The pink cloud is a term that stems from the Alcoholics and Addicts Anonymous sobriety networks, and it’s one of the most common feelings that the majority of recovering addicts will experience during their recovery period. It’s the first year after sobriety, and the pink cloud can often feel like its own high without the addiction present, but it can be just as dangerous as the addiction itself.

Coming Off the Pink Cloud in Sobriety: What Can I Expect Next?

Here’s the essential information about the pink cloud experience, and how to approach your sobriety once it wears off.

Sobriety’s First Step

The pink cloud is defined as the feeling that recovering addicts frequently get during their first year of being sober; it feels like being high again without the addiction, and it feels greater than anything you’ve ever felt before. It feels like an almost manic high, and people are often inspired to forge new friendships and relationships during this period, take up new hobbies and make drastic lifestyle changes during this time.

But should you? Research and practice says NO.

How the Pink Cloud is Dangerous

The pink cloud feels great, and it can be fantastic – but it’s usually only experienced for the first year of sobriety, and the pink cloud can eventually wear off. This should already show why and how the pink cloud can be dangerous; first, any drastic lifestyle changes that you might have made during this one-year period just might not stick.

The feeling of the pink cloud can last a little longer than a year, or sometimes a little less than a year – but the important thing to know about it is that it eventually wears off. That can leave many people feeling completely lost: Now that life has gotten back to the usual and mundane, it can feel like you’re screwed, and it can put you right back to where you were.

Tips for the Next Step

When the pink cloud of sobriety wears off, don’t treat it as hopeless – just treat it as the next step in a better lifestyle. You’ve spent a lot of time on the right track: It’s going to be all of the effort and time that you’ve put in from the very start if you were to relapse. That’s never worth doing.

Take a look at the past year of your life and note the accomplishments you were happy with. It also marks a time in your life where you can get excited about new things you can approach even after the so-called pink cloud has worn off.


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