YA Drug & Substance Abuse Novels (58 books)Saving
Six Powerful Books about Addiction and Recovery That Will Make You Feel Capable of Change
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Addiction can show up in our lives in many different ways. Nic Sheff was drunk for the first time at age eleven. In the years that followed, he would regularly smoke pot, do cocaine and Ecstasy, and develop addictions to crystal meth and heroin. Even so, he felt like he would always be able to quit and put his life together whenever he needed to. As we watch Nic plunge into the mental and physical depths of drug addiction, he paints a picture for us of a person at odds with his past, with his family, with his substances, and with himself. The perfect daughter and gifted high school student who never gets into any trouble. She discovers her boyfriend Mike hooking up with her sister, Audrey, and abandons them.
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Twenty years later and still clean, I devour stories about addiction and redemption as hungrily as I once craved speed. Here are some books that will not only make you want to quit doing the thing that is killing you, but also offer an interesting narrative structure for writers because they flout the conventional hero journey template. Black Out , a memoir by Sarah Hepola, is a funny, sad portrayal of an unstoppable, unattached, driven woman who early on mistakes recklessness with feminism and freedom. Surrender and recovery have never felt so familiar. Graceland , a novel by Chris Abani, is a colorful, cacophonous story of a father and son, addiction, and seductive American trappings in post-colonial Nigeria. Elvis, a teenage Elvis impersonator, hopes to make his way out of the ghetto.