Many compelling, well-written narratives are centered on addiction or otherwise feature teen characters struggling with substance abuse. If you’re interested in reading more books that incorporate this important subject matter, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites below. Have you read any of these important stories?
7 Must-Read Books That Address Drug Addiction
1. Wrecked by Heather Henson
Looking for Alaska meets Breaking Bad in this piercing novel about three teens, caught in the middle of the opioid crisis in rural Appalachia, whose world literally blows up around them. Shining a klieg light on the opioid crisis coursing through this country, Wrecked will have readers on the edge of their seat right up until the explosive ending.
2. Tweak by Nic Sheff
By the time Nic was in early adolescence, he was already addicted to a number of heavy substances. This harrowing story is about recovery, relapse, and family and tells a raw and ultimately hopeful tale of the road from relapse to recovery. Nic’s story is also now a major motion picture: Beautiful Boy starring Timothée Chalamet as Nic and Steve Carrell as his father, David.
3. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
This novel-in-verse is the first in the Crank trilogy deals with a teen who struggles with a meth addiction and struggles to keep hold of everything she’s worked so hard for.
4. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
For thirty-five years, the acclaimed, bestselling first-person account of a teenage girl’s harrowing decent into the nightmarish world of drugs has left an indelible mark on generations of teen readers. As powerful—and as timely—today as ever, Go Ask Alice remains the definitive book on the horrors of addiction.
5. Breaking Bailey by Anonymous
In the tradition of Go Ask Alice and Lucy in the Sky, this heart-wrenching story chronicles a girl’s fatal experience with testing her moral limits and the dangers of addiction.
6. Other Broken Things by C. Desir
From the author of Bleed Like Me, which Booklist called “edgy, dark, and turbulent with passion” comes another compelling and gritty novel about addiction and forbidden romance—starring a fearless, unforgettable heroine. In order to make a different kind of life for herself, our heroine Nat must pull together her broken parts and learn to fight for herself.
7. Roxy by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman
From the team that brought you the New York Times bestselling Dry comes a riveting new thriller that explores the opioid crisis.