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Best 7 Books For Parents Of Substance Abusers

Books For Parents Of Substance Abusers

The following are books for parents of substance abusers.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

Books For Parents Of Substance Abusers

1. Beautiful Boy (tie-In)

By David Sheff

What had happened to my beautiful boy? To our family? What did I do wrong? Those are the wrenching questions that haunted David Sheff’s journey through his son Nic’s addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery.

David Sheff traces the first warning signs: the denial, the three a.m. phone calls—is it Nic? the police? the hospital? His preoccupation with Nic became an addiction in itself.

But as a journalist, he instinctively researched every treatment that might save his son. And he refused to give up on Nic.

Related: Am I Self-Destructive Quiz

2. Don’t Let Your Kids Kill You

By Charles Rubin

This is a self-help recovery guide for parents in the devastating situation of realizing that they are powerless to stop their children from self-destruction through drug and/or alcohol abuse.

It is dedicated to letting parents know when it is time to start saving themselves from being dragged along to destruction as well, and to providing skills that prevent it.

The book relies on spiritual but practical teachings and the message is for parents to attain a healthy balance in their lives through the letting go process.

Related: Impulsivity Test: Am I Impulsive?

3. If You Love Me

By Maureen Cavanagh

Maureen Cavanagh’s gripping memoir If You Love Me is the story of a mother who suddenly finds herself on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic as her daughter battles―and ultimately reckons with―substance use disorder.

Fast-paced and heartwarming, devastating and redemptive, Maureen’s incredible odyssey into the opioid crisis―first as a parent, then as an advocate―is ultimately a deeply moving mother-daughter story.

Related: Best 6 Ways to Let Go of Wanting to Control Everything

4. The Addiction Inoculation

By Jessica Lahey

In this supportive, life-saving resource, the New York Times bestselling author of The Gift of Failure helps parents and educators understand the roots of substance abuse and identify who is most at risk for addiction, and offers practical steps for prevention.

The Addiction Inoculation is a comprehensive resource parents and educators can use to prevent substance abuse in children. Based on research in child welfare, psychology, substance abuse, and developmental neuroscience, this essential guide provides evidence-based strategies and practical tools adults need to understand, support, and educate resilient, addiction-resistant children.

Related: Caregiving vs Caretaking (The Savior Complex)

5. Mothering Addiction

By Lynda Harrison Hatcher

In Mothering Addiction, Lynda Harrison Hatcher tells the heart-wrenching story of her turbulent journey as the mother of a child who desperately struggled with a heroin addiction—a story of the daily tests, constant trials, and unending tribulations of raising a son whose life has been derailed by drugs.

Funny, sad, compelling and brave, Hatcher brings perspective and guidance to any parent struggling with a child whose life has been turned upside down.

Related: Top 21 Codependency Journal Prompts

6. A Parent’s Guide to Teen Addiction

By Laurence M. Westreich

Dr. Laurence Westreich, an addiction expert and the father of two teenagers, helps parents navigate the fraught addiction landscape in A Parent’s Guide to Teen Addiction. 

Divided into three sections, this book—based on the author’s decades of experience evaluating and treating teenagers who use substances—guides parents from the moment they suspect their teen has a substance abuse problem to the steps families must take after intensive treatment.

Related: Take The Echoist Quiz (The Opposite Of A Narcissist)

7. Addiction

By Mary Allyson

As a parent of three sober alcoholic daughters and becoming an addiction psychotherapist with a master of science in substance abuse, as well as working with hundreds of parents with stories similar to her own, Mary was able to utilize her knowledge and experience to aid parents in their own recovery, avoiding the pitfalls of enabling and codependency.

This book can help parents/family with their own pain and sorrow caused by having an addicted loved one.

Related: Codependency Quiz (+FREE Codependency Worksheets PDF)

How Books for Parents of Substance Abusers Can Help

Books for parents of substance abusers can be incredibly helpful in several ways:

1. Education and understanding: These books provide valuable information about substance abuse, addiction, and its impact on individuals and families. Parents can learn about the signs, symptoms, and underlying causes of substance abuse, gaining a better understanding of what their child is going through.

2. Coping strategies: Dealing with a child who is struggling with substance abuse can be emotionally challenging. Books for parents offer coping strategies and practical advice on how to navigate the difficulties and maintain their own well-being. They may include tips on communication, setting boundaries, self-care, and seeking support.

3. Empowerment: These books can empower parents by helping them regain a sense of control and providing tools to support their child’s recovery. By learning effective ways to intervene, encourage treatment, and foster positive change, parents can play an active role in their child’s journey towards sobriety.

4. Support networks: Many books for parents of substance abusers share personal stories and experiences from other families who have gone through similar challenges. This can help parents feel less alone and isolated, knowing that others have faced similar struggles and found ways to navigate them.

5. Building resilience: Substance abuse often takes a toll on family dynamics, relationships, and overall well-being. Books can guide parents in developing resilience and fostering healthy relationships within the family unit. They may offer advice on rebuilding trust, promoting open communication, and establishing a supportive environment for recovery.


Books for parents of substance abusers provide valuable knowledge, practical strategies, emotional support, and the reassurance that they are not alone.

They can serve as a resource to help parents better understand addiction, support their child’s recovery, and navigate the challenges that come with it.

By Hadiah

Hadiah is a counselor who is passionate about supporting individuals on their journey towards mental well-being. Hadiah not only writes insightful articles on various mental health topics but also creates engaging and practical mental health worksheets.

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