Anne Costa knows what it’s like to be in the trenches of addiction. She shares her heart in her new book, Praying for Those with Addictions: A Mission of Love, Mercy, and Hope as a recovering alcoholic herself. Costa, as a spiritual coach and dynamic speaker, also realizes that loving someone with an addiction requires deep and intense healing. It’s not possible to find a “quick fix” solution to long-term recovery for family and friends of addicts and alcoholics.

Her book doesn’t merely address one aspect of healing and recovery, however. Costa is very thorough in incorporating aspects of 12 Step programs and their philosophies that overlap with Christian spirituality and scripture verses. She offers practical wisdom, not lofty and unattainable advice. Each chapter is formatted for the reader to really delve into the hard work of healing, which is often times a lonely and arduous path.

However, Costa ensures that Praying for Those with Addictions will be a source of encouragement and inspiration for the weary family and friends who are hanging by a thread and do not know how to carry on with such agonizing and heart-wrenching pain in their lives. Each chapter is broken into a personal testimony by Costa, followed by three weeks of ongoing reflection and prayer. These include a scripture passage, reflection question, and a very powerful and personal prayer in which the reader can insert the name of his/her loved one with an addiction. The end includes lined pages for notes and perhaps journaling.

I found the prayers to be incredibly powerful, because when you name someone in a prayer, the effects of healing cannot be fathomed. This book is a treasure for anyone involved in Al-Anon or not yet involved in a 12 Step program. It is suitable for families and for group discussions.

Because addiction is so rampant in my own family, I found Costa’s style of writing and encouragement to be refreshing and hopeful. She reminded me of aspects of my own spiritual journey that have not yet been entirely healed over the course of decades, and her book filled in the gaps where I needed to address my own issues and reactions to the addicts in my family.

Text (c) Jeannie Ewing, all rights reserved.