6 Noteworthy Memoirs About Parenting a Child with an Addiction

Certain parenting memoirs help us feel less alone and provide hope that our child’s drug use problem can get better.  If you’re a parent of a child struggling with drugs or alcohol, here are 6 noteworthy books that offer information and advice, and might even give you comfort and strength during this difficult time.

Teens sharing pillsStay Close: A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Addiction (2010)
By Libby Cataldi
Stay Close is one mother’s tough, honest, and intimate tale that chronicles her son’s severe drug addiction, as it corroded all relationships from the inside out. It is a story of deep trauma and deep despair, but also of deep hope-and healing.
this riverThis River (2010)
By James Brown
Award-winning author James Brown gained a cult following after chronicling his turbulent childhood and spiraling drug addiction in The Los Angeles Diaries. This River picks up where Brown left off in his first memoir, describing his tenuous relationship with sobriety, telling of agonizing relapses, and tracking his attempts to become a better father.

we all fall downWe All Fall Down (2010)
By Nic Sheff
In his bestselling memoir Tweak, Nic Sheff took readers on an emotionally gripping roller-coaster ride through his days as a crystal meth and heroin addict. Now in this powerful follow-up about his continued efforts to stay clean, Nic writes candidly about eye-opening stays at rehab centers, devastating relapses, and hard-won realizations about what it means to be a young person living with addiction.

Teens sharing pillsMy Daughter’s Addiction: A Thief in the Family – Hardwired for Heroin (2009)
By Marie Minnich
A captivating story of one mother’s journey raising her heroin-addicted daughter. The autobiographical story also chronicles the murder of the author’s mother in 1968; the Youth Culture of the 60s, the author’s experience as a battered wife and the devastating effects on her adult daughter who is a drug addict.

beautiful-boyBeautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction (2009)
By David Sheff
With haunting candor, David Sheff traces his oldest son’s Methamphetamine addiction from the first subtle warning signs, the denial, the attempts at rehab and at last, the way past addiction. He shows his readers that whatever an addicts fate, the rest of the family must care for one another too, lest they become addicted to the addiction.  He shows his readers that whatever an addicts fate, the rest of the family must care for one another too, lest they become addicted to the addiction.

Teens sharing pillsThe Lost Years: Surviving a Mother and Daughter’s Worst Nightmare (2006)
By Kristina Wandzilak and Constance Curry
A child caught in the horror of alcohol and drug addiction. A mother helplessly standing by unable to save her. The Lost Years is the real life story of a mother and child, each giving their first-hand accounts of the years lost to addiction and despair. The story follows the remarkable story of Kristina’s recovery as she lives through rehab, her mother’s tough love and the years of acclimating herself to living a normal life.

Have you read any of these books?  If so, what did you think?  Do you have any suggestions to add to the list?

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23 Responses

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    November 23, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    My husband and I have just today had to ask our son to leave our home and we are devastated. He is addicted to prescription pain medication. We have discovered that he has been stealing from us and pawning our belongings. We don’t know how to handle this situation and, as I said, are very heartbroken. He is divorced and has no where to go and can’t afford his own place, so we’re feeling especially bad knowing that its Holiday time and the weather is getting cold and we’ve kicked him out.

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    House of Principles Halfway House

    September 19, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Thanks for awesome books on addiction, I am soon gonna go for we all fall down.

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    Susan Thesenga

    June 20, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    I have written a memoir (published April 2012) with my adopted daughter about her ten years of extreme drug addiction and the unusual path we followed in our recovery. It is Love Unbroken: From Addiction to Redemption. It’s available on my website http://www.loveunbroken.org, on amazon and B&N sites, and as an ebook through various retailers. Gabor Maté, M.D., author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction has said, A harrowingly honest narrative of trauma, suffering, and addiction, Love Unbroken is also a triumphant story of soul redemption.”

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