About The Recovery Book

The Recovery Book: Answers to All Your Questions About Addiction and Alcoholism and Finding Health and Happiness in Sobriety 

“A classic. Read it. Use it. It can help guide you step by step into the bright light of the world of recovery.”

— from the Foreword by Harry Haroutunian, M.D., Physician Director, Betty Ford Center


“The Recovery Book is the Bible of recovery. Everything you need to know you will find in here.”

— Neil Scott, host, Recovery Coast to Coast radio


The second edition of The Recovery Book is now available! (See Buy The Book for links to retailers.)

The Recovery Book was first published in 1992. Since then, it has sold more than 350,000 copies, and has become a standard in the world of addiction and recovery, providing no-nonsense answers to questions about recovery. Dr. Harry Haroutunian, physician director of the Betty Ford Center, calls it a "recovery classic." Others call it "the Bible of recovery."

>>> Read the first three chapters of The Recovery Book for FREE at Amazon. <<<<

The Recovery Book provides a direct and easy-to-follow road map to every step in the recovery process, from the momentous decision to quit to the emotional, physical, and spiritual issues that arise along the way. Its comprehensive and effective advice speaks to people with addiction, their loved ones, and addiction professionals who need a proven, trusted resource and a supportive voice.

The new edition of The Recovery Book features the revolutionary Recovery Zone System, which divides a life in recovery into three chronological zones and provides guidance on exactly what to do in each zone: 

  • The Red Zone  STOP. Activate your recovery and save your life. Focus entirely on survival and your recovery.
  • The Yellow Zone  Proceed with caution. Rebuild your life. Maintain the foundation of sobriety and strong recovery.
  • The Green Zone  Go. Celebrate your life. Live a long and sober life and help others find recovery.

Readers also learn how to use the Recovery Zone ReCheck, a simple, yet very effective relapse prevention tool.  

The Recovery Zone System works hand-in-hand with the 12-step philosophy and all other recovery methods.

In addition, The Recovery Book covers new knowledge about addiction mechanisms and neuroplasticity, explaining how alcohol and drugs alter the brain. The authors outline a simple daily practice, called TAMERS, that helps people to use those same processes to “remold their brains” around recovery, eventually making sobriety a routine way of life.

In 26 chapters and over 600 pages, The Recovery Book tackles issues such as:

  • Committing to Recovery: Identifying and accepting the problem; deciding to get sober.
  • Treatment Options: Extensive information on all current options, and how to choose a program.
  • AA and other 12-Step Fellowships: How to get involved in a mutual-support group and what it can do for you.
  • Addiction Science and Neuroplasticity: How alcohol and drugs alter pathways in the brain, and how to use the same processes to remold the brain around recovery.
  • Relapse Prevention: The Recovery Zone ReCheck, a simple new technique to anticipate and avoid relapses.
  • Rebuilding Your Life: How to handle relationships, socializing, work, education, and finances.
  • Physical and Mental Health: Tips for getting healthy; how to handle common ailments.
  • Pain Control: How to deal with pain in recovery; how to avoid a relapse if you need pain control for surgery or emergency care.
  • Family and Friends: How you can help a loved one with addiction, and how you can help yourself.
  • Raising Substance-Free Kids: How to “addiction-proof” your child.
  • The Epidemic of Prescription Drugs: Now a bigger problem than illegal drugs.

Dr. Al J. Mooney has been helping alcoholics and addicts get their lives back for more than thirty years, using both his professional and personal experiences at his family’s treatment center, Willingway, and most recently through his work as medical director for The Healing Place of Wake County (NC), a homeless shelter.  

The Recovery Book will help millions gain control of their mind, their body, their life, and their happiness.  


Al J. Mooney, M.D., currently the Director of Addiction Medicine and Recovery at Willingway, lectures internationally on the latest science and treatments for recovery.

Catherine Dold has covered health and environmental issues for The New York Times, Smithsonian, Discover, Self, and many other national publications.

Howard Eisenberg is a medical journalist and coauthor of How to Be Your Own Doctor (Sometimes).

More about the authors.


The Recovery Book: Answers to All Your Questions About Addiction and Alcoholism and Finding Health and Happiness in Sobriety by Al J. Mooney, M.D., Catherine Dold, and Howard Eisenberg Workman Publishing * September 2014 * ISBN: 978-0-7611-7611-4 * $17.95

For more information or to schedule an interview with Al J. Mooney, M.D., please contact Noreen Herits / Executive Publicist / noreen@workman.com / (212) 614-7775

You can learn more about Willingway at willingway.com