Rehab can be an overwhelming experience – and outpatient rehab, where you do not have 24-hour peer support, can be lonely as well. Reading addiction related memoirs is one way to feel less isolated and can make your addiction recovery journey easier. Check out our 5 recommendations.


Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction is a challenging journey that requires long-term commitment and dedication.

Many successful drug addiction recoveries involve people who find ways to stay motivated throughout their treatment. Inspiration to stay focused can come from many sources, such as daily recovery activities like meditation or talking to your sponsor or even family members. It can be beneficial to have different tools available to keep you going.

Books can be a great source of motivation because one of the most important things to keep in-mind during recovery is the fact that you are not alone. There have been many people before you who have undergone addiction treatment.

Reading the memoirs of people who have suffered addiction and achieved recovery will not only make you feel less alone, their experiences can even help you deal with similar situations. Written by both men and women, each story listed below is influential and educational and can provide the inspiration that you may be looking for during treatment and into your recovery.

1. Dry: by Augusten Burroughs

“Dry: A Memoire:” Readers learn about Burroughs’ personal battle with addiction, relapse, relationships, and overall recovery in a gripping book that has been featured on the New York Times Best Seller list.

The first section of this memoir focuses on the author’s intervention that was arranged by his co-workers. Included in this book is descriptions of the time Burroughs spent at a drug rehab facility that catered to lesbian and gay patients. He becomes attracted to a person in one of his group therapy sessions and allows this person to live with him during recovery. The book continues with Burroughs’ first stretch of sobriety after leaving rehab.

2. Parched: by Heather King

“Parched” is a powerful story of a woman’s journey through alcohol addiction. King tells readers about how she started becoming an alcoholic, which led to a 20-year cycle of self-hatred and drinking. She describes how she went through life as a high-functioning alcoholic and how her choices led her to undesirable and unlikely places, such as living in dive bars.

King’s agonising, moving and witty story provides readers insight into how she grew as a person and eventually stopped drinking, which changed the course of her life. King’s inspiring recollection will resonate with addicts who know what it is like to feel as though they are standing on the edge of a cliff but find the strength to step away and reclaim life based on their own terms.

3. Drinking – A Love Story: by Caroline Knapp

Drinking: A Love Story” is Caroline Knapp’s powerful and raw memoir that depicts her lengthy and complex relationship with alcohol. She candidly shares the ways in which alcohol affected her thoughts, emotions and relationships. Because of her addiction, Knapp was unable to advance personally or emotionally and remained stuck for some time. She faced numerous personal battles as an alcoholic, despite her success and ability to work as a writer.

Knapp talks about her decline into alcoholism and her struggle to recover. She also discusses the addictive nature of alcohol, and how she believed that alcohol provided her with the only coping mechanism that she could use to manage life. After a shocking incident, Knapp decides to enter rehab. She starts going to AA meetings every night. She makes it clear that her battle with alcohol addiction has to be taken one day at a time, which is something that all addicts can relate with.

The New York Times has called her book “a remarkable exercise in self-discovery.”

4. The Night of the Gun: by David Carr

For over twenty years, journalist David Carr was addicted to various substances including marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine and alcohol. The Chicago Sun-Times describes “The Night of the Gun” as “a compelling tale of drug abuse, despair, and finally, hope.” What makes Carr’s memoir stand out is that he did not just write it; he also reported it using his journalistic tools. His investigation into his own life explains his journey through addiction, recovery, cancer and battles.

This memoir was created with Carr’s own records, including sixty videotaped interviews, medical and legal records, and several years of reporting. The gist of Carr’s memoir may sound all too familiar – a white male reaching a low point in his life and being guided back to his senses through the love of his family, his own version of God, and a support group However, once Carr digs deeper into his own story, readers are exposed to the depths of his troubles and join him on his way out of addiction. The “Night of the Gun” is a brave, merciless, articulate and oftentimes funny memoir that can help addicts discover the tools needed to survive addiction and reshape their lives.

5. Lit: by Mary Karr

Lit” is Mary Karr’s third memoir and perhaps her most significant book for recovering addicts. Karr in this book talks about her battle with alcoholism, along with other events in her life, such as becoming a mother, losing her mother, and developing her voice as a writer.

Karr’s honest account of alcohol addiction is a gripping story that should not be speed-read. Karr describes how she overcame her terrible childhood experiences and alcoholism in order to become the best-selling memoirist she is known for today. Her seemingly continuous cycle with alcohol addiction and sobriety is something to which many addicts can relate.


An important part of recovering from substance addiction is staying inspired and motivated throughout the journey. These books are five of many that can help you focus and reflect during your recovery process.

If you or your loved one is suffering from addiction, contact The Cabin Hong Kong today to discuss your drug treatment options.

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