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How Reading Can Strengthen Your Recovery

There are certain things you see mentioned all the time when you research addiction recovery. These include 12-step and other treatment programs, psychotherapy, medication, exercise, social connection, mindfulness, and others. One thing you don’t see mentioned very often is reading. However, reading can be your secret weapon in overcoming addiction. Here’s why readers have a big advantage when it comes to getting sober. 


Reading is a low-risk way to start.

It’s often true that people with substance use issues know deep down they have a problem before they’re even consciously aware of it. Admitting a problem is a big step because then you have to decide what you’re going to do about it. Whether you get help or do nothing, you’re still responsible for the outcome. Talking about it with a friend or therapist is also difficult because it makes the problem more real. Reading about addiction can be a valuable way of assessing whether you have a problem and figuring out how bad it is before you take the big step of talking to someone about it or asking for help. Reading is a low-cost, low-risk way of taking the first tentative steps toward recovery. No one knows what books you order from Amazon, especially if read the e-version. And you can get books about addiction for free from your local library.


Reading can inspire you.

There are lots of inspiring memoirs out now about addiction and recovery. Many of them are by celebrities like Russel Brand but there are far more written by regular people and many of these are excellent. Memoirs are great for three reasons. First, you see you’re not alone. For many people, reading about their own experiences in someone else’s book is deeply cathartic because they know someone else understands. Second, reading other people’s stories shows you the common elements that unite most addiction stories, helping you better understand the road ahead. Third, reading about what others have been through can be incredibly inspiring. You see that there are people who were in a much deeper hole than you’ve ever been in but nevertheless escaped and thrived. Knowing they did it makes you feel like you can do it too.


Reading can help you better understand recovery.

There are thousands of books out there about addiction and recovery. Many are good and many are not so good. A quick Google search can give you an idea of which books people have found most helpful. A good rule of thumb is that if you’ve heard of it, it’s probably worth reading. There are also thousands of books about topics related to addiction recovery, including overcoming trauma, therapeutic methods, improving relationships, general psychology, and living a healthier life. The more you read, the more perspectives you will have and the better you will be able to steer your own ship.


As GI Joe used to say, knowing is half the battle. Overcoming addiction requires treating the mind, body, and spirit, and books are an excellent way to feed your mind. At Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California, our holistic treatment program helps men build a healthier life free from addiction to drugs and alcohol. Call use to learn more about our unique program at 855-202-2138.

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