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9 Serious and Educational Books About Drugs

An open minded list about exploring the often-taboo subject of drugs.

Drugs. When you hear the word, you start thinking about taboos, violence, avoidable deaths, crime, and unthinkable behavior.

For all the many (many!) negative aspects, drug study is, at its core, about seeing how far we can take the human mind and body. The goal being to help us surpass our natural limits. Since they’ve been the basis for many medical breakthroughs, it is still to this day worthwhile to learn about drugs. Here are the best books on the subject.

Who contributed to this article?
Sam Anthony Lucania from SamanthonySpeaks

Jay Shifman from Ornelas Station Consulting

David Reischer from Injury Law LegalAdvice

Lydia Anderson from The Quarto Group

Adina Mahalli from EnlightenedReality

Roger M Mills, MD from RMillsMD

Alan Charles from WalkingOutTheOtherSide

Anne Martin from Banyan Treatment Center

#1 Hands Like You’re Praying by Sam Anthony Lucania and Rachel Lucania

Hands Like You're Praying by Sam Anthony Lucania and Rachel Lucania
Sam Anthony Lucania started writing to share about his journey with addiction, arrests and recovery. He just finished his memoir Hands Like You’re Praying.

This book is unlike any other on the market because it was co-authored by his wife Rachel, who saved his life after an overdose in 2013. Several times throughout the book you will hear from the wife of an addict and get her point of view on what it was like living with her husband during active addiction.

Their vision co-authoring this book was to give couples struggling in recovery hope that not only can a person recovery from substance use disorder, but the relationship and family can recover as well.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Read more reviews and buy the book here (Amazon)

Search for the audiobook here (Audible)

#2 Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic

Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic
In Dreamland, Sam Quinones follows the modern Opioid epidemic as it ravages a small town and spreads out across the country. As thousands continue to die, Dreamland is a book everyone should read.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Read more reviews and buy the book here (Amazon)

Search for the audiobook here (Audible)

#3 Dispensing with the Truth by Alicia Mundy

Dispensing with the Truth by Alicia Mundy
This important book details the origins of the defective drug known as Fen-Phen entering into the United States in the late 1990s and the legal and personal battles that ensued before the drug was taken off the market by the FDA.

The book narrates the how the FDA was slow to react after Fen-Phen’s users started dying unexpectedly. The Fen-Phen epidemic today in America began as a diet drug by major pharmaceutical company Wyeth-Ayerst, a division of American Home Products that took the populace and bureaucratic FDA by surprise of the dangers from this defective drug.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Read more reviews and buy the book here (Amazon)

Search for the audiobook here (Audible)

#4 Magic Medicine by Cody Johnson

Magic Medicine by Cody Johnson
The history of psychedelic plants and substances is full of colorful, fascinating facts and stories, and intriguing questions: Did U.S. Army Intelligence really use LSD as an enhanced military interrogation technique? Why does Ayahuasca have such a long history of use in Peru?

Science is beginning to research what traditional cultures have told us for years: psychelics have transformative healing properties. Magic Medicine explores the fascinating history of psychedelic substances and provides a contemporary update about their growing inclusion modern medicine, science, and culture.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Read more reviews and buy the book here (Amazon)

Search for the audiobook here (Audible)

#5 Go Ask Alice (Anonymous Diaries)

Go Ask Alice (Anonymous Diaries)
This book from 1971 is just as relevant today as it was back then. It tells the first-person story of a 15-year-old girl who becomes addicted to drugs at age 15.

What started as simply drinking a beverage laced with LSD at a party turned into an addiction that caused the narrator to run away from home. The whole story, and especially the ending, will definitely hook readers.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Read more reviews and buy the book here (Amazon)

Search for the audiobook here (Audible)

#6 Nesiritide. The Rise and Fall of Scios

Nesiritide. The Rise and Fall of Scios
Nesiritide tells the inside story of the development, FDA approval, and commercial rise and fall of a novel treatment for heart failure. One of the posted reviews captures it all, Definitely a great read and a depiction not only of drug discovery and approval but also a chronicle of an important chapter in the treatment of heart disease.

This story of science, marketing, hyperbole, data and failure captures lessons learned and lingering influences of this saga on the field today. Nesiritide won the 2016 Foreword INDIES Bronze prize for science writing and has all 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Read more reviews and buy the book here (Amazon)

Search for the audiobook here (Audible)

#7 Walking Out the Other Side by Alan S. Charles

Walking Out the Other Side by Alan S. Charles
Walking Out the Other Side – An Addict’s Journey from Loneliness to Life is a memoir of my adventurous life of playing Professional Baseball and had a career as a Professional Harness racing driver followed by a 24 year cocaine addiction.

I’m suggesting my book because “from what I have been told” my book gets right into the things that happen in life and are part of why people become addicted. It is RAW, Real and 100% honest look. I pull no punches and expose the mind set of an addict.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Read more reviews and buy the book here (Amazon)

Search for the audiobook here (Audible)

#8 Dreamseller: An Addiction Memoir by Brandon Novak with Joe Frantz

Dreamseller: An Addiction Memoir by Brandon Novak with Joe Frantz
Dreamseller is the New York Times bestselling memoir by Brandon Novak. You may recognize Brandon’s name; he starred in the legendary MTV Jackass Movie series, on the hit television show Viva La Bam, and traveled the world as a professional skateboarder with Tony Hawk. He was a multi-millionaire by his early twenties.

Brandon, however, battled heroin addiction for the entirety of his career and eventually wound up homeless on the streets of Baltimore with nothing left. Follow his journey through this bestselling memoir; a gritty, raw depiction of life as an addict on the streets. Dreamseller is riveting- a cautionary tale of the depths to which addiction can lead.

Astonishingly, Brandon has since found recovery from addiction and now celebrates more than three years sober. He now travels the country as an advocate for addiction recovery resources, and serves as a Community Outreach Representative for one of the largest addiction treatment centers in the country, Banyan Treatment Center.

Dreamseller is currently in its 9th printing since it was first released in 2008. More than ten years later it is still one of the most widely read memoirs in the addiction category.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Read more reviews and buy the book here (Amazon)

Search for the audiobook here (Audible)

#9 The Brandon Novak Chronicles by Joe Frantz

The Brandon Novak Chronicles by Joe Frantz
The Brandon Novak Chronicles, released in late 2018, is the sequel to the New York Times bestselling memoir Dreamseller. Authored by the MTV Jackass Movie series and Viva La Bam star Brandon Novak, who traveled the world as a professional skateboarder with Tony Hawk, this first-ever addiction graphic novel, The Brandon Novak Chronicles follows a journey through addiction in a way that has never been seen before.

With explicit, graphic images, this book is not for the faint of heart. It offers a real-life glimpse into the life of a homeless heroin addict. The Brandon Novak Chronicles shows that no matter how far down the scale an addict has gone, recovery is always possible.

Brandon Novak now has more than three years sober and travels the country as an advocate for addiction recovery resources. He serves as a Community Outreach Representative for one of the largest networks of addiction treatment facilities in the country, Banyan Treatment Center. The book even includes personal contact information for Brandon, so that any reader who is struggling may reach out to him for help directly.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Read more reviews and buy the book here (Amazon)

Search for the audiobook here (Audible)

monsterid

Written by Zak Parker

Journalist, writer, musician, professional procrastinator. I'll add more here later.

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