Understanding addiction and the way it affects those around us can be a hard topic to cover not only for children, but also for adults. Books are a resource we can use to educate and lessen confusion around addiction.
These are the top 10 books on addiction that cover all age groups from 2 to adulthood. These books were selected based on rater reviews of 4.5 or higher and their availability. These books are intended to cover a variety of situations where a reader way encounter substance abuse. We have provided Amazon.com* links to purchase the books but you may be able to find them in your local bookstore as well.
1. Stoney the Pony – Linda Myers : Stoney the Pony just can't stop eating peppermint candies. When Stoney becomes addicted to the candies, his friends are concerned about the changes they see in him. He's no longer the same Stoney the Pony everyone knows and loves. Stoney was once a beloved neighborhood favorite who helped children win blue ribbons at horse shows. Now he becomes so preoccupied with peppermint candies that he sneaks out one night to steal the treats from the horses in a neighboring barn. When his pals realize how sick Stoney has gotten, they step up and intervene to find him the help and support he needs. Purchase on Amazon
2. Critters Cry Too – Anthony Curcio : Critters didn't need much to be happy, a good game of critterball and doing what they loved to do most, talking to each other, was usually enough. But when Whateveritwas (what Critters called cookies) came, all of that changed. Some Critters stopped talking, stopped playing and stopped being themselves. All they wanted was more Whateveritwas. With a broken heart, Calvin had to do something but there wasn't much of anything he could do. Following good advice from an obnoxious insect friend and having a loved one to talk to, Calvin learns how to find himself even while some of the Critters he loves were still lost. Purhcase on Amazon
3. My Daddy Loves Me, My Daddy has a Disease – Claudia Black : Working through the loneliness, fear and frustration by expressing feelings is what this book is all about. This workbook gives children age 5 - 12 the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings and to better understand addiction.
Purchase on Amazon
4. An Elephant in the Living Room – Jill M. Hastings : An illustrated story to help children understand and cope with the problem of alcoholism or other drug addiction in the family.
Purchase on Amazon
5. The Brown Bottle – Penny Jones : Enter the world of Charlie, a fuzzy brown creature who leaves the caterpillar kingdom to follow the bright, invigorating glow of life inside a discarded brown bottle. This illustrated fable is an excellent storybook for explaining alcoholism to young children.
Purchase on Amazon
6. For Teenagers Living With a Parent Who Abuses Alcohol/Drugs - Edith Lynn Hornik-Beer : For Teenagers Living With a Parent Who Abuses Alcohol/Drugs by Edith Lynn Hornik-Beer answers questions about alcoholism asked by teenagers. Included are: What causes alcoholism? Where can I get help? What do I do about the abuse? Should I stay at home? Where can I go? How can anyone expect me to concentrate in school? Why do I fight with my parents even when they are sober? Purchase on Amazon
7. Addict In The Family: Stories of Loss, Hope, and Recovery – Beverly Conyers : Witnessing the addiction of a family member or loved one is a heart-rending experience. But hope can prevail, as shown in this compelling revised and updated book. In Addict in the Family, the gripping stories of fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters of addicts offer important lessons on loving, detachment, intervention, and self care. Purchase on Amazon
8. Why Don't They Just Quit?: Hope for Families Struggling with Addiction – Joe Herzanek : Watching a loved one immersed in an intense battle with alcohol and drug abuse may be the most difficult, complex and harrowing experience you'll ever have. This book offers a message of hope to families and friends, giving practical solutions so they can help anyone struggling with addiction to begin the road to recovery. Purchase on Amazon
9. Addiction: Why Can't They Just Stop? - John Hoffman, Susan Froemke : This companion book to the HBO documentary of the same name sheds light on the hidden American epidemic of addiction. Blending compelling personal narratives with statistics and expert opinion, all gleaned from over two years of research and reporting, ADDICTION offers a comprehensive and provocative look at the impact of chemical dependency on addicts, their loved ones, society, and the economy. Breaking the stigma that addicts are simply weak and immoral, it delves into new brain research proving that drugs and alcohol change the chemical composition of addicts' brains, making it veritably impossible for them to quit. The nation's top experts persuasively argue that the time has come for the blame to stop and the healing to begin. Purchase on Amazon
10. Don't Let Your Kids Kill You: A Guide for Parents of Drug and Alcohol Addicted Children – Charles Rubin : 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. While showing parents how to safely distance themselves from the child's destructive patterns, it also shows how to recognize and support healthy requests for real help, if and when they come. It includes anecdotes and quotes from parents who have had to cope with kids on drugs and/or alcohol.
Purchase on Amazon
*Your purchases on Amazon.com can benefit The Moyer Foundation and this Resource Center. Visit Amazon Smile and choose The Moyer Foundation as the organization you would like to support.
Learning to Cope is a community for those with family members battling drug addiction.