What is the Pink Cloud Syndrome in Addiction Recovery?
An individual that struggles with drug and alcohol abuse will go through drastic changes between the time they enter an addiction treatment center and the time they discharge. These changes will be a combination of physical, emotional and spiritual changes as the treatment center strives to help their clients reclaim their mind, body and spirit. A person that may have been resistant to treatment in the beginning can become passionate about their recovery 45 to 90 days later. Getting help is the first hurdle. Engaging in treatment is the battle.
Pink cloud syndrome describes the euphoric feeling a person has once they’ve detoxed, successfully completed an addiction treatment program and return to the life they left behind. In other words, they’re refreshed and are able to see the world through a new lens without being under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The pink cloud period is brief, however, and the overconfidence shown during this time period can often lead to relapse. How so? When someone enters recovery, they set new goals they wish to attain and setting the bar too high will result in disappointment down the road. When disappointment strikes, the urge to use drugs and alcohol suddenly becomes more attractive.
Aside from following the relapse prevention and discharge plan given to them during treatment, a person in recovery should be mindful of the importance of being realistic. Remaining realistic is easier said than done because years of drug and alcohol abuse can completely detach a person from reality and healthy emotions. In recovery, life will still have it’s share of ups and downs whether it be relationship problems, financial burdens or circumstances at work.
Many popular 12 step meeting groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous will introduce their new members to the concept of the pink cloud. However, it’s primary shortcoming is that it could make an individual feel guilty about their newly found positivity in recovery. The most important preventative measures a person can take in recovery is to set realistic expectations, apply the new skills they’ve learned in rehabilitation and regularly attend 12 step meetings or another support group. Seeking the friendship of a recovery coach or a sponsor can also be an excellent measure to take in recovery because these figures support accountability and are experienced interventions to help make good choices.
Since opening our doors in 1991, Lifeskills South Florida has become one of the leading drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs in the Fort Lauderdale area. We offer treatment for addictions and other co-occurring disorders (often referred to as dual diagnosis) in both residential and outpatient settings. Our primary goal is to prepare you for life after treatment. At Lifeskills South Florida, you will gain the knowledge and the tools necessary to reach recovery and stay there. To learn more about enrolling at Lifeskills South Florida, please contact our admissions office at 844-749-1560 or complete our contact form.