What is the Pink Cloud Syndrome in Addiction Recovery?

Written by Chloe Nicosia

What is the Pink Cloud Syndrome and How Can it Lead to Relapse?

Addiction is a life-crushing disease, but once you’ve rid yourself of the constant need to take a substance, the whole world seems to open up to you. What once seemed to be a downward spiral of events can turn into a life full of possibilities and enjoyment. However, it can get to a point where it’s actually dangerous in terms of sobriety. What is the pink cloud syndrome and how can it affect sobriety?

In this article, we will discuss pink cloud in addiction and what it means for long-term recovery and short term sobriety.

What is the Pink Cloud Syndrome?

To answer the question “what is the pink cloud syndrome?” we must first understand what early recovery is like. Since emotions have been buried behind substance abuse for some time, the start of recovery is usually filled with a roller-coaster of emotions. Some days you may wake up feeling great, but then be dealing with anxiety by lunch.

Eventually, a period is reached where withdrawal symptoms are completely gone and the person has started to embrace all of their emotions to reach a state where they feel great. It can feel like all of the problems of the past have been resolved and that life is finally changing for the better. So, the answer to the question “what is the pink cloud syndrome?” it is this state of feeling on cloud nine in early recovery. It can last for weeks and even months at times.

The Dangers of Pink Cloud in Addiction

What is the pink cloud in recovery and how does it negatively affect a person? In terms of addiction recovery, the pink cloud is a negative state. This is because it is not possible to sustain such a high forever and eventually, you’ll come crashing down. When this happens, the dangers of pink cloud are revealed. It can cause a person to believe in an unrealistic world that ultimately sets the person up for failure as things eventually normalize.

Overconfidence is another concern when it comes to addiction recovery. It can be a cause of relapse as the individual starts to believe that they don’t need all of the relapse prevention skills that they learned in rehab. Since relapse rates are between 40 and 60 percent in the first year, according to a published study on JAMA, the first year is particularly important. One of the most common reasons for the relapse during this time is due to the recovering person stopping with their relapse prevention plans.

Disappointment can also accompany the conclusion of the pink cloud, which in turn can spur on a relapse. The end of the pink cloud can signify to the person that they somehow did something wrong. It can make them feel as if the time spent on recovery was wasted effort. But this is a normal occurrence for someone who has gone through a long period of pink cloud and then becoming grounded again.

Now that we have answered the question “what is the pink cloud in recovery?” just being aware of the state of mind can help to protect oneself from the pitfalls of it. Relapse prevention skills should be used throughout recovery, even years after stopping. There’s nothing wrong with feeling great, especially after beating an addiction, but don’t let the flurry of emotions get the better of you.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.

Sources:

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/193144

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery