51 Inspiring Quotes for Recovering Alcoholics and Addicts (With Images)

To people who are in recovery from substance abuse, nothing is more inspiring than someone else in recovery, but inspirational quotes are also a great source of help. Here are some great addiction recovery quotes to keep us going in the right direction, each with a little observation after them just to provide some food for thought.


“I am not defined by my relapses, but by my decision to remain in recovery despite them.” (Anonymous)

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

As the song says, “I pick myself up, dust myself off, start all over again”


“The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking” (Alcoholics Anonymous)

The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking

The people who recover from alcohol abuse are those who want to.


“Remember that just because you hit bottom doesn’t mean you have to stay there.” (Robert Downey Jr)

. “Remember that just because you hit bottom doesn’t mean you have to stay there.” (Robert Downey Jr)

When you hit rock bottom, you can’t start to dig, so rather choose to rise.


“I got a message, a little thought, that said, ‘Do you want to live or die?’ I said I wanted to live. And suddenly the relief came and my life has been amazing.” (Anthony Hopkins)

 “I got a message, a little thought, that said, ‘Do you want to live or die?’ I said I wanted to live. And suddenly the relief came and my life has been amazing.” (Anthony Hopkins)

There is a point in addiction where the substance is the most important thing. That is when life or death is the only choice left.


“When everything seems like an uphill struggle, just think of the view from the top.” (Anonymous)

“When everything seems like an uphill struggle, just think of the view from the top.” (Anonymous)

We hike up mountains not because it is easy, but for that amazing view.


“The greatest gift of sobriety is being there for the people I should have been there for when I was drinking.” (Anonymous)

“The greatest gift of sobriety is being there for the people I should have been there for when I was drinking.” (Anonymous)

This is one of the most wonderful things about recovery.


“I have my off days and sometimes little bits of doubt and all that but all in all I say, hang in there. Today is the tomorrow you were so worried about yesterday.” (Anthony Hopkins)

“I have my off days and sometimes little bits of doubt and all that but all in all I say, hang in there. Today is the tomorrow you were so worried about yesterday.” (Anthony Hopkins)

There are times when it feels like the recovery process is a matter of hanging in there.


“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” (Zen Proverb)

If we are facing in the right direction, all we have. todo. is keep on walking. -zen proverb

If we keep walking then every day we become a better version of ourselves.


“Recovery is not for people who need it. It’s for people who want it.” (Anonymous)

recovery is not for people who need it. it's for people who want it.

People forced to go to AA meetings, seldom stay.


“Recovery is taking all twelve steps…over and over and over and over…” – Toni Sorenson

Recovery is taking all twelve steps over and over and over - toni sorenson

Through repetition, the right decisions start to come naturally.


“My sobriety anniversary means so much to me because I feel like the day that I got sober was the day that I actually started living and so I like to call myself five years old.” (Demi Lovato)

My sobriety anniversary means so much to me because I feel like the day that I got sober was the day that I actually started living and so I like to call myself five years old. -Demi Lovato

Each day of sobriety is among the best days.


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

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.

The path out of alcohol addiction is small efforts every day.


“Help is there, in every town and career, drug/drink freed members of society, from every single walk and talk of life to help and guide.” – Jamie Lee Curtis

Help is there. In every town and career, drug/drink freed members of society. From every single walk of life to help and guide.

In the midst of devastation, anchors are always there if we only look


"The only real cure for alcoholism is suffering. You just hope that your threshold for suffering is met somewhere before it destroys your life." (Ben Affleck)

The only real cure for alcoholism is suffering. You just hope that your threshold for suffering is met somewhere before it destroys your life.

The sooner we take the first step, the sooner we move away from suffering.


“If things go wrong, don’t go with them.” (Roger Babson)

If things go wrong, don't go with them.

The good news is that we have a choice not to go with the things that go wrong.


“What is an 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

What is an addiction, really? A signal, a symptom of distress. It is a language that tells us about plight that must be understand.

If we must have a new addiction, let it be about seeking a better life.


“The human spirit is more powerful than any drug - and that is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. These are the things that matter.” (Robin Williams)

The human spirit is more powerful than any drug - and that is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. These are the things that matter.

At the end of the day, we all want to be whole people.


“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.” (Deepak Chopra)

“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.” (Deepak Chopra)

Remember our past mistakes and do not shut the door on them. In that way, we make better future choices.


“Addiction recovery is more than stopping drinking or using. It’s an ongoing process of growing and healing – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.” (LVR)

“Addiction recovery is more than stopping drinking or using. It’s an ongoing process of growing and healing – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.” (LVR)

The substance abuse disorder we have is an expression of something that needs to heal.


"Battling any addiction is a lifelong and difficult struggle. Because of that, one is never really in or out of treatment. It is a full-time commitment.” (Ben Affleck)

"Battling any addiction is a lifelong and difficult struggle. Because of that, one is never really in or out of treatment. It is a full-time commitment.” (Ben Affleck)

Freedom is hard work. It is worth it.


“Your decision to kill your addiction will become a reality only if you believe and reinforce the fact that you have the capacity to do it. (Oche Otorkpa)

Your decision to kill your addiction will become a reality only if you believe and reinforce the fact that you have the capacity to do it.

You are the only person who has this capacity.

"Alcoholism is a disease that creates temporary madness and insanity. Drug addiction is a disease that destroys health and humanity." (Dr. T.P.Chia)

Alcoholism is a disease that creates temporary madness and insanity. Drug addiction is a disease that destroys health and humanity. (Dr. T.P.Chia)

Explore any treatment options that help manage this condition.


“Never underestimate a recovering addict. We fight for our lives every day in ways most people will never understand. “(Anonymous)

“Never underestimate a recovering addict. We fight for our lives every day in ways most people will never understand. “(Anonymous)

The strength it takes to move away from drug abuse should never be taken for granted.

“We may not be responsible for the world that created our minds, but we can take responsibility for the mind with which we create our world.” (Gabor Maté)

“We may not be responsible for the world that created our minds, but we can take responsibility for the mind with which we create our world.” (Gabor Maté)

Amongst the most important steps that we can take is taking responsibility for our approach to life.

“The strength to sustain recovery can only come from the addict understanding and defining his circle of influence, from recognising that there are factors over which he can exert authority and control, and from taking responsibility for the outcome of his actions.” (Morteza Khaleghi)

The strength to sustain recovery can only come from the addict understanding and defining his circle of influence, from recognising that there are factors over which he can exert authority and control, and from taking responsibility for the outcome of his actions.

Those friends who do not accept our sobriety need to become something of our past. We cannot carry the friendships forward.

“It is only through one's own efforts to turn toward life on its own terms and to develop a wiser relationship to what's there through mindfulness and compassion that make freedom from addictive patterns possible.” (Noah Levine)


One of the ways to sustain sobriety is to reach out to those still suffering from addiction and help them.

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.  Mahatma Gandhi

Life is an ultra-distance marathon and the will to continue gets us to the finish line.


“We have to be diligent in seeking after God, emotionally attached and consciously aware of Him at all times. The desire for God's presence must become greater than our strongest craving.” (Etta Hornsteiner)


The greatest glory we can give to God is to be constantly God-conscious.


“You can get the monkey off your back, but the circus never leaves town.” (Anne Lamott)

“You can get the monkey off your back, but the circus never leaves town.” (Anne Lamott)

Or as a friend says, “Life is still a circus, but now the clown is in charge.”


“I’m going to be gone one day, and I have to accept that tomorrow isn’t promised. Am I OK with how I’m living today? It’s the only thing I can help. If I didn’t have another one, what have I done with all my todays? Am I doing a good job?” (Hayley Williams)

“I’m going to be gone one day, and I have to accept that tomorrow isn’t promised. Am I OK with how I’m living today? It’s the only thing I can help. If I didn’t have another one, what have I done with all my todays? Am I doing a good job?” (Hayley Williams)

It is not whether we won or lost, but how we ran the race that matters.


“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” (Robin Williams as John Keating in Dead Poets Society)

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” (Robin Williams as John Keating in Dead Poets Society)

The first words that change our world are, “We admitted we were powerless over our addiction.”


“Not having the best situation, but seeing the best in your situation is the key to happiness.” (Marie Forleo)

Not having the best situation, but seeing the best in your situation is the key to happiness. Marie Forleo

Gratitude is a solid foundation for joy.



"We are not our best intentions. We are what we do.” (Amy Dickinson)

We are not our best intentions. We are what we do.” (Amy Dickinson)

The best things are not spoken. They are done.


“In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.” (Sir Francis Bacon)

“In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.” (Sir Francis Bacon)

For us to stay sober, we must be aware that we can fail.


"This above all: to thine own self be true. (William Shakespeare)

"This above all: to thine own self be true. (William Shakespeare)

You are the best version of yourself if you allow it.


“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain...” (Kevyn Aucoin)

“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain...” (Kevyn Aucoin)

Choose life for the rest of your life.



“From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow.” (Aeschylus)


The first step is that small seed and from it grows sobriety which is mighty indeed.



“There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” (Bruce Lee)

There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. -Bruce Lee

Every single day we should seek to rise higher.

“There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” (Bruce Lee)

Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud.

When we share a problem then perspectives on a problem can change.


“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

No one grows except through challenges. We do not swim across a river by treading water.


“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” (William Shakespeare)

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” (William Shakespeare)

We should be the good thing that happens to us.


“All the suffering, stress and addiction comes from not realizing you already are what you are looking for.” (Jon Kabat-Zinn)

“All the suffering, stress and addiction comes from not realizing you already are what you are looking for.” (Jon Kabat-Zinn)

When we did the 12 steps we looked deeply at ourselves and found we were sufficient for ourselves.


“We honor ourselves when we speak out for recovery. We show the world that recovery matters because it brings hope and peace into the lives of individuals and their loved ones.” (Beth Wilson)

“We honor ourselves when we speak out for recovery. We show the world that recovery matters because it brings hope and peace into the lives of individuals and their loved ones.” (Beth Wilson)

As we recover we become a beacon of hope for those still battling the effects of drinking, both the alcoholic and those close to them.


“Getting sober never felt like I had pulled myself up by my own spiritual bootstraps. It felt instead like I was on one path toward destruction and God pulled me off of it by the scruff of my collar, me hopelessly kicking and flailing and saying, 'Screw you. I’ll take the destruction please.' God looked at tiny, little red-faced me and said, 'that’s adorable,' and then plunked me down on an entirely different path.” (Nadia Bolz-Weber)

“Getting sober never felt like I had pulled myself up by my own spiritual bootstraps. It felt instead like I was on one path toward destruction and God pulled me off of it by the scruff of my collar, me hopelessly kicking and flailing and saying, 'Screw you. I’ll take the destruction please.' God looked at tiny, little red-faced me and said, 'that’s adorable,' and then plunked me down on an entirely different path.” (Nadia Bolz-Weber)

It is through the grace of our higher power that we become sober and become a more complete person


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

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

That is why the ninth step promises exist. We will come to know a new freedom and a new happiness.



“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.” (Albert Einstein)

“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.” (Albert Einstein)

Once we have achieved sobriety every 24 hours is a miracle.

“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)


There is a condition here. We must be prepared to accept and use that power.



“But we’ve lost the plot if we use religion as the place where we escape from difficult realities instead of as the place where those difficult realities are given meaning.” (Nadia Bolz-Weber)

If we follow the path of recovery and carry the message to the still suffering alcoholic then we give our battle with alcohol meaning.



“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” (David Bowie)

“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” (David Bowie)

Life in sobriety is an adventure. A better one and not one plagued by blackouts.


“You can’t go back and make a new start, but you can start right now and make a brand new ending.” (James R. Sherman)

“You can’t go back and make a new start, but you can start right now and make a brand new ending.” (James R. Sherman)

This is what giving up substance abuse is all about creating a different and better life story than the one that would have been if we had not become sober.



“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.” (Thomas Merton)

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.” ― Thomas Merton

Life, even in sobriety is never certain, yet we can now step forward with a new outlook and adapt, sensibly, to every changing circumstance.


I hope you enjoyed these motivational quotes. Quotes can affect us at a personal level. Every quote tells a little story. In this way, they are like friends encouraging us on this phenomenal recovery journey.