Books on addiction and recovery are becoming popular with an increasing number of people lapping them up. Whether it is because of one's personal substance use problem or a loved one's addiction to a dangerous drug, people regularly glean for whatever help is possible from these informative books.
Here, we take a look at six such popular books dealing with addiction and sobriety:
Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man: A Memoir: Published in 2010, the book by Bill Clegg is an irresistible account of a flourishing literary agent about his tryst with rehabilitation and how to resist temptation and prevent a possible relapse. The writer captures the imagination of the reader with a vivid description of scenes, tension, drama and the lure of drug.
The Liars' Club: A personal account of author Mary Karr, the book beautifully depicts her alcoholism, recovery, and subsequent conversion to Catholicism. A book which took memoirs to a new level, it jocularly presented Karr's comic childhood in an east Texas oil town, her alcoholic father, a sister who could talk down the police at 12, and anecdotes about her mother who married many times. The book was published in 1995.
The Basketball Diaries: It is a 1978 published memoir of author and musician Jim Carroll. The book is an amalgamation of his diaries he'd painstakingly written through the 1960s. Set in the New York of the 60s, the book portrays Carroll's sexual escapades, his basketball career, the anti-culture movement, and primarily his addiction to heroin that started at the age of 13. The book is still considered a gem in adolescent literature. The book was also adapted into a 1995 movie with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead.
How to Stop Time Heroin from A to Z: This book by Ann Marlowe is more about the drug itself than addiction as a process, but still, it is a riveting tale of heroin usage and its vagaries. It is a gripping tale about snorting heroin during the 90s. The book throws light on the consumer culture of the 90s from which stemmed the heroin boom. However, people were flabbergasted by the way she glorified heroin use. Despite her rendezvous with the drug, it did not qualify to be an addiction. "Addiction is a mourning for the irrecoverable glories of the first time," she said.
Junky: A book by William Burroughs, it is a blatant narration of heroin addiction by a Harvard graduate from a Social Register family. Though the book was written more than half a century ago, it still holds a universal appeal which never stops enthralling readers. Published in 1953, it's a must-read for those who want to enjoy some thrilling addiction trivia.
Permanent Midnight: Penned by Jerry Stahl, the book raised quite a few eyeballs the moment it was released. Laden with grotesque scenes where Stahl injects heroin directly into his neck and much more, the book explores the depth and agonies of addiction. Another impelling aspect of the book is its sheer depiction of Hollywood's flirtations with drugs, which the readers love.
Books like these give some unknown perspectives to readers about addiction, recovery and people's struggle with substance use. Literature of this kind always offers some take-home message.