Recovery gives you back your time. You may find yourself with more time on your hands than you remember how to fill. When you were using, every minute was spent thinking about, getting, and using drugs. When drugs no longer consume your life, you get to explore new interests and hobbies. One of these may be reading. Reading empowers your recovery. It strengthens your brain, offers healthy avenues of escape, and lets you know you are never alone. Reading can give you hope for the future. It helps you learn more about yourself and your addiction. Consider picking up one of the books listed below. Experiment to find what kinds of books interest and inspire you!
Self-Help Books for Opiate Addicts in Recovery
If you’re looking for a book that will directly empower your recovery, look no further than a self-help book! Workbooks can support or expand the benefits of therapy sessions. A study published in PLOS One found therapy supported by the use of a self-help book, “is substantially more effective than treatment as usual.” If you’re looking for a good self-help book, you may be interested in one of the following:
- Overcoming Prescription Drug Addiction: A Guide to Coping and Understanding by Rod Colvin
- How to Quit Drugs for Good: A Complete Self-Help Guide by Jerry Dorsman
History of Opiates and Opiate Addiction
There is endless debate about the origins of drugs, addiction, and drug law. Learning a little about history puts your use in context. You may be surprised by what you learn! Considering trying out some of the following:
- Medicating Modern America: Prescription Drugs in History by Andrea Tone and Elizabeth Watkins
- Dark Paradise: A History of Opiate Addiction in America by David T. Courtwright
- The History of Drugs – Opiates by Nancy Harris
If impersonal history doesn’t interest you or you’d like another perspective, you can read about history from specific viewpoints. Some fact-based books also include author commentary and a look at others’ opinions. If this approach to history and learning interests you, you may like these:
- Heroin by Humberto Fernandez
- Prescription Drug Addiction: The Hidden Epidemic by Rod Colvin
- Addiction by Prescription by Joan E Gadsby
You can also call treatment centers like Michael’s House to learn facts about addiction, treatment, and recovery from a live person. You can get further reading recommendations. You can learn how reading can support your rehab experience and your long-term recovery.
Autobiographies by Opiate Addicts
Autobiographies by opiate addicts help you find community even in solitude. You can read the words of others who have been where you are. You can read about people who have found a better life free from addiction. You may even be inspired to write your own memoir! Some books you may like include the following:
- The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star by Nikki Sixx
- How to Stop Time: Heroin from A to Z by Ann Marlowe
- A Small Journal of Heroin Addiction by Robin Marchesi
Fiction That Focuses on Opiate Addicts and Addiction
Don’t write off the power of fiction! While you can directly relate to autobiographies and learn facts from history and research-based texts, you gain emotional context from fiction. New York Magazine suggests, “Reading complex literature, including poetry, requires an agility of mind to consider multiple meanings and that this mental ability then translates to real life, allowing the reader to respond flexibly and with open-mindedness to their own trials and tribulations.” As you explore fiction, you explore your relationship to yourself, your experiences, and the world around you. This can help you reevaluate stressful or potentially triggering situations. It can help you put the past in perspective and shape multiple ideas about the future. The following novels tell the stories of addicts and addiction and may offer a new way of looking at your past drug use:
- Smack by Melvin Burgess
- Candy: A Novel of Love and Addiction by Luke Davies
- Beauty Queen by Linda Glovach
- Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
Anyone have any favorites they’d like to add to the list?
 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0052735. “Guided Self-Help Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Depression in Primary Care: A Randomised Controlled Trial.” PLOS One.11 Jan 2013. Web. 13 Mar 2017.
 http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/09/does-literature-really-beef-up-your-brain.html. “Does Reading Literature Really Beef Up Your Brain?” New York Magazine. 3 Sep 2015. Web. 13 Mar 2017.