Creative Comic Book Highlights Tales of Recovery

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Sobriety is now in comic book form. Life in recovery is being presented in a totally different way – the first animated book on sobriety has hit shelves just in time for the holidays.

A Totally Different Sobriety Tool

Released by Hazelden Publishing, Sobriety: A Graphic Novel tells the stories of five addicts who are at a treatment facility.

The characters in this comic book are intentionally diverse; they include a high school girl from Vietnam and a former factory worker pushing towards his 70th birthday.

The comic book story primarily takes place over the course of an afternoon as the characters share their stories of drug use, but readers are periodically treated to flashbacks as the subjects discuss their unique journies into sobriety.

We’re all in this Together

The graphic novel does an amazing job of stressing the similarities of the characters and downplaying their differences, which holds in line with the message of Twelve Step programs. When one addict admits to fabricating part of his personal story, another gently tells him that lying is part of their “disease” and that shame has no place in their recovery process. It’s a really impressive example of what we’re all capable of achieving and the honest support systems that can be built during recovery.

Sobriety also highlights how an “amend,” or an apology, allows both parties to more easily move forward.

Addiction’s History in Comics

While this is the first comic book to solely address issues of addiction, some of the most popular superhero characters have waged their own battles with drugs. Here’s a quick look at some of the most famous caped crusaders and their experiences with drugs:

    • Arsenal, former sidekick to Green Arrow, was sent off to super-villain drug rehab to overcome a heroin addiction. A severe relapse on “China Cat” resulted in him killing heroin junkies and cradling a dead cat, which he believed was his daughter’s corpse. Batman eventually apprehends Arsenal and ends his reign of terror. The comic book even won a PRISM award in 2011 for “accurate depiction of substance abuse and mental illness.”


  • Captain America may have a steroid problem, seeing as how he got all those powers from military “juice,” but did you know that he also dealt with meth addiction? Cap became addicted to the meth after getting caught in a cook’s lab explosion. The drugs bonded with serum in his blood, and next thing you know, Captain America became a paranoid tweaker who beat up another hero, Daredevil, while in a paranoid state. In the end, the Black Widow took control of Cap, sending him to detox at the Avengers Tower.

Learn more about finding recovery programs and support groups.

Image Credits: Columbian/ReportingOnHealth

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