My 10 Favorite Addiction Recovery Memoirs

“The Recovering” works like an AA meeting where people are sharing their stories in the hopes that others will identify with them. Sheff offers no simple suggestions for staying sober. Instead, he portrays the complexity and difficulty of the real world. It just goes to highlight the one-day-at-a-time nature of any recovery. It’s the kind of friendship that’s easy to make in elementary school when you’re six or seven … “And the amazing part is,” Hayden has said “we’re not drunk in a bar.” This is true. It is possible to make close, instant friendships while sitting at a bar drinking. But these friendships tend to evaporate at four in the morning when the bar closes, or the next morning when you find yourself sleeping in the same bed.

This is one of the first books I read about addiction ever, before I realized I had a problem. He comes from the book publishing world and, again, was someone who was successful and smart, but in active addiction. He lost trust of people around him and in his field, but through sobriety he has been able to regain that trust and help many people along the way. Terry achieved long-term sobriety at one time, and she helped many women. It made me realize the pain I would have brought to my parents if they had lost me. King is a writer, lawyer and NPR contributor whose memoir chronicles her decades-long downward spiral into alcoholism, from her small New England hometown to seedy restaurants where she waitressed and cockroach-ridden lofts where she lived. Eventually saved by her family, King writes with equal parts sensitivity and humor about redemption and compassion for others.

God And Starbucks: An Nba Superstars Journey Through Addiction And Recovery By Vin Baker

I found this book uncomfortable at times and very funny at other times. It is the real deal and Cat is a talented writer, but most of all a survivor. alcohol recovery books I very much related to her always feeling “less than” in normal life, and only becoming confident and alive once she poured alcohol down her throat.

alcoholic memoirs

But seriously,an honest and interesting look at the man’s life through his varied experiences with alcohol. All of this is written in quaint early 20th century American English reminiscent of Upton Sinclair or Frank Norris. I did not expect to enjoy this fairly short book as much as I did.

Footer Social

Looking at the little ball of packed white powder, I can’t help but laugh … I know what hard drugs have done to my life … they’ve basically destroyed everything I’ve ever had … Obviously, I should flush the shit right now … I set up a line. For Caroline Knapp, like many addicts, her relationship to alcohol had many of the traits of an abusive friendship or romantic relationship. Knapp and alcohol were meant to be together; she had found the answer to all her problems. As bliss transformed into dependence and finally addiction, Knapp found herself vowing never to go back to drinking, the source of so much of her pain. The novel’s themes include masculinity and male friendship. London discusses various life experiences he has had with alcohol, and at widely different stages in his life.

In Blackout, Sarah clearly explains why there’s nothing benign about it and describes what is actually happening to the brain when we reach that point of alcohol-induced amnesia. I love her perspective on drinking as an act of counter-feminism—that in reality it actually dismantles our power, our pride, and our dignity as women, though we intended the opposite. Alcohol abuse, particularly binge drinking, has increased significantly in women in recent years.

In his follow-up to his first memoir, Tweak, which dealt with his journey into meth addiction, Sheff details his struggle to stay clean. In and out of rehab, he falls into relapse, engaging in toxic relationships and other self-destructive behaviors that threaten to undo the hard-won progress he’s made. Based on Fisher’s hugely successful one-woman show, Wishful Drinking is the story of growing up in Hollywood royalty, battling addiction, and dealing with manic depression.

  • To see what your friends thought of this book,please sign up.
  • Out he goes with the intention of washing ashore in a few days’ time bloated and dead.
  • In a moving, passionate memoir, former Senator George McGovern recalls the events leading up to his daughter Terry’s death as a result of alcoholism.
  • A timeless work because, unfortunately, it is impossible to make a drug, once so profusely buried in the cultural and social life of a people, disappear.
  • Later when he is sailing about the pacific and doing several jobs at once he finds alcohol necessary to stem the doubt and fear in his mind that he might lose friends, family, and himself to tropical disease and storms.

As an entirely too angsty young person, I read this right before my 21st birthday. I have known alcoholics and have heard their stories but there is no comparison between hearing their accounts and vicariously living through London’s writing. I recommend this book to those who love adventurers, fans of Jack Kerouac, lovers of the good life & people entangled with alcohol. A legacy of a long-life, well-lived & full of thought. Reading Jack London will exercise your vocabulary, as surely as titubating exercises the calves.

Best 20 Books About Addiction Recovery To Read In 2020

He was also an innovator in the genre that would later become known as science fiction. Jack London provides in this story a wondrous argument simultaneously for and against the use of alcohol. And, while adamantly denouncing its unpleasant taste and nauseous effects, he frankly concedes its intrinsic value, and how its practice in social interactions saw him benefit. While sustaining long periods of abstinence, he also demonstrated a reputation for tolerance and endurance that would leave rivals literally under the table. For it was John Barleycorn that he bargained with, benefited from, and ultimately, became indebted to. There is little record of tramping, despite having made his own way quite often.

alcoholic memoirs

Highsmith manages to humanely portray a murdering, rich, hapless drunk so that near the end, one inevitably feels more complicated and ravaged by both Highsmith and Bruno’s trickery. This is based on the life story of one of my ex-patients. He died of alcohol poisoning two days after his last medical appointment.

To make things even more interesting, Fisher grew up with the world watching while she battled manic depression, addiction, and visited all sorts of mental institutions as a result. This book is beautiful, compelling, and a riveting retelling of Jackson’s life as well as those of his male relatives who have gone through similar journeys. This is a darkly comic book about the slow road through recovery, really growing up, and being someone that gets back up after screwing up. Engaging, readable, and honest, this book is like getting a hug from your best sober buddy. In one scene in the book, Brown describes losing her apartment and going on a four-day crack binge. “When men are in a blackout, they do things to the world. When women are in a blackout, things are done to them,” Hepola writes.

alcoholic memoirs

John Barleycorn is as real a character as any of the other personalities presented in this tale. Alcohol He provides arguments, and he has an ideology, and he has the dialogue of the “white logic”.

Her discussion of having a partner who drinks adds another layer of complexity and interest. Dharma Punx takes the reader on Levine’s journey from an addicted punk rock kid to sober Buddhist meditation teacher. For Levine, Buddhism becomes as bound up in his recovery as the punk scene was in his active addiction. This book could be illuminating for anyone seeking to incorporate Buddhist practice and meditation into their own life.

Although both men and women struggle with substance abuse, the issues that influence a woman’s descent into addiction and journey to sobriety are unique. These memoirs by female writers may strike a cord with women in treatment or help their loved ones better understand the experience of a female substance abuser. It’s a relief that the author revealed and explained the primary factor that propelled his desire for alcoholic drinks- accessibility. As for me, I drink to neutralize aftertastes from strongly-flavored recipes and queer-tasting preserved foods. I thought I know everything about drinkers, but I was so wrong. London detailed the spiraling of alcoholic desire in a way that spurred my interest to read on, when drunkard books are not really among my preferred books.

There are also the self-help books, the AA manuals, the well-meaning but often dry tomes to help one acquire clarity and consistency in a life where addiction often creates chaos and disorder. I read this book before I became a parent and was floored, but have thought about it even more since.

Occasionally reminiscent of Sylvia Plath, Karr’s writing style is simultaneously unsentimental and moving. The Esteemed and late New York Times columnist David Carr turned his journalistic eye on his own life in this memoir, investigating his own past as a cocaine addict and sifting through muddied memories to discover the truth. The story follows Carr’s unbelievable arc through addiction, recovery, cancer, Alcohol detoxification and life as a single parent to come to an understanding of what those dark years meant. The acclaimed author of Prozac Nation goes from depression to addiction with this equally devastating personal account. Wurtzel reveals how drugs fueled her post-breakout period, describing with unbearable specificity how her doctor’s prescription of Ritalin, intended to help her function, only brought her down.

Posted by: Alissa Palladino

11 Benefits Of Being Sober

With a sharper mind, your daily activities can be managed better. Your path will become apparent, and living clean will take precedence. Overcoming addiction will bring a sense of ease to them and, more importantly, to you. You will begin to attract the right people into your life. You will subsequently be able to form and keep more meaningful and supportive relationships. You will no longer be wasting precious time chasing that high.

benefits of living a sober life

The structure in place is intended to provide residents with a level of support unavailable for most people at home. I am a different person now, and I am fired up about helping other people get to the place where they, too, are living better, healthier, andbiggerlives.

Substance Abuse

But they might be stuck feeling nothing for an undetermined amount of time, possibly a very long period of time spanning years. If you or someone you know experiences mental health issues, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional.

benefits of living a sober life

They also share responsibility for taking care of the property, making meals, and maintaining a socially decent living environment. Of course, since this is not complete independent living, residents need to adhere to some basic rules. In a sober living home, you’ll be living alongside others undertaking a broadly similar journey. They will fully understand the cravings and feelings of helplessness you might be experiencing. All of these people, just like you, will be committed to change and committed to sustained sobriety.

Living with other people may be difficult to you, but your family and friends will be relieved that you aren’t living anywhere worse, like on the streets. It will be difficult to start living on your own right out of treatment. But it is also a place to meet new sober friends and start healthy, good habits. It is, on average, six months out of your life, but those months can make all the difference. It can provide opportunities for independent living and more freedoms, but it also keeps a person away from the typical distractions and temptations of living at home. The benefits of sober living are so valuable for a person in recovery.

Guidance And Support On

It’s never a healthy relationship when either partner is not living a sober lifestyle. You might opt to go for counseling or check-in into a rehab facility if you are to see your relationships work. On its own, a sober lifestyle is nothing more than just you not taking drugs or alcohol. But delve deeper into what that affords you, Sober living houses and you’ll come to realize that there are countless benefits to living a sober lifestyle. The basic disease model of addiction says that plenty of people use drugs or alcohol to medicate their problems away. If this sounds like you, you might be surprised to find out how much more effectively you can deal with things sober.

  • Productivity in itself doesn’t have to be life changing, but reclaiming a life that’s productive can be.
  • If you or someone you know experiences mental health issues, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional.
  • If you harness this newfound energy, you should find your productivity, strength, and fitness levels also start noticeably improving.
  • It’s much easier to keep up with that obligation and stay in that frame of mind.
  • John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine.
  • I also see higher-functioning clients consuming more alcohol than they’d like — become even more higher-functioning — without consuming alcohol ever again.

People suffer from hangovers in varying degrees of severity. You can be confident in your relationships and their healthy Alcoholism in family systems nature. You can be confident in your choices, activities, and abilities to create the life you always wanted.

Improved Sleep

As you move away from drinking or using drugs, you’ll reevaluate many of your friendships. Friendships predicated on substance abuse are toxic to your recovery. Sober living homes allow you to start making healthier choices with a far more fruitful outcome than substance abuse.

benefits of living a sober life

These drug-free, alcohol-free homes help residents stay strong and sober while transitioning from active addiction to normal living. Like many people, when I first started contemplating sobriety, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to connect to other people without the social lubricant of drugs or alcohol. If you need some motivation to live a sober life, calculating how much you’ve spent on alcohol over the past year might just be the reality check you need. There are so many wonderful and sober places to explore. As you achieve your sobriety goals and work toward a healthier you, you will begin to notice an improvement in your mental health.

Benefits Of Being Sober

In addition to the potential harm that heavy alcohol use has on your physical and mental health, it can also negatively impact your relationships with family and friends. By going clean, staying clean and nursing your sobriety, you gain a shot at a stable and healthy weight. Some turn from an addiction to drugs or alcohol to an addiction to food or develop eating disorders to cope with post-rehab stress. When you’re sober, you have more time and mental energy to spend on the people who matter most to you.

Late night benders can result in early morning stops at Jack-in-the-Box or microwave pizzas. Without alcohol in your system however, you have the time, energy and learning capacity to try new recipes. When you’re sober however, you don’t waste your time thinking of when you’ll drink again, nor do you go out of your way to drink again. Plus, assuming you’ve eliminated all your triggers, there’s a good chance your schedule has freed up tremendously, so you have time to explore or start new projects. We live in a world where appearances count, and the cumulative effect of all the benefits of sobriety is that you’ll look much better. According to the disease model of addiction, many people self-medicate problems with alcohol, prescription medications, or illicit drugs. As you move into sobriety and sustained recovery, you’re likely to start exercising more, continuing to make your body fitter and stronger rather than barraging it with alcohol.

benefits of living a sober life

When the body is deprived of essential nutrients it cannot perform properly and will begin to deteriorate over time. Addiction can take everything away from a person including their money. When a drug really has a hold on a person they will devote all of their resources towards getting their next fix despite the negative consequences that will occur. When addiction is removed from the equation a person has taken a vital step towards fixing their finances. Some people can’t imagine going to a social event without a drink in their hand. By learning to be comfortable in one’s own skin without needing anything else to do so, a person is better able to connect with others.

Your sleep patterns may be altered and you may not think about eating healthy when you’re under the influence. Substance misuse can also affect your immune system and your digestive system. Unfortunately, there is a stigma surrounding those with addiction. In fact, many people view those suffering from addiction as being lazy and benefits of living a sober life crazy. The only true way to avoid this stigma as an addict is to redeem yourself by becoming sober. Once you start living a sober life, people will respect you and your ability to overcome life’s obstacles. We’ll look next at what you can expect to gain from basing yourself at a sober living home for substance abuse treatment.

Finances And Career

Casa Nuevo Vida is a community, and part of the healing process is learning how to be a good community member. We know that dealing with systemic racism, fear of violence, and discrimination is traumatic. We are committed to supporting people in our communities in need of compassion and trauma-informed care. In addition, we have set up a Social Justice Scholarship Fund, as a way to provide treatment for individuals who are facing jail time for drug-related offenses. Second, everyone is either going to treatment or going to meetings.

Living a sober life is among the ways you can improve your health. On its own, sobriety is not a punishment nor is it boring. It can initially seem painful but it’s a huge step towards self-improvement. Living with sobriety in mind each day will give you the coping strategies that you need to handle challenges in life. Treatment therapy gives an addict the tools to handle emotional stress without the aid of substances. Focusing on sober life each day will give you the armor you need to help prevent relapse. After a while, you will start to see that people look to you for guidance.

It’s easy to spend money you don’t have when you are not in the right state of mind. You may find yourself spending frivolously or putting yourself in harm’s way in order to make a deal. Filling your body with harmful substances is not beneficial. It leaves little room for the dense nutrients that your body desperately needs to function properly. When people are under the influence, they usually don’t make the best decisions.

Author: Darren Redmond

Alcohol Can Raise Blood Pressure

In case that you plan to stop drinking at once and for all, it is advisable to consult your doctor before, as you may have to deal with alcohol withdrawal symptoms like frequent blood pressure spikes. Experts recommend not mixing alcohol and blood pressure medication.

can alcohol affect blood pressure

Having more than two drinks in a day may raise your blood pressure. Drinking more than one or two drinks in a sitting has been directly linked to a rapid rise in blood pressure, which in someone with very high levels of hypertension can lead to stroke. But don’t expect any “all clears” for anything beyond light-moderate drinking. A lot of people shouldn’t drink at all for specific reasons — family history of alcoholism or heart or liver disease, he says. But if you have no hereditary risk factors, a glass or up to two may be justified, depending on your age. Alcohol abuse raises cortisol levels, as the alcohol causes the pituitary gland to release the adrenocorticotropic hormone.

What Cardiovascular Diseases Can Alcohol Cause

Doctors can also monitor people’s heart rate and blood pressure and provide life-saving measures if people suddenly experience extreme withdrawal symptoms. Research indicates that the risk of coronary heart disease lessens when moderate levels of drink are consumed. An individual with hypertension can rapidly reverse the condition through stopping drinking.

Alcohol use is one thing, but alcohol misuse can have an even more potent effect on your health. Our writers and reviewers are experienced professionals in medicine, addiction treatment, and healthcare. AddictionResource fact-checks all the information before publishing and uses only credible and trusted sources when citing any medical data. The Verified badge on our articles is a trusted sign of the most comprehensive scientifically-based medical content. Besides, high-pressure levels in the kidneys’ vessels can lead to something called chronic kidney disease . Kidneys affected by CKD can no longer fulfill their function of cleansing toxins and excess fluids from the bloodstream.

Drinking alcohol might increase the risk of fainting and injury from falling. If you’re dependent on alcohol, it’s important to address your substance use problem to effectively treat hypertension. People who get treatment can alcohol affect blood pressure for alcohol use problems usually see improved hypertension issues through reduced alcohol consumption. According to a 2009 study, alcohol dependence treatment showed to help lower blood pressure in hypertensive people.

  • Maximum cardiovascular benefit occurs at relatively low levels of consumption (i.e. one to two standard drinks a day in men (10-20 g alcohol) and up to one a day in women ).
  • This study involved two control groups of men consuming alcoholic and non-alcoholic red wine.
  • More than 9 in 10 heavy drinkers take part in this practice and increase their chances of developing clinical alcoholism.
  • Research shows that there may be an acute rise in blood pressure when someone has a single alcoholic drink, and it becomes normal in about a couple of hours.
  • It is one of the most common health conditions; hypertension has an increased prevalence with increasing age;and affects;up to 31% of the worlds adult population .
  • If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.

Alcohol increases the risk of several other short- and long-term health issues. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a very common condition worldwide. Alcohol and high blood pressure are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the problems that this nasty and dangerous drug can cause.

Possible Causes Of High Blood Pressure Hypertension

This condition occurs when scar tissue begins to replace the liver’s healthy cells. It typically appears after a decade or more of severe ethanol abuse. Alcohol blood pressure may increase or decrease periodically depending on a constellation of reasons ranging from health status to physical activities. It is essential to understand the concept of alcohol blood pressure threshold to differentiate risk stages and normalcy. A BP threshold shows healthy systolic and diastolic states as well as stages of potential risk.

can alcohol affect blood pressure

More than one or two glasses each night may not have the desired effect. Excessive alcohol consumption may raise your blood pressure over time, and you may be better off by increasing your daily physical activity if you’re worried about your blood pressure. Yes, there is a definite link between alcohol and high blood pressure.

Alcoholism places people at risk of various health conditions including cerebral thrombosis and death through coronary artery disease. Hypertension caused by drinking is not as defined, but risks are still present. For anyone suffering from alcoholism, it’s important to know that whether it is a wine addiction or, a dependency on spirits, the risks are the same. When heavy drinkers reduce their alcohol consumption to a moderate level, systolic blood pressure can drop by 2 to 4 points and diastolic blood pressure by 1 to 2 points, on average. With each heartbeat, this organ pushes blood out into the arteries. Blood pressure is a measurement of how hard the blood is pushing against the walls of the blood vessels.

Vitamins For Alcoholics And Problem Drinkers That Work!

A study in the July 2020 ​Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews​ sought to get a better handle on how, or if, drinking alcohol affects blood pressure and heart rate within a 24-hour Alcohol period. Thus alcohol decreases blood pressure initially and increases blood pressure after that. Alcohol consistently increases heart rate at all times within 24 hours of consumption.

The 2011 ADA standard supports limiting alcohol consumption in patients with diabetes and hypertension. The first stage begins within 8 hours after the last alcoholic beverage and lasts about 24 hours. During this first stage, withdrawal symptoms include sweating, nausea, vomiting, hand tremors, irritability, and sleep difficulties. The final stage, starting at day 4 and lasting 3-5 days, is the phase when symptoms begin to subside. But before you trash all your wine and bid a tearful goodbye to your beer, remember the “everything in moderation” motto.

can alcohol affect blood pressure

When drinking is excessive, reducing the quantity slowly over several weeks is a sensible precaution as any sudden reduction could increase the risks over a short term. However, long-term alcohol effects can impact health in many ways. Research collated by NCBI, confirms that drinking regularly can lead to hypotension.

What Is High Blood Pressure?

People who are worried about hypertension should be aware of alcohol consumption guidelines to make sure they are drinking within safe limits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines moderate drinking as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. People who are underage, pregnant or have a history of alcohol use disorder should avoid drinking altogether.

can alcohol affect blood pressure

When blood pressure decreases, these receptors help minimize how much the blood vessels stretch to increase blood pressure. Similarly, when blood pressure increases, these receptors increase the stretching of the blood vessel walls in order to decrease blood pressure. This combination of higher fluid levels in the body and smaller blood vessels increases blood pressure. Understanding the effect of alcohol on Sober living houses blood pressure can help people prevent further health problems. People who drink should get their blood pressure checked on a regular basis so that they can spot any alcohol-related blood pressure problems. Substantial alcohol consumption may result in a common pressure surge of 7 to 12 mmHg. A surge of this scale can make all the difference between regular results and the beginning of high blood pressure.

In many cases, drinking is fine for someone with high blood pressure — but in moderation. In fact, moderate amounts of alcohol have actually been shown to help protect against heart disease and stroke.

Related To High Blood Pressure

There is not a great deal of evidence that alcohol and low blood pressure are linked for most people. Some research has shown that a single drink might have a positive effect on heart health. People who are light or moderate drinkers sometimes have lower rates of hypertension and heart attacks, which previously led many doctors to start recommending that people have one drink per day.

Author: Alyssa Peckham