be a prt of the conversation reading materials for addiction and substance use disorder in families

This extensive list of recommended reading was made possible by many friends of Be a Part of the Conversation.

Feel free to suggest other publications that you believe would be helpful by sending us an email, and please include the book title, author, and suggested category.

*Recommended for those just getting started.

*Addict in the Family
by Beverly Conyers

*Everything Changes: Help for Families of Newly Recovering Addicts
by Beverly Conyers

*Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book, 4th Edition
by AA Services

Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence
by Dr. Anna Lembke

Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions
by Russell Brand

The Chemical Carousel: What Science Tells us About Beating Addiction
by Dirk Hanson

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction
by Gabor Mate

Beyond Addiction
by Jeffrey Foote, Carrie Wilkens, Nicole Kosanke

Loved One in Treatment? Now What! An Essential Handbook for Family Members and Friends Navigating the Path of a Loved One’s Addiction, Treatment and Recovery
by Lisa Frederiksen

Crossing the Line: From Alcohol Use to Abuse to Dependence
by Lisa Frederiksen

Addictive Thinking
by Abraham Twerski

Recover to Live:  Kick Any Habit, Manage Any Addiction:
Your Self-Treatment Guide to Alcohol, Drugs, Eating Disorders, Gambling, Hoarding, Smoking, Sex, and Porn
by Christopher Kennedy Lawford

What Addicts Know: 10 Lessons from Recovery to Benefit Everyone
by Christopher Kennedy Lawford

Young, Sober & Free: Experience, Strength, and Hope for Young Adults
by Shelly Marshall

Why Don’t They Just Quit?
by by Joe Herzanek and Judy Herzanek

Passages Through Recovery:  An Action Plan for Preventing Relapse
by Terence T. Gorski

When Your Teen is in Treatment:  A Guide For Parents
Perkins & Perkins, 1990

Helping Your Chemically Dependent Teenager Recover. A Guide for Parents and Other Concerned Adults.
by Peter R. Cohen, 1991

Parenting for Prevention:  How to Raise a Child to Say No to Alcohol/Drugs.
by David J. Wilmes, 1988

One Breath at a Time:  Buddhism and the Twelve Steps
by Kevin Edward Griffin

The 12-Step Buddhist:  Enhance Recovery from Any Addiction
by Darren Littlejohn

When Bad Things Happen to Good People
by Harold S. Kushner

The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning
by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham

Get Your Loved One Sober. Alternatives to Nagging, Pleading, and Threatening.
Meyers & Wolfe

Reclaim Your Family From Addiction. How Couples and Families Recover Love and Meaning.
by Craig Nakken

by Vernon Johnson

Stage II Recovery:  Life Beyond Addiction
by Earnie Larsen

Weed, Inc.
by Ben Cort

Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence Hardcover
by Alex Berenson

Marijuana: The Unbiased Truth about the World’s Most Popular Weed
by Kevin P. Hill

Marijuana Debunked: A handbook for parents, pundits and politicians who want to know the case against legalization.
by Ed Gogek

*Recommended for those just getting started.

*Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
by Melody Beattie, 1986

*Codependent’s Guide to the Twelve Steps:  How to Find the Right Program for You and Apply Each of the Twelve Steps to Your Own Issues
by Melody Beattie

*The Language of Letting Go
by Melody Beattie

Beyond Codependency
by Melody Beattie, 1986

Adult Children of Alcoholics
by Janet Geringer Woititz

Don’t Let Your Kids Kill You:  A Guide for Parents of Drug and Alcohol Addicted Children
by Charles Rubin

Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children:  Six Steps to Hope and Healing for Struggling Parents
by Allison Bottke

Codependence. The Dance of the Wounded Souls
by Robert Burney

When Our Grown Kids Disappoint Us:  Letting Go of Their Problems, Loving Them Anyway, and Getting on with Our Lives
by Jane Adams, PhD

Tending Dandelions: Honest Meditations for Mothers with Addicted Children
by Sandy Swenson

Courage to Change: One Day at a Time in Al-Anon II
by Al-Anon Family Group

Recovering Joy: A Mindful Life After Addiction Kindle Edition
by Kevin Griffin 

If You Loved Me, You’d Stop! What You Really Need to Know When Your Loved One Drinks Too Much
by Lisa Frederiksen

Buzzed:  The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy
by Cynthia Kuhn, PhD; Scott Swarzwelder, PhD; and Wilkie Wilson, PhD

Getting Tough on Gateway Drugs:  A Guide for the Family.
by Robert L. Dupont

The Selfish Brain: Learning from Addiction
by Robert L. DuPont; Forward by Betty Ford

Boundaries – Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life
by Henry Cloud & John Townsend

High: Everything You Want to Know About Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction
by David Sheff & Nic Sheff 

Why Don’t They Just Quit? What Families and Friends Need to Know About Addiction and Recovery
by Joe Herzanek

Love First: A Family’s Guide to Intervention
by Jeff Jay & Debra Jay

Under the Influence: A Guide to the Myths and Realities of Alcoholism
by James Robert Milam and Katherine Ketcham

Choices & Consequences:  What To Do When a Teenager Uses Drugs/Alcohol, A Step-by-Step System That Really Works.
by Dick Schaefer and Pamela Espeland

I’ve Got This Friend Who: Advice for Teens and Their Friends on Alcohol, Drugs, Eating Disorders, Risky Behavior and More
by America’s Teens & the Experts at KidsPeace. Edited by Anna Radev

Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy!  Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind.
by Michael Bradley

The Case Against Homework:  How Homework is Hurting Children and What Parents Can Do About It
by Sara Bennett

The Battle Over Homework:  Common Ground for Administrators, Teachers and Parents
by Harris Cooper

The Homework Myth:  Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Think
by Alfie Kohn

The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure
by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff

Punished by Rewards:  The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes
by Alfie Kohn

Colleges That Change Lives:  40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges
by Loren Pope

The Last Lecture
by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow

The Death and Life of the Great American School System:  How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education
by Diane Ravitch

High Schools on a Human Scale:  How Small Schools Can Transform American Education
by Thomas Toch

“The Character Test,” NYTimes Magazine, 9/18/11, p. 38
(alternative title:  “What if the Secret to Success is Failure?”)
>> Click here for link.
by Paul Tough

Waiting for Superman:  How We Can Save America’s Failing Public Schools
by Karl Weber

Long Bright River
by Liz Moore

Addiction on Trial: Tragedy in Downeast Maine
by Steven Kassels

The Bridge Club: A Novel Kindle Edition
by Patricia Sands

Requiem for a Dream
by Hubert Selby, Jr.

The Spectacular Now
by Tim Tharp

Grief One Day at a Time
Alan D. Wolfet, Ph.D.

Life After the Death of My Son: What I’m Learning
by Dennis L. Apple

I Am Your Disease: The Many Faces of Addiction
by Sheryl Letzgus McGinnis

One-Way Ticket: Our Son’s Addiction to Heroin
by Rita Lowenthal

Life Between Falls, A Travelogue Through Grief and the Unexpected
by Julie Lange

Beyond Tears: Living After Losing a Child
by Carol, Barkin, Audrey Cohen, Lorenza Colletti, Barbara Eisenberg, Barbara J. Goldstein, Madelaine Perri Kasden, Phyllis Levine, Ariella Long and Rita Volpe, in collaboration with Ellen Mitchell

How to Survive the Worst That Can Happen: A Parent’s Step by Step Guide to Healing After the Loss of a Child
by Sandy Peckinpah

Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief
by Martha Whitmore Hickman

The Bereaved Parent
by Harriet Sarnoff Schiff

Losing Jonathan
by Robert Waxler and Linda Waxler

When the Bough Breaks: Forever After the Death of a Son or Daughter
by Judith R. Bernstein

From a Grieving Mother’s Heart
by Terri Ann Leidich

When a Child Dies from Drugs: Practical Help for Parents in Bereavement
by Pat Wittberger and Russ Wittberger

My Daughter’s Addiction: A Thief in the Family – Hardwired for Heroin
by Marie Minnich

From My Heart: Expressions of a Grieving Mother
by Lisa McCann

Living When a Loved One Has Died
by Earl A. Grollman

Books for children:

Badger’s Parting Gifts (ages 4 through 8)
by Susan Varley

I Miss You: A First Look at Death (ages 4 and up)
by Pat Thomas

The Next Place (ages 5 and up)
by Warren Hanson

When Someone Very Special Dies: Children Can Learn to Cope with Grief (ages 9 through 12)
by Marge Heegaard

When Your Adult Child Breaks Your Heart:  Coping With Mental Illness, Substance Abuse, And The Problems That Tear Families Apart
by Joel Young, MD, with Christine Adamec

Behind Happy Faces. Taking Charge of Your Mental Health. A Guide for Young Adults.
by Ross Szabo, Melanie Hall

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma Paperback – September 8, 2015
by Bessel van der Kolk M.D.

The Bipolar Child:  The Definitive and Reassuring Guide to Childhood’s Most Misunderstood Disorder
by Demitri Papolos, MD and Janice Papolos

The Bipolar Teen: What You Can Do to Help Your Child and Your Family
by David J. Miklowitz and Elizabeth L. George

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness
by Kay Redfield Jamison

Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder
by Paul Mason MS and Randi Kreger

I Am Not Sick I Don’t Need Help: How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment
by Xavier Amador

Overcoming Perfectionism
by Ann W. Smith

Detour: My Bipolar Road Trip in 4-D
by Lizzie Simon

Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls
by Mary Pipher

The Anger Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help You Deal With Anger and Frustration
by Raychelle Cassada Lohmann

The Lost Boy: A Foster Child’s Search for the Love of a Family
by Dave Pelzer

The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
by Ross W. Greene

Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences
by Leonard Sax M.D., Ph.D.

ADHD Nation: Children, Doctors, Big Pharma, and the Making of an American Epidemic
by Alan Schwarz

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America
by Beth Macy

If You Love Me: A Mother’s Journey Through Her Daughter’s Opioid Addiction
by Maureen Cavanagh

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic
by Sam Quinones

The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence
by Jessica Lahey

The Teenage Brain:  A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults
by Frances E. Jensen, MD with Amy Ellis Nutt

The Parent’s 20 Minute Guide
by The Center for Motivation and Change

Raising Happiness:  10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents
by Christine Carter

The Grandfamily Guidebook:  Wisdom & Support for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
by Andrew Adesman, MD and Christine Adamec

Grandparents as Parents, Second Edition: A Survival Guide for Raising a Second Family
by Sylvie de Toledo & Deborah Edler Brown

The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconncted and Unhappy Kids
By Madeline Levine, Ph.D.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
by Amy Chua

Adolescent Drug & Alcohol Abuse
by Nikki Babbit

Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy!  Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind.
by Michael Bradley

7 Things Your Teenager Won’t Tell You: And How to Talk About Them Anyway
by Jenifer Marshall Lippincott

Letting Go With Love and Confidence:  Raising Responsible, Resilient, Self-sufficient Teens in the 21st Century
by Kenneth Ginsburg

Building Resilience in Children and Teens:  Giving Kids Roots and Wings
by Kenneth Ginsburg

Less Stress, More Success:  A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through College Admissions and Beyond
by Marilee Jones & Kenneth Ginsburg

Unconditional Parenting:  Moving From Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
by Alfie Kohn

The Blessing of a B Minus:  Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Resilient Teenager
by Wendy Mogel

Staying Connected to Your Teenager:  How To Keep Them Talking to You and How To Hear What They’re Really Saying
by Michael Riera

Motivated Minds:  Raising Children To Love Learning
by Deborah Stipek

Positive Pushing:  How To Raise a Successful and Happy Child
by Jim Taylor

The Good School:  How Smart Parents Get Their Kids the Education They Deserve
by Peg Tyre

The Hurried Child:  Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon
by David Elkind

The Power of Play:  How Spontaneous, Imaginative Activities Lead to Happier, Healthier Children
by David Elkind

Under Pressure:  Rescuing Our Children From the Culture of Hyper-Parenting
by Carl Honoré

Last Child in the Woods:  Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
by Richard Louv

Revolution in the Bleachers:  How Parents Can Take Back Family Life in a World Gone Crazy Over Youth Sports
by Regan McMahon

The Reading Promise:  My Father and the Books We Shared
by Alice Ozma

Simplicity Parenting:  Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids
by Kim Payne

The Over-Scheduled Child:  Avoiding the Hyper-Parenting Trap
by Alvin Rosenfeld

Standing in the Storm
>> Find it here.  Compiled by Pam & Bill Roberts.

Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children
by Allison Bottke

Everything Changes: Help for Families of Newly Recovering Addicts
by Beverly Conyers

It’s Not About You Except When It Is
by Barbara Victoria

If You Love Me: A Mother’s Journey Through Her Daughter’s Opioid Addiction
by Maureen Cavanagh

The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children
by Stormie Omartian

The Parent’s 20 Minute Guide
by The Center for Motivation and Change

Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction
by Elizabeth Vargas

Under Our Roof:  A Son’s Battle for Recovery, a Mother’s Battle for Her Son
Madeleine Dean and Harry Cunnane

American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot
by Craig Ferguson

Beautiful Boy
by David Sheff

The Joey Song
by Sandy Swenson

The Big Fix: Hope After Heroin
by Tracey Helton Mitchell

Stay Close:  A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Addiction
by Libby Cataldi

Broken:  My Story of Addiction and Redemption
by William Cope Moyers and Katherine Ketcham

Dry. A Memoir.
by Augusten Burroughs

If You Love Me: A Mother’s Journey Through Her Daughter’s Opioid Addiction
by Maureen Cavanagh

Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction
by Maia Szalavitz

The Lost Years: Surviving a Mother and Daughter’s Worst Nightmare
by Kristina Wandzilak

Symptoms of Withdrawal
by Christopher Kennedy Lawford

Moments of Clarity
by Christopher Kennedy Lawford

An Unquiet Mind
by K. Redfield Jamison

Beyond Belief
by Josh Hamilton

Come Back:  A Mother and Daughter’s Journey Through Hell and Back
by Claire and Mia Fontaine

Trilogy:  The Liars’ Club | Cherry | Lit
by Mary Karr

Detour: My Bipolar Road Trip in 4-D
by Lizzie Simon

My Name is Bill (Biography of Bill Wilson, founder of Alcoholics Anonymous)
by Susan Cheever

Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top
by Joey Kramer (of Aerosmith)

The Tender Bar
by J.R. Moehringer

The Glass Castle: A Memoir 
by Jeannette Walls

Basketball Junkie
by Chris Herren

Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety
by Sacha Z. Scoblic

Tweak:  Growing Up on Methamphetamines
by Nick Sheff

Wishful Drinking
by Carrie Fisher

Wishes and Worries: Coping with a Parent Who Drinks Too Much Alcohol
Center for Addiction & Mental Health

Critters Cry Too: Explaining Addiction to Children
by Anthony Curcio

Explaining Addiction for Kids
by Tracy Bryan

An Elephant In the Living Room The Children’s Book
by Jill M. Hastings, MS and Marion H. Typpo, PhD

The Queen Who Saved Herself: A story to help children understand addiction
by Fiona Purcell

Too Much Of A Good Thing…A Kid’s Guide To Understanding Addiction
by Tracy Bryan

My Dad Loves Me. My Dad Has a Disease. A child’s view of living with addiction.
by Claudia Black, PhD

But It’s Just a Game (about gaming addiction)
by Julia Cook

The Sofa Sloths (encourages screen-free activities)
by Miriam Kay

Up and Down the Mountain: Helping Children Cope with Parental Alcoholism
by Pamela Leib Higgins

Mom’s Addiction: Helping Children Understand Addiction
by Carolyn Hannan Bell

Dad’s Addiction: Helping Children Understand Addiction
by Carolyn Hannan Bell

My Dad is a Drug Addict 
by Barnetta Sanford

The Wisdom Tree (Helping Young Children Understand Addiction In Families)
by David & Andrew Kempf

Addictions Workbook for Children: for parents and teachers too.
by Michael R. Basso

The Addiction Monster & the Square Cat
by Sheryl Letzgus McGinnis

Mommy’s Coming Home from Treatment
by Denise D. Crosson, PhD

Watching My Parents Disappear: Teens Write about Addiction in the Family
edited by Laura Longhine

Teens Affected by Addiction: Stories and Advice from people who have grown up with an addict.
by Mount Mercy College

For Teenagers Living With a Parent Who Abuses Alcohol/Drugs
by Edith Lynn Hornik-Beer

Beneath a Meth Moon (for ages 12 and up)
Jacqueline Woodson

Go Ask Alice (for ages 12 and up)
by Anonymous

When a Family is in Trouble: Children Can Cope with Grief from Drug and Alcohol Addiction
by Marge Heegaard

Help! My Friend’s in Trouble!: Supporting Your Friends Who Struggle With . . . Family Problems, Sexual Crises, Food Addictions, Self-Esteem, Depression, Grief, and Loss
by Susie Shellenberger

Hey, Kiddo:  How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction
by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Life Happens: A Teenager’s Guide to Friends, Sexuality, Love, Rejection, Addiction, Peer Press ure, Families, Loss, Depression, Change & Other Challenges of Living
Kathy McCoy, PhD and Charles Wibbelsman, MD

I’ve Got This Friend Who: Advice for Teens and Their Friends on Alcohol, Drugs, Eating Disorders, Risky Behavior and More
by America’s Teens & the Experts at KidsPeace. Edited by Anna Radev

Be Honest:  And Other Advice from Students Across the Country
by Ninive Calegari

Harvard, Schmarvard:  Getting Beyond the Ivy League to the College That is Best for You
by Jay Mathews

The Overachievers:  The Secret Lives of Driven Kids
by Alexandra Robbins

Dreamland:  The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic (a young adult adaptation)
by Sam Quinones

Josh and ZZ: A Sibling Story on Addiction
by Annie Chute Hernandez

The Shadow Child: Living with a Sibling’s Addiction
by Ashleigh Nowakowski

It Will Never Happen to Me: Growing Up with Addiction as Youngsters, Adolescents, and Adults
by Claudia Black

Sober Siblings: How to Help Your Alcoholic Brother or Sister-and Not Lose Yourself
by Patricia Olsen

Sister Siren: A Non Fiction About Addiction
by Michaela K. Canterbury

The Worst Thing: A Sister’s Journey Through her Brother’s Addiction and Death
by A. M. Young

Addict in the House: A No-Nonsense Family Guide Through Addiction and Recovery
by Robin Barnett EdD LCSW


Long Bright River
by Liz Moore

For Young Readers:

Josh and ZZ: A Sibling Story on Addiction
by Annie Chute Hernandez