judgmental about yourself when you do experience a surge. Avoid or reduce the distress that strong emotions cause you. This workbook teaches you to reduce the impact of painful feelings and increase the effects of positive ones so that you can tolerate life’s ongoing stresses and achieve a sense of calm coexistence with your emotions.