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“Pink cloud” is a negative term used by 12-step recovery programs for addicts and alcoholics. It refers to someone new to the program who talks about how great life is to be clean and sober. They are considered, according to the recovery program, to be too high on life and at risk of relapsing into addiction.
Dangers of Pink Cloud
While being clean and sober is an exceptional accomplishment, it is important to stay on track with the recovery plan. Patients who experience the pink cloud period feel temporarily great, but there are dangers to this slight euphoria including:
- A sudden return to the reality of being a recovering addict or alcoholic might be depressing after feeling so high on life during early recovery stages
- Feeling overconfident and complacent about recovery, which can lead to the risk of relapse
- Feeling so positive about their recovery that they fail to follow through with the 12-step program to stay on task and sober
- Ignoring life’s problems by not asking for help to deal with them
The End Result
People in a 12-step program who have experienced the recovery from addiction are supportive and encouraging of a newcomer’s progress. They offer hope but at the same time try to get the newcomer to beware of the pink cloud euphoria, in the sense that it is a short-lived phenomenon. Seasoned and experienced people in the program encourage the newly sober person to stay on track and work the program.
The ultimate problem with pink cloud syndrome is not the exceptional high that a recovering addict or alcoholic experiences early in the process, it is the risk and fallout of not staying on track with the process to maintain sobriety.