April 24, 2020

57 Addiction Recovery Quotes and Sayings to Live By

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Medicially Reviewed By:
Dr. Priya Chaudhri
credentials here


Many of us in the recovery world collect addiction recovery quotes and sayings like other people collect snow globes or stamps. If you have been in recovery for a while you might notice yourself remembering a saying that you heard at a meeting a year ago and using it in your life when you need it. Maybe you have wished at some point that you could write them all down or have them in one place. So, we compiled a list of our favorites that you can refer to at any time! This list includes recovery sayings you may hear in meetings, recovery quotes from books, and addiction quotes from authors.

Recovery SayingsAA Recovery Sayings

This collection of sayings includes many phrases you may hear in treatment, at a meeting, or from a sober friend.

One day at a time

First things first
Whatever I put before my recovery I will lose
We are only as sick as our secrets
Principles before personalities
Pay attention to the similarities rather than the differences
It works if you work it
Think through the drink
Keep your first step close
One drink is too many and one thousand is never enough
Fake it till you make it
Stay away from the first drink
Be part of the solution, not the problem
To thine own self be true
Stick with the winners
Count your blessings
Take what you can and leave the rest
More will be revealed
Alcoholics don’t have relationships, they take hostages
Meeting makers make it
Pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth
Right now, it’s like this

AA QuotesAlcoholics Anonymous Quotes

These quotes come from the popular twelve-step group’s publications, Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book) and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

“We do not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.”
~ Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 83

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
~ Alcoholics Anonymous p. 40-41

“The greatest enemies of us alcoholics are resentment, jealousy, envy, frustration, and fear.”
~ Alcoholics Anonymous p. 145

“As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action.”
~ Alcoholics Anonymous p. 87

“This answer has to do with the quality of faith rather than its quantity.”
~ Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 32

“An honest regret for harms done, a genuine gratitude for blessings received, and a willingness to try for better things tomorrow will be the permanent assets we shall seek.”
~ Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 95

“Where humility had formerly stood for a forced feeding on humble pie, it now begins to mean the nourishing ingredient which can give us serenity.”
~ Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 74

motivational aa recovery quotesRefuge Recovery Quotes

These quotes about addiction and recovery come from the Refuge Recovery program, a meditation-based path to recovery. Find Refuge Recovery meetings.

“I take refuge in the potential of my own recovery, I take refuge in the dharma, I take refuge in the community of fellow recovering addicts.”
~ Refuge Recovery

“We begin by accepting all the ways that addiction has caused suffering in our lives and the lives of others.”
~ Refuge Recovery

“We train our minds to meet all pain with compassion and all pleasure with nonattached appreciation.”
~ Refuge Recovery

“Addiction is the repetitive process of habitually satisfying cravings to avoid, change, or control the seemingly unbearable conditions of the present moment.”
~ Refuge Recovery, Preface

“We try to be of service to others whenever possible, using our time, energy, and resources to help create positive change.”
~ Refuge Recovery

“Everything is impermanent – every pleasure, every pain, every body.”
~ Refuge Recovery

“We practice present-time awareness in all aspects of our life. We take refuge in the present.”
~ Refuge Recovery

“A refuge is a safe place, a place of protection – a place that we go in times of need, a shelter.”
~ Refuge Recovery, Preface

AA SayingsSMART Recovery Quotes

These quotes are pulled from the SMART recovery program, an increasingly popular recovery program.

“What Gets Measured Gets Managed.”
~ Kim Miller

“Identify specific and important goals you want to achieve to bring more meaning to your life.”
~ Rosemary Hardin

“What do I want for my future? What am I currently doing to achieve that? How do I feel about what I’m currently doing?”
~ SMART Recovery Handbook

Other Addiction Recovery Quotes

These are quotes from a few different authors and notable individuals about drug addiction, alcoholism, and sobriety.

aa sayings and quotes

“Recovery is an ongoing process, for both the addict and his or her family. In recovery, there is hope. And hope is a wonderful thing.”
~ Dean Dauphinais

“Recovery is something you have to work on every single day and it’s something that doesn’t get a day off.”
~ Demi Lovato

“Addiction begins with the hope that something ‘out there’ can instantly fill up the emptiness inside.”
~ Jean Kilbourne

“What is addiction, really? It is a sign, a signal, a symptom of distress. It is a language that tells us about a plight that must be understood.”
~ Alice Miller

“It is hard to understand addiction unless you have experienced it.”
~ Ken Hensley

“No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible.”
~ George Chakiris

“Even in the midst of devastation, something within us always points the way to freedom.”
~ Sharon Salzberg

aa inspirational quotesAddiction Recovery Acronyms

The acronyms below are commonly used in twelve-step programs, recovery circles, and by sober individuals!

HALT = Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired

EGO = Edge, God, Out

GOD = Good, Orderly, Direction

FEAR = Fuck Everything And Run

FINE = Fucked up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional

HOW = Honesty, Open-Mindedness, and Willingness

KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid!

NUTS = Not Using The Steps

STEPS = Solution To Every Problem in Sobriety

ISM = Incredibly Short Memory

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