Alcoholism self-help is liberating. There are no meetings. There are no confessions. There are no 12 steps. There is no submission. There are no demands.

Reading and following suggestions found in alcoholism self-help books may make it easier for people to achieve their goals of either abstaining or drinking in moderation.

alcoholism self-helpHowever, most of the materials listed here are primarily useful to those who wish to reduce or moderate their drinking. Addictions expert Dr. William R. Miller and a colleague examined at least 32 controlled clinical trials of behavioral self-control training. They found that:

  1. Drinkers who seek help (including reading self-help books) to reduce their alcohol consumption are generally experiencing significant problems because of their drinking, but are not as seriously dependent on alcohol as are those who enter abstinence-focused treatment programs.
  2. Drinkers who receive behavioral self-control training generally reduce their alcohol consumption – by amounts averaging 50-70% – and significantly reduce their risk of alcohol-related social and health problems.
  3. Drinkers who use a self-help guide, on their own, to learn behavioral self-control tend to be as successful in reducing their drinking as those who receive outpatient behavioral self-control training from professional counselors.
  4. Those who are most successful in maintaining moderate and problem-free drinking tend to be those with less severe problems and alcohol dependence.1

Two lists of alcoholism self-help books are provided below. Books in the first list are those that can be located on WorldCat, the world’s largest network of library content and services. It is the largest “library card catalog” in existence. The second list contains those books for which information is provided on Amazon but not on WorldCat.

People have an amazing ability to overcome alcohol abuse and alcoholism. More than one-third (35.9%) of adults in the U.S. who were earlier diagnosed with alcoholism are now in full recovery, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). It discovered this on the basis of nation-wide research.

The fully recovered individuals have no symptoms of either alcohol abuse or alcoholism. They either abstain from alcohol or drink in moderation. The vast majority achieved their success without attending any twelve step meetings or receiving any treatment or therapy of any kind.

Self-help can be highly effective.

First List of Alcoholism Self-Help Books

To learn more about a book in this list, simply click on the title. This leads to WorldCat, which describes the book and indicates which libraries have it in their collections. It also provides information that can be used to order the book from a bookstore or on the internet.

How to change your drinking : a harm reduction guide to alcohol. Anderson, K.  NY: HAMS Harm Reduction, 2010.

Responsible drinking : a moderation management approach for problem drinkers. Rotgers, F,. et al.

Over the influence : the harm reduction guide for managing drugs and alcohol. Denning, P., et al. NY: Guilford, 2004. (Companion book to Responsible Drinking)

Sex, drugs, gambling, & chocolate : a workbook for overcoming addictions. Horvath, A.T. Atascadero, CA: Impact, 2004

How to control your drinking. Miller, W.R. and Muñoz, R.F. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1976.

Recovery options : the complete guide. Volpicelli, J. and Szalavitz, NY: Wiley, 2000.

Changing for good : the revolutionary program that explains the six stages of change and teaches you how to free yourself from bad habits. Prochaska, J., et al. NY: Morrow, 1994.

Sober for good : new solutions for drinking problems–advice from those who have succeeded. Fletcher. A.M. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.

Saying when: how to quit drinking or cut down: an ARF self-help book. Sanchez-Craig. M. Toronto: ARF, 1993.

Drinkwise : how to quit drinking or cut down : a self-help book. Sanchez-Craig, M. Toronto: ARF, 1995.

The miracle method : a radically new approach to problem drinking. Miller, S.D. and Berg. I.K. NY: Norton, 1995.

When AA doesn’t work for you : rational steps to quitting alcohol. Albert Ellis, A. and Velten, E.C. Fort Lee, NJ: Barricade, 1992.

How to quit drinking without AA : a complete self-help guide. Dorsman, J. Rocklin, CA: Prima, 1997.

Seven weeks to safe social drinking : how to effectively moderate your alcohol intake. Cornett, D.J. Secaucus, NJ: Carol, 1997.

12 smart things to do when the booze and drugs are gone : choosing emotional sobriety through self-awareness and right action. Berger, A. Center City, MN: Hazelden, 2010.

12 Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery & 12 Smart Things to Do When the Booze and Drugs Are Gone : Avoiding Relapse and Choosing Emotional Sobriety through Self-Awareness and Right Action. Berger, A. NY: Hazelden, 2010. (eBook)

The Vitamin Cure for Alcoholism : How to Protect Against and Fight Alcoholism Using Nutrition and Vitamin Supplementation. Hoffer, A. and Saul, A.W. North Bergen, NJ : Basic Health, 2013.

The cure for alcoholism : the medically proven way to eliminate alcohol addiction. Eskapa, R.D., et al. Dallas, TX: BenBella, 2012.

The cure for alcoholism : drink your way sober without willpower, abstinence, or discomfort : the Sinclair method, a medically proven cure for alcoholism. Eskapa, R.D. Dallas, TX: BenBella, 2008.

The addiction workbook : a step-by-step guide to quitting alcohol & drugs. Fanning, P. and O’Neill, J. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 1996.

The mindfulness workbook for addiction : a guide to coping with the grief, stress and anger that trigger addictive behaviors. Williams, R.E. and Julie S Kraft, J.S. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 2012.

The recovery book : answers to all your questions about addiction and alcoholism and finding health and happiness in sobriety. Mooney, A.J. et al. NY: Workman, 2014.

The wisdom to know the difference : an acceptance & commitment therapy workbook for overcoming substance abuse. Wilson, K.G. and DuFrene, T. Oakland, CA : New Harbinger, 2012.

Beyond the influence : understanding and defeating alcoholism. Ketcham. K. and Asbury, W.F. NY: Bantam, 2000.

Empathic attunement : the “technique” of psychoanalytic self psychology. Rowe, C.E. and MacIsaac, D.S. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1989.

No more letting go : the spirituality of taking action against alcoholism and drug addiction. Jay, D. NY: Bantam, 2006.

Cognitive behavioural therapy workbook for dummies. Branch, R. and Rob Willson, R. Chichester: Wiley, 2012.

Cool water : alcoholism, mindfulness, and ordinary recovery. Alexander, B. Boston: Shambhala, 1997.

Ordinary recovery : mindfulness, alcoholism, and the path of lifelong sobriety. Bill Alexander, B. Boston: Shambhala, 2010.

How to stay sober : recovery without religion. Christopher, J. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 1988.

Overcoming your alcohol, drug and recovery habits : an empowering alternative to AA and 12-step treatment.  DeSena, J. Tucson, AZ: See Sharp Press, 2003.

Overcoming your alcohol or drug problem : effective recovery strategies : workbook. Daley, D.C. and Marlatt, G.A. NY: Oxford U. Press, 2006. (Workbook to accompany Overcoming your alcohol, drug and recovery habits : an empowering alternative to AA and 12-step treatment

Coming clean : overcoming addiction without treatment. Granfield, R. and William Cloud, W. NY: New York U. Press, 1999.

Many roads, one journey : moving beyond the twelve steps. Kasl, C.S. NY: HarperPerennial, 1992.(eBook)

The art of moderation : an alternative to alcoholism. Michael, J. Mill Valley, CA: Vision, 1999.

The miracle method : a radically new approach to problem drinking Miller, S.D. and Berg, I.K. NY: Norton, 1995.

Controlling your drinking : tools to make moderation work for you. Miller, W.R. and Muñoz, R.F. NY: Guilford, 2005.

Alternatives to abstinence : a new look at alcoholism and the choices in treatment. Ogilvie, H.NY: Hatherleigh, 2001.

Addiction is a choice. Schaler, J.A. Chicago: Open Court, 2000.

Problem drinkers : guided self-change treatment. Sobell, M.B. and Sobell, L.C. NY: Guilford, 1993.

The small book : a revolutionary alternative for overcoming alcohol and drug dependence. Trimpey, J.  NY: Delacorte, 1992.

The better way to drink : moderation & control of problem drinking. Vogler, R.E. and Bartz, W.R. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 1985..

Second List of Alcoholism Self-Help Books

The following books are not in WorldCat. To learn about a book in this list, click on the title. This leads to, which describes the book and is a source from which it can be ordered.

Overcome the Alcohol Addiction Problem: A self-help guide to get free from alcoholism (Alcoholism, alcohol addiction… by Zack Tresek.

The Alcoholism Cure – How To Overcome Alcohol Addiction And Be Sober For Life (Alcoholism, Alcohol Addiction,… by Stephen Hall.

I Can’t Stop (drinking): A Self Help Guide on Overcoming Alcoholism Apr 3, 2014 by Monika Herrmann.

How to Stop Drinking 30 Day Plan: 30 days of motivation to a happier, healthier life! by Liz Hemingway

Alcohol Addiction Relief – Overcoming The Addiction For Good! (Addiction Relief, Recovery, well-being, alcoholism… by Ciera Scott.

The Binge Drinking Solution: Control Alcohol Consumption and Stop Binge Drinking for Life (Alcohol, Alcoholism… by Benjamin Tideas.

Quit Drinking / Stay Sober: The Easy Way(Alcohol Abuse, Alcohol Recovery, Binge Drinking by Anastasia Verg

The Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Patient Workbook May 7, 2003 by Robert R. Perkinson.

The 12-Step Buddhist: Enhance Recovery from Any Addiction by Darren Littlejohn

The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure: A Holistic Approach to Total Recovery by Chris Prentiss.

Powerless No Longer: Reprogramming Your Addictive Behavior by Peter W. Soderman and Michael Werner

Alcoholism Treatment For Being Happy Again: The Ultimate Guide To Help You Walk Away From Alcohol: Alcoholism… by Frank Owell.

Staying Sober Without AA by Charles Deemer

The Problem Was Me: How to End Negative Self-Talk and Take Your Life to a New Level by Thomas Gagliano and Abraham J. Twerski.

How To Conquer Your Alcoholism: A Complete and Useable Program and Reference Guide To Getting & Staying Sober Jan 16, 2015 by D H Williams.

The Triumph of Addiction Recovery in the Breakdown of the Bicameral, Addictive Voice, or, Who Killed Julian Jaynes… Mar 18, 2009 by Jack Trimpey

Further Reading


1. Adapted from Miller, W.R., and Munoz, R.F. Controlling Your Drinking: Tools to Make Moderation Work for You. NY: Guilford, 2005. Pp. x-xi.

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Filed Under: Resources for Alcoholism Self-Help