18 Quotes About Addiction That Will Change How You See The World


Whether you're struggling with addiction yourself or know someone who is, check out these quotes that prove there's always a way back from rock bottom.

If you are currently struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol or know someone who is, it can be incredibly easy to believe that there's no one out there who could possibly understand what you're going though. Rest assured however, that nothing could be further from the truth. According to projectknow.org roughly 1 in 13 people struggle with the disease, which can have staggering affects not only on the addict themselves but on everyone they know and love.

Here however, you'll find a list of quotes about addiction that will help reassure you that not only do plenty of people completely understand what you are going through, they are out there waiting to help- for free.

If you think you may have a problem with drugs or alcohol, you can take the first step in taking your life back today by visiting the Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous websites which will direct you to a meeting of people in your area who would be more than happy to answer any questions you have. Even if you can't bring yourself to show up clean or sober today, while you may not be able to "share" during the course of these meetings, you are always welcome there and encouraged to stick around afterwards to talk to any one of the many members who will gladly answer your questions and tell you more about the first steps to reclaiming your life.

If you have a friend or family member who is struggling with addiction, then head over to the Al-Anon website to locate a meeting of people who have or are going through the same struggle and would be happy to talk to you any time.


"Addictions … started out like magical pets, pocket monsters. They did extraordinary tricks, showed you things you hadn't seen, were fun. But came, through some gradual dire alchemy, to make decisions for you. Eventually, they were making your most crucial life-decisions. And they were … less intelligent than goldfish."

— William Gibson, Zero History


"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, Love Sick


"Alcohol ruined me financially and morally, broke my heart and the hearts of too many others. Even though it did this to me and it almost killed me and I haven't touched a drop of it in seventeen years, sometimes I wonder if I could get away with drinking some now. I totally subscribe to the notion that alcoholism is a mental illness because thinking like that is clearly insane." —Craig Ferguson


"I used to think a drug addict was someone who lived on the far edges of society. Wild-eyed, shaven-headed and living in a filthy squat. That was until I became one..."

― Cathryn Kemp, Painkiller Addict: From wreckage to redemption - my true story


"Addiction is just a way of trying to get at something else. Something bigger. Call it transcendence if you want, but it's a fucked-up way, 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 Callaha


"Addiction begins with the hope that something ‘out there' can instantly fill up the emptiness inside."

— Jean Kilbourne


"That's the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen."

—Charles Bukowski, Women


"It's been a learning process, I'm growing. I couldn't believe that anybody could be naturally happy without being on something. So I would say to anybody, ‘it does get better.'" – Eminem


"I felt empty and sad for years, and for a long, long time, alcohol worked. I'd drink, and all the sadness would go away. Not only did the sadness go away, but I was fantastic. I was beautiful, funny, I had a great figure, and I could do math. But at some point, the booze stopped working. That's when drinking started sucking. Every time I drank, I could feel pieces of me leaving. I continued to drink until there was nothing left. Just emptiness."

—Dink Kucera, Everything I Never Wanted to Be: A Memoir of Alcoholism and Addiction


"I have other obligations now – the show, my family, my life… though I know that without my sobriety I wouldn't have any of those things." – Rob Lowe


"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

"Addiction is an adaptation. It's not you-- it's the cage you live in." - Johann Hari


"People don't take it as seriously as it really is. It's a mental illness and it's a disease…there's no pill that's going to change it. People need to have compassion for it. Being a former addict, looking at it as I had a choice, because at some point in my disease I didn't. I physically and emotionally couldn't live without it. It was my medicine to my pain." - Demi Lovato


"Remember that just because you hit rock bottom doesn't mean you have to stay there."

  • Robert Downey Jr.

"The goal isn't to be sober. The goal is to love yourself so much that you don't need to drink."


"Before you pass judgement on one who is self destructing, it's important to remember they usually aren't trying to destroy themselves. They're trying to destroy something inside that doesn't belong." - Jim Storm


"Until you heal the wounds of your past, you are going to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex; But eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, Stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories and make peace with them."

Iyanla Vanzant


"A lot of people think that addiction is a choice. A lot of people think it's a matter of will. That has not been my experience. I don't find it to have anything to do with strength." –Matthew Perry

As you can see in the quotes above, there are some key things to keep in mind when approaching alcoholism and addiction, perhaps the two most important being that:

It's Not A Matter Of Willpower Or Morality

If there's one thing that keeps a great many people in denial about their addiction or confuses their friends and family, it's the fact that they may otherwise be incredibly good people. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, the most important thing to keep in mind is that your/they are struggling with a disease, not a moral dilemma or a lack of willpower.

Becoming an alcoholic or an addict doesn't mean that you're a bad person any more than being a cancer patient does. In the end, it's not that a person is affected by addiction that defines them, it's what they decide to do about it.

There Is Help

Perhaps the most baffling and cruelest part of addiction is the fact that it leaves those who suffer feeling like there's no way out. There is nothing more demoralizing than waking up in the morning and finding yourself unable to control the urge to do something that you swore only last night you'd never do again.

Does this make you a bad person? Absolutely not, it makes you one of the many people who have gone through exactly the same dilemma you find yourself facing right now. While addiction may not be something that you can control, know that you can always control what you chose to do about it. After all, if you were struggling from any other life threatening disease and discovered that all you had to do to start on the road to recovery was go to a 1 hour meeting a few miles from you house that cost nothing at all, would you hesitate to go?

Whether you chose to join a 12 step group, sober support group, or look into detox and rehab, just know that the struggles you're facing right now don't have to be the end of your story. All it takes is a little willingness and action on your part to discover that in fact, it may be the beginning of a whole new life, complete with your freedom intact.

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