Our 20 Favorite Addiction Quotes
Whether you’re just getting sober or in long-term recovery, these quotes offer encouragement and understanding.
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Addiction quotes provide inspiration in small, bite-sized chunks. Hundreds of people who understand the ins and outs of substance abuse speak on it. Pulling small pieces of their conversations and talks provides clarity and understanding.
When you’re struggling, whether in active addiction or early recovery, these addiction quotes may help you feel understood. They can give you the push you need to get some help or keep going if you started the process of getting sober. It helps you to not feel so alone in a disease that tries its best to isolate you.
Read the following addiction quotes and save some that stand out to you. If you’re looking for the inspiration to get clean or the drive to stay sober, you might find it here.
1. “It is hard to understand addiction unless you have experienced it.” – Ken Hensley
Until you’ve been addicted to drugs or someone close to you has, it’s difficult to understand what it’s like.
2. “No one is immune from addiction; it afflicts people of all ages, races, classes, and professions.” – Patrick J. Kennedy
This is one of the most important addiction quotes. Many have an image in their mind of what addiction looks like but addiction can affect anyone.
3. “Addiction begins with the hope that something ‘out there’ can instantly fill up the emptiness inside.” – Jean Kilbourne
Addicts try to fill a void with drugs and alcohol that can’t be filled by any external substance.
4. “The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones.” – Somerset Maugham
Remember when you’re getting sober that it is one of the biggest challenges but provides the greatest reward.
5. “First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.” – Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald
This sticks out on the list of addiction quotes because it describes the inevitable downfall experienced by millions of alcoholics and addicts when they don’t quit drinking and using.
6. “At first, addiction is maintained by pleasure, but the intensity of this pleasure gradually diminishes and the addiction is then maintained by the avoidance of pain.” – Frank Tallis
Drugs and alcohol start out as a way to have a good time. Some take it too far, though, and develop drug addiction or alcoholism. Then they drink and use not to have a good time but to escape the pain.
7. “When was the last time you woke up and wished you’d had just one more drink the night before? I have never regretted not drinking. Say this to yourself, and you’ll get through anything.” – Meredith Bell
If you ask an alcoholic who woke up sober whether they wish they took a drink last night, chances are they’ll tell you no.
8. “Addiction isn’t about substance – you aren’t addicted to the substance, you are addicted to the alteration of mood that the substance brings.” – Susan Cheever
Addicts and alcoholics often explain that they use to make themselves feel better. Like one of the addiction quotes above, the ability to change the way they feel keeps them hooked.
9. “I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.” – Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe understood the pulls of addiction and the impact it has on a person. He had his own struggles with substances so he knew from personal experience.
10. “Addiction is just a way of trying to get at something else. Something bigger. Call it transcendence if you want, but it’s like a rat in a maze. We all want the same thing. We all have this hole. The thing you want offers relief, but it’s a trap.” – Tess Callahan
Addicts and alcoholics chase the feeling of “being okay” by using substances. But there are healthier alternatives to reach that sense of “okay” that don’t involve drugs or alcohol.
11. “These diseases both alcoholism and addiction, much like bipolar or depression and different illnesses, are still not seen as real diseases. People shy away from seeking help because it’s viewed as being somewhat morally off the path, that they’ve lost their way.” – Jim Irsay
Asking for help when you’re an addict or alcoholic can be difficult. Even though more people understand the true nature of addiction, some still believe it’s as simple as “just quitting.”
12. “The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.” – Russell Brand
Russell Brand’s fame provides a platform for him to share about his own struggles with addiction. His openness about his challenges brings understandable addiction quotes to the masses.
13. “Recovery from addiction requires hard work, a proper attitude and learning skills to stay sober, not drinking alcohol or using other drugs. Successful drug recovery or alcohol recovery involves changing attitudes, acquiring knowledge, and developing skills to meet the many challenges of sobriety.” – Dennis Daley
Addiction recovery isn’t as simple as “just quitting.” Once you stop using, you need to find alternatives to replace your old habits and behaviors.
14. “Checking your ego, abandoning it, letting it go, is a huge part of recovery from addiction.” – Susannah Grant
Developing the ability to check yourself and your motives in early recovery gives you a better chance at staying sober in the long run.
15. “The days you are the most uncomfortable are the days you learn the most about yourself.” – Anonymous
Growing pains are common in early sobriety. They seem more challenging to deal with, though, because your old solution to discomfort is gone. If you stick with it, though, it pays off in the long run.
16. “Every worthy act is difficult. Ascent is always difficult. Descent is easy and often slippery.” – Mahatma Gandhi
It’s easy to stay stuck in the trenches of addiction. It’s challenging to get sober but the difficulties are worth the rewards of living free from drugs and alcohol.
17. “As one goes through life, one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.” – Katherine Hepburn
No one can get you sober. This is one of the greatest addiction quotes because many people try to get sober for others. You have no chance of staying clean until you choose to do it for yourself.
18. “You can come out of the furnace of trouble two ways: if you let it consume you, you come out a cinder; but there is a kind of metal which refuses to be consumed, and it comes out a star.” – Jean Church
The death rates due to drugs and alcohol continue sitting at alarming rates every year. You don’t have to fall victim to your addiction, though, and you can use your story to help others in the long run.
19. “All the suffering, stress and addiction comes from not realizing you already are what you are looking for.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
All that you need is already inside of you. Chasing false highs leads to a life of misery but learning to sit with yourself brings freedom.
20. “One day at a time.” – Anonymous.
This might be the most important of all the addiction quotes out there. When you look too far into the future, staying sober gets overwhelming. When you take it one day at a time, though, it’s possible.
Finding Addiction Treatment
If you’re struggling to get sober or stay sober, addiction treatment can help. Hawaii Island Recovery is an incredible addiction treatment facility on the Big Island of Hawaii. Whether you live with addiction, alcoholism, mental illness, or dual diagnosis, we have programs available. Call 877-721-3556 to learn more today.