Pink Cloud: What Is It and What Does It Have to Do with Recovery?

Those who go through substance abuse treatment are typically given the complete set of tools to deal with life without drugs or alcohol. Since transitioning from active addiction to recovery is full of new lifestyle changes and a whole period of new beginnings, it can prove to be an experience full of highs and lows. However, thanks to utilizing opioid treatment available at substance abuse clinics, life becomes much more manageable.

One experience that many people just out of treatment experience is called the “pink cloud” period of recovery. Many people who leave rehabilitation live clean and sober for the first time in their lives, making them feel a sense of confidence in what they have achieved. Rehabilitation from drugs isn’t easy, and when people complete a substance abuse treatment program, they might get a little bit too complacent.

What Is the Pink Cloud?

Early recovery involves feelings of euphoria or excitement about the progress made during treatment. Confidence about being in recovery can often make people feel strong and good about themselves. This time can be characterized by a positive outlook, always being always in a good mood, and making a strong commitment to a sober way of living.

These feelings are at their peak fresh out of recovery, but as time goes by, they start to fade, and the drop is sharper. Recovering addicts who fall out of the pink cloud have to be aware of facing life’s reality on its own terms. Losing the euphoric sensation can cause many people who have completed addiction treatment to break recovery and go back to active addiction.

How Long Does the Pink Cloud Last?

Typically, the sensation lasts for a few weeks right after exiting rehab, after which plenty of relapse triggers appear and are generally hard to combat. Some people have a pink cloud that lasts longer than others, but the fact remains that almost all who battle addiction are in danger when the feeling fades away.

The Good and the Bad of the Pink Cloud

The feelings of the pink cloud are a well-needed boost that results from a rigorous treatment regimen, and is a good feeling to start with initially. Since addiction can numb good emotions as well as create a clouded sense of judgment, feeling clear and positive about things can help addicts get a strong foothold in recovery. Being in touch with emotions is extremely helpful in recovery, but it is equally important to understand that a balance between positive and negative emotions is necessary.

However, floating on a sober high of the pink cloud and feeling like you’re on top of the world means that any drop can be severe and even dangerous. The positivity of the pink cloud does eventually fade, and when reality sets back in, it can be quite jarring. This shocking hit of reality can be abrupt, and the perceived “end of happiness” can cause many struggling with addiction to relapse.

How to Combat Relapse Triggers

You can definitely make the most out of your pink cloud, but be aware that this sensation is temporary. It’s good to know that not every day is going to be amazing, and good days and bad days will happen. This way, you can prepare for any negative emotions that arise when you have a tough day, as opposed to being ambushed by an overwhelming sensation of being “down in the dumps.” Additionally, you can also set small and manageable goals, like living life “just for today,” getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating well.

When all else fails, asking for help is always a good idea. The people who completed treatment with you are in your recovery support sphere, as well as the staff at your substance abuse clinic. Surrounding yourself with better people who know what you are going through will ensure that the pink cloud’s effects are less severe, making it easier to overcome any sudden lows.

Ensure that You’re Well Equipped

Every person just out of rehab can feel the strong sense of euphoria and confidence characterized by the pink cloud. And while the pink cloud introduces so many positive aspects to life outside of treatment, it pays to stay vigilant and alert to what may follow. Never underestimate the shock of reality, as this could hinder your path to recovery.

Substance Abuse Treatment in Havertown, PA

American Treatment Network offers various services, including opioid treatment services, mental health assistance, and other evidence-based treatments for those suffering from addiction. Discover a new way to live life clean and sober with our tailor-made programs for each client we handle. Contact us to get help today.


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