Addiction Recovery Quotes: The Ultimate Collection

Inspirational addiction recovery quotes can serve as powerful tools in cultivating an optimistic mindset, acting as beacons of motivation and encouragement.


The journey of overcoming addiction is often marked by challenges that affect both the mind and the body. Individuals battling substance abuse frequently turn to drugs or alcohol as a means to numb emotional pain, escape from isolation, or suppress traumatic memories.


However, breaking free from the grips of addiction is possible, and fostering a sense of hope and positivity plays a pivotal role in this process.


This collection of addiction recovery quotes brings together profound insights from a diverse array of sources, including well-known personalities, celebrated authors, and influential speakers. Their words offer guidance and strength, whether in facing cocaine addiction, navigating the ups and downs of meth recovery, or simply seeking inspiration to break free from destructive habits.


Addiction Recovery Quotes: Making the Decision to Getting Started

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and the first step of recovery is recognizing there is a problem. Making the decision to begin addiction recovery is a large, but worthwhile decision.

Take your first step towards recovery.


“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” – J.P. Morgan


A portrait of JP Morgan, a famous US banker in the 1800s and 1900s.
J.P. Morgan

While not specific to addiction recovery, Morgan, a prominent American banker, highlights a key concept in addiction recovery: recognizing the need for change. This idea aligns with the first step in many recovery programs, where admitting the problem and deciding to seek help is crucial. Morgan’s perspective underscores the importance of committing to a different, healthier path, a vital move for those overcoming addiction.


“Recovery is an acceptance that your life is in shambles and you have to change it.” – Jamie Lee Curtis


An Academy Award-winning actor, Curtis celebrated 24 years sober in February, 2023. After battling opioid addiction, she has shown a resurgence in her craft, recently winning her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2022’s Everything Everywhere All at Once.


“Change before you have to.” – Jack Welch


Jack Welch, renowned for his leadership as the CEO of General Electric, emphasizes the proactive nature of change with this quote. While his expertise lies in business management, his advice is highly relevant to addiction recovery. It suggests the importance of recognizing and addressing issues, such as addictive behaviors, before they escalate into more severe problems.


“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” – Steve Maraboli


In his book “Life, the Truth, and Being Free”, renowned life coach and author Maraboli emphasizes the importance of taking control of what can be influenced, a vital strategy in addiction recovery. His perspective encourages focusing on personal power and responsibility, crucial in overcoming addiction’s challenges. While focusing on what you cannot change can make you feel powerless, focusing on what you can change will show you the power you have.


“Drugs take you to hell, disguised as heaven.” – Donald Lyn Frost


Frost, a drug therapist, poignantly describes the deceptive allure of drugs, drawing a stark contrast between their initial promise and the harsh reality. His words resonate with those in recovery, highlighting the importance of recognizing and confronting the true nature of addiction. This insight is crucial in understanding and overcoming the destructive path of substance abuse.


“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


Bell, the author of “Seven Days Sober,” offers a straightforward yet powerful strategy for resisting temptation in recovery. Her approach highlights the benefits of sobriety and the lack of regret in choosing a sober life. This simple but effective mindset is a valuable tool for those navigating the challenges of addiction recovery.


“These feelings, no matter how painful, are part of living. Today, we are alive—not anesthetized, not sedated, not passed out. Take control of your feelings and through action you can change. Today, as every day of sober living, we have a choice.”  – Ann D. Clark


Clark in her book “Women & Recovery…” advocates for actively managing emotions and actions to drive change. Her approach is particularly relevant in recovery, where taking control of one’s life and making conscious choices is key to overcoming addiction. This proactive stance is essential in moving towards a sober and fulfilling life.


“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese proverb


The Chinese proverb about planting a tree underlines the importance of taking action in the present for future benefits. This concept is particularly relevant in recovery, emphasizing that the best time to start the journey towards sobriety is now. It encourages immediate action, regardless of past missed opportunities.


“Recovery is hard, but not recovering is harder.” – Unknown


This quote is a reminder of what is at stake in recovery. It is important to have an understanding that the journey will be difficult, but the payoff is that you will avoid the compounding issues that addiction will bring.


Defeating the Stigma

Sometimes the stigma surrounding addiction and addiction recovery can cause self-doubt, or even self-hatred. The viewpoints of others can seep into an addicts mind and make them feel unworthy of love form others, or even loving themselves. The decision to begin addiction recovery is up to the person themselves, and it should not matter what others think.


“If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.” – Michael Jordan


One of the greatest athletes of all time, MJ underscores the importance of transcending negative expectations. In the context of addiction recovery, his words encourage individuals who feel doubted by their family and peers to redefine themselves as they wish to.


“Addiction is a disease, but it’s the only one you can get yelled at for having.” – Mitch Hedberg


Hedberg was known for his one-liners, combining wordplay with inescapable truths. One of the rising stars in comedy, Hedberg battled his drug use until his death in 2005. While his statement was meant to be, and is humorous, it highlights the perception of an addict versus their reality.


“One of the hardest things was learning that I was worth recovery.” – Demi Lovato


A portrait of Demi Lovato, who gave one of the best addiction recovery quotes ever.
Demi Lovato

Lovato, a singer and actress, has been very public about her substance abuse recovery in an attempt to set a better example for her fans. She highlights how she had to love herself to be able to save herself. Often times, a lack of love for oneself can stop one from seeking the help that they need, because they do not feel that they are worth saving.


“We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here now with the power to shape your day and your future.” – Steve Maraboli


This time in his book “Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience,” Maraboli emphasizes the power of shaping one’s future, regardless of past struggles. His perspective is crucial in recovery, where individuals are encouraged to focus on their ability to change their lives for the better. This outlook empowers those in recovery to take charge of their journey towards a better future.


Addiction Recovery Quotes: One Day at a Time

“If you can quit for a day, you can quit for a lifetime.” – Benjamin Alire Saenz


Saenz, in his book “Last Night I Sang to the Monster”, offers hope in the recovery process, suggesting that the journey to lifelong sobriety starts with small, achievable steps. His message emphasizes the power of short-term goals in building the foundation for long-term success. This concept is essential in recovery, where each day of sobriety is a significant achievement.


“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier


A notable self-help author, Collier illustrates in his book, “Riches Within Your Reach!” that success in recovery is built through small, consistent efforts. His emphasis on daily commitment reflects the importance of continuous work in achieving long-term sobriety. This perspective underlines the cumulative effect of small, positive actions in the recovery process.


“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius


A statue of Kong Qiu, otherwise known as Confucius, the famous ancient philosopher.
Kong Qiu, or “Confucius”

The renowned Chinese philosopher emphasizes the value of persistence in his teachings. His quote is particularly relevant to addiction recovery, stressing the importance of continuous progress, no matter how slow. It encourages individuals in recovery to keep moving forward, understanding that consistent, gradual steps are key to sustainable healing.


Addiction Recovery Quotes: Keep Going Through Hard Times

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill


The famed British Prime Minister known for his leadership during World War II, is credited with this quote, which resonates strongly with the journey of addiction recovery. It suggests the importance of resilience and determination in the face of extreme challenges. This message is particularly relevant for those battling addiction, as it encourages perseverance even during the hardest times, highlighting the significance of pushing through difficulties to reach recovery.

Renowned writer, Robert Frost
Robert Frost

“The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost


Renowned for his profound and insightful poetry, Robert Frost’s perspective aligns closely with the approach often used in treating anxiety and panic alongside addiction. His idea that facing challenges head-on is the most effective path to resolution mirrors the techniques used in therapy, where individuals are encouraged to confront, rather than avoid, their fears and anxieties. This approach is integral in substance abuse recovery, fostering resilience and a deeper understanding of personal struggles.


“Fall seven times, stand up eight.” – Japanese proverb


This proverb perfectly encapsulates the resilience and perseverance necessary in addiction recovery. It highlights the importance of getting back up after every setback, a core principle in the journey towards sobriety. This mindset is vital for maintaining motivation and commitment in the face of relapses or difficulties.


“Very rarely do you have a perfect race, and it’s about overcoming your mistakes in the race and remaining composed.” – Allen Johnson


A world champion hurdler, Johnson speaks to the resilience needed in both athletics and addiction recovery. His emphasis on overcoming mistakes and maintaining composure resonates with the recovery process, where setbacks are part of the journey. This message inspires persistence and adaptability in the face of challenges.


“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” – Muhammad Ali


The Greatest of All-Time conveys the significance of enduring hardships for future success. His philosophy mirrors the challenges faced in recovery, where enduring the difficulties of withdrawal and treatment leads to a rewarding, sober life. Ali’s message inspires strength and perseverance in the face of recovery’s challenges.


“The great thing in this world is not so much where you stand as what direction you are moving.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes


In “Autocrat of the Breakfast Table,” the respected American jurist focuses on the importance of the direction in life rather than the current position. His perspective is particularly relevant in recovery, where the journey and progress are more significant than the starting point. This idea encourages continuous growth and forward movement in overcoming addiction.


Staying the Course with Gratitude

“I personally believe this: We have only today; yesterday’s gone and tomorrow is uncertain. That’s why they call it the present. And sobriety really is a gift… for those who are willing to receive it.” – Ace Frehley


In his book “No Regrets: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir,” the KISS lead guitarist openly shared his recovery journey, highlights the importance of appreciating sobriety as a present-day gift. His perspective encourages living in the moment and valuing the freedom that comes with recovery. This mindset is crucial for those in recovery, reminding them to cherish and nurture their sobriety.


“Nobody stays recovered unless the life they have created is more rewarding and satisfying than the one they left behind.” – Anne Fletcher


Fletcher, an addiction specialist, emphasizes that successful recovery involves creating a life more rewarding than the past. Her perspective highlights the need for positive life changes and personal growth in sustaining recovery. This approach is key to ensuring that sobriety is not only achieved but also maintained.


“I really mean when I say my biggest fear in early recovery was that I would never have fun again. The beautiful truth is that recovery has given me freedom and the confidence to go out in the world and leave my own mark.” – Tom Stoddart


A portrait of beloved photojournalist, Tom Stoddart.
Tom Stoddart

A famous photojournalist, Stoddart reflects on his recovery experience, discovers that sobriety offers freedom and the confidence to make a positive impact. His experience resonates with many in recovery, revealing that sobriety not only brings health benefits but also empowers individuals to fulfill their potential. This realization is a powerful motivator for those undergoing the recovery process.


“My scars remind me that I did indeed survive my deepest wounds. That in itself is an accomplishment. And they bring to mind something else, too. They remind me that the damage life has inflicted on me has, in many places, left me stronger and more resilient. What hurt me in the past has actually made me better equipped to face the present.” — Steve Goodier


Goodier, an author, discusses how past challenges can contribute to greater resilience and strength. His perspective is encouraging for those in recovery, suggesting that the difficulties faced can enhance one’s ability to handle present and future challenges. This view fosters a sense of empowerment and hope in the recovery journey.


“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – commonly attributed to Albert Einstein


Potentially misattributed to Einstein (no true citation of this quote exists), the quote does demonstrate a level of emotional and spiritual intelligence that could realistically be attributed to one of the world’s greatest minds. This quote explores the dichotomy of finding positivity and gratitude in the seemingly miraculous parts of life, while also grounding ourselves in reality. Seeing life as a miracle makes it worth living sober, but pragmatism can make it clear that it can be a tough goal.


 “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – commonly attributed to the stoic philosopher, Socrates


Yes, this quote is from Socrates, but not that Socrates. Actually from a character named Socrates in Dan Millman’s book “Way of the Peaceful Warrior,” it advises focusing energy on building new, positive aspects of life rather than dwelling on the past. This philosophy is particularly relevant in addiction recovery, where the emphasis is on creating a new, sober lifestyle. It encourages a forward-looking approach, essential for successful recovery.


“I am not defined by my relapses, but by my decision to remain in recovery despite them.” – Unknown


The work toward recovery and sobriety is never over. Some people struggle more than others, and some struggle less than others, but it is important to keep working. Despite struggles at any point in the process, it is important to remember that the effort is what matters. As long as you are making a real effort to improve your life, and not making excuses, you are doing the right thing.



As we reach the end of this collection of powerful insights and heartfelt reflections, it’s important to recognize that the journey toward recovery is not just a personal endeavor, but also a shared experience with those who support and care for individuals on this path.


Whether you are personally navigating the road to sobriety or walking alongside someone who is, these quotes offer a beacon of hope and understanding in a journey often marked by complexities and challenges.


To those in the throes of addiction, remember that your steps towards healing, however small they may seem, are monumental strides towards a brighter, healthier future. Each day you choose recovery, you redefine your story with courage and resilience.


And to the friends, family, and loved ones witnessing this journey, your support, patience, and empathy are invaluable gifts that light the way during the darkest moments. Your presence and understanding can make a significant difference in the recovery process, offering strength and comfort when it’s needed most.


In moments of doubt or despair, let these words of wisdom remind you of the strength and endurance that lie within and around you. The road to recovery is paved with the collective strength of those who travel it and those who accompany them.


Together, you can face the challenges, celebrate the victories, and embrace the journey of transformation and renewal. Remember, in every step towards sobriety, whether your own or that of a loved one, there lies the promise of a new beginning and the triumph of the human spirit.


If you or someone you know needs inpatient psychiatry and substance abuse treatment, don’t hesitate to take action. Ridgeview Behavioral Hospital is here to provide comprehensive, compassionate care tailored to individual needs.


📞 Call Ridgeview Behavioral Hospital at (419) 863-5556


Our dedicated team of professionals is ready to support you on your journey towards better health and well-being.

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