Reading about heroin addiction is a great option for both heroin addicts and non-addicts. For non-addicts, it can help them understand what their friend or loved one might be going through, and for addicts, it can help them realize their own addiction or realize their own shortcomings during recovery. In some cases, they might also provide inspiration during recovery, helping addicts stay clean or inspiring them that they can actually do amidst hard times. Here are five great books that address heroin addiction in one way or another.
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Junkie: Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict by William S. Burroughs
This semi-autobiographical novel was published in 1953. Despite it being an older book, it remains as one of the best and most popular books about heroin addiction, often recommended to those in recovery. The main character of the novel tries morphine at the start of the book and becomes addicted to it fairly quickly. He also uses heroin and alcohol throughout the story.
Junkie: Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict does a great job of painting an accurate portrait of addiction and the struggles that addicts go through on a daily basis. It speaks about cravings, withdrawals, poor decision-making, crime, and more. What this novel does best, however, is addresses the challenges of drug addicts and how hard it can be to quit and become sober.
Junkie is a great read for family members of heroin addicts, as this novel can help them understand just how hard it can be to deal with heroin addiction and how difficult it can be to free oneself from heroin’s clutches.
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh makes a lot of heroin-related lists, as it was also turned into a successful movie that’s often recommended for the same reasons. This fictional story follows a group of young men and their struggles with heroin addiction. This book documents how hard it can be to get sober, especially when your friends are going through the same things. The characters in this book face jail time, overdose, and more.
For a fictional novel, Trainspotting does a great job of accurately representing what it’s like to go through heroin addiction. For example, many characters get sober only to experience relapse and have to go through the treatment process all over again. It does a great job of representing the challenges in both addiction and treatment, and how getting sober can be a long journey, not a quick fix.
The Big Fix: Hope After Heroin by Tracey Helton Mitchell
The Big Fix was published in 2016 and recounts Tracey Helton Mitchell’s recovery from her long-term heroin addiction. Her story starts out like many, with an opioid prescription. Like others, she quickly became addicted to the pain relief and euphoria and kept using until her prescription ran out. After her prescription ran out, she turned to the ever-accessible street drug heroin.
Helton Mitchell faced a lot of struggles which she documents well in this book, such as homelessness and jail time. Like many addicts, she hit rock bottom and realized she had no other choice but to seek treatment.
This book also features Helton Mitchell’s opinions on the opioid crisis and how heroin addiction can affect women differently than it affects men. Overall, this is a great read for both recovering addicts and family members.
Cherry by Niko Walker
Cherry by Niko Walker hit the New York Times Bestseller list and is one of many highly recommended novels about heroin addiction. Unlike others on this list, this novel focuses mainly on the opioid epidemic and the main character’s personal experience with heroin. This novel is another that’s great for families, as it documents just how difficult withdrawal can be. This novel goes into detail about the pain and anxiety that come with withdrawal and can help families better understand why it can be so difficult for some people to seek treatment.
This novel is also great for educating families on the opioid epidemic and how it can lead to heroin addiction. This can help to end the stigma surrounding drug abuse, making it easier for the loved ones of these families to get the help they need without judgment.
Strung Out: One Last Hit and Other Lies That Nearly Killed Me by Erin Khar
Strung Out: One Last Hit and Other Lies That Nearly Killed Me is a memoir that was published in 2020, showcasing the years that Erin Khar spent addicted to heroin, starting as a teenager. She documents her time with drugs, starting at age 13 when she first tried heroin after using a family member’s prescription opioid. As is true for many, prescription opioids led quickly to heroin, which led quickly to a full-blown addiction.
She talks about something that’s very common within the addiction community, lying. Khar addresses how she hid her troubles and addiction from almost everyone she knew, and how good she was at it. Once she became a mother, her plan to get sober went into overdrive, giving her the motivation that she was looking for.
This is a great novel that addresses not only the challenges of getting and staying sober but the stigma attached to addiction and why people often choose to hide their problems and refuse to get treatment.
Seek Treatment for Heroin Addiction Today
If you or someone you love is struggling with heroin addiction, now is the time to get the help that you need. Hopefully, some of these novels can help to inspire you and educate your family, making it easier to seek treatment. These novels are also great to read during the recovery period if you need a little extra encouragement.
Here at Asheville Recovery Center, we offer a variety of treatment options, including inpatient, outpatient, and detoxification programs. To learn more about our treatment programs and how we can help you, contact us today. We’re eager to answer any questions you may have about our treatment programs.