So many people wrestle daily with addiction. It is an illness that doesn’t just impact the person affected, but also everyone around them: family, friends, co-workers. While it seems like we’re finally moving more towards seeing addiction and recovery as medical issues to be treated rather than criminal issues to be punished, we still have a long way to go. Reading about people who’ve experienced addiction whether through fiction or memoir can be a powerful way to learn about how this challenging illness impacts the day-to-day lives of those affected. Check out these books that contain humanizing portrayals of people dealing with addiction and recovery and those who love them. And if you or someone you know are coping with addiction, here are some resources you can turn to:
- NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse)— https://www.drugabuse.gov
- NIDA for Teens — https://teens.drugabuse.gov
- SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)— https://www.samhsa.gov
A Buzzfeed Best YA Book of 2021! A gritty, heart-wrenching novel of disability, pain, belonging, loss, addiction, and friendship.
From Stonewall Award winner Brandy Colbert comes a novel about first love, family, and hidden secrets that will stay with you long after turning the last page.
Dove "Birdie" Randolph works hard to be the perfect daughter and follow the path her parents have laid out for her: She quit playing her beloved soccer, she keeps her nose buried in textbooks, and she's on track to finish high school at the top of her class. But then Birdie falls hard for Booker, a sweet boy with a troubled past . . . whom she knows her parents will never approve of.
When her estranged aunt Carlene returns to Chicago and moves into the family's apartment above their hair salon, Birdie notices the tension building at home. Carlene is sweet, friendly, and open-minded -- she's also spent decades in and out of treatment facilities for addiction. As Birdie becomes closer to both Booker and Carlene, she yearns to spread her wings. But when long-buried secrets rise to the surface, everything she's known to be true is turned upside down.
by Tess Sharpe
The truth won't let her go.Sophie Winters nearly died. Twice. The first time, she's fourteen, and escapes a near-fatal car accident with scars, a bum leg, and an addiction to Oxy that'll take years to kick. The second time, she's seventeen, and it's no accident. Sophie and her best friend Mina are confronted by a masked man in the woods. Sophie survives, but Mina is not so lucky. When the cops deem Mina's murder a drug deal gone wrong, casting partial blame on Sophie, no one will believe the truth: Sophie has been clean for months, and it was Mina who led her into the woods that night for a meeting shrouded in mystery. After a forced stint in rehab, Sophie returns home to a chilly new reality. Mina's brother won't speak to her, her parents fear she'll relapse, old friends have become enemies, and Sophie has to learn how to live without her other half. To make matters worse, no one is looking in the right places and Sophie must search for Mina's murderer on her own. But with every step, Sophie comes closer to revealing all: about herself, about Mina---and about the secret they shared.
-School Library Journal
by Nic Sheff
In his follow-up to his bestselling memoir Tweak: Growing Up On Methamphetamines, Nic Sheff reveals a brutally honest account of a young person's struggles with relapse and rehab.
In his bestselling memoir Tweak, Nic Sheff took readers on an emotionally gripping roller-coaster ride through his days as an addict. 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. By candidly revealing his own failures and small personal triumphs, Nic inspires readers to maintain hope and to remember that they are not alone in their battles. A group reading guide is included.
Nic Sheff's Tweak, We All Fall Down, and his father's memoir about him (Beautiful Boy) are the basis of the film Beautiful Boy starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet.
by Hal Friedman
by Sharon Flake
Is there greed in Raspberry Hill's genes? In this sequel to Coretta Scott King Honor Book Money Hungry, once-homeless Raspberry Hill vows never to end up on the streets again. It's been a year since Raspberry's mother threw her hard-earned money out the window like trash, so to Raspberry money equals security and balance. And she's determined to do anything to achieve it. But when a troubled neighborhood teenager attacks her mother and Raspberry's drug-addicted father returns, Raspberry becomes desperate for her life to change and ends up doing the unthinkable, potentially ruining her friendships and losing her self-respect along the way. Will Raspberry accept that nothing good comes of bad money? Or is she destined to follow in her father's footsteps?