Addiction Recovery Aids

     These materials are not intended to substitute for professional medical help.  However, they can be great supplemental information, especially for family and friends of a person with addictions. The first book, Addicted?: recognizing destructive behavior before it's too late, by Marilyn Freimuth, should be first on anyone's list who wonders about a loved one or themselves.  This book is designed to help identify those addictions that may not have progressed to ruinous, out-of-control destruction.  It will help you distinguish between a bad habit, a compulsion, a good habit and so on.  The author is a counselor who suddenly found she had been missing early addiction behavior for years--afterward she specialized in helping people identify their life issues.
     For the individual whose addiction is still new or which hasn't wreaked havoc in their lives, the book Controlling your drinking: tools to make moderation work for you by William R. Miller and Ricardo F. Munoz may be one to consider.  Aimed at drinking problems, it could also give advice to someone with another type, including compulsions or bad habits, depending on the severity.  This book is not for the person who is out of control or unsure whether they are able to go without.
     Most people are familiar with the AA or 12-step approach.  Many people don't like it. If you are looking for something else, Empowering your sober self by Martin Nicolaus proposes an option called the LifeRing Approach.  LifeRing proponents claim it is secular, nonauthoritarian self-help. Cofounded by Nicolaus, a lawyer, it gives background, history, anecdotes,more background, unrelated detail and lots of extraneous information.  In other words, be a good skimmer if this book is your choice. This book is not really recommended.
     Most of us have thought patterns that set us up for the life issues we have encountered--Barb Rogers' Keep it simple & sane: freeing yourself from addictive thinking sets out to help with that. With the section headings keep it mentally simple, keep it emotionally simple, keep it spiritually simple, and keep it physically simple, Rogers addresses every corner of our lives in a practical and clear manner.  While it won't cure serious problems that people need outside help with, it could help identify those and it could certainly help someone change areas that are more minor but still necessary. An easy book to read that may be the inspiration someone needs. (Note: she refers to  and uses the 12 step program in sections of the book.) 
     Recovery Options: the complete guide: how you and your loved ones can understand and treat alcohol and other drug problems by Joseph Volpicelli and Maia Szalavitz is exactly what it says.  This guide covers the entire spectrum of problems and treatments, addressing various aspects of the issues as well as the widely differing types of people and needs involved.  Just as no single meal option would satisfy everyone, so no single treatment suits all individuals.  The book has an extensive appendix listing contacts and further resources.
     The wellness-recovery connection: charting your pathway to optimal health while recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction by John Newport addresses all areas of a person's life that might have a good or bad impact on the person's ability to stay free after treatment.  Chapters cover nutrition, exercise, stress, social support, and career or lifestyle choices. This detailed volume is a good source for the person dealing with the aftereffects of more serious problems. There are many other books available, but these represent the most current.