Love & Addiction Quotes on Understanding Addiction 

Sometimes when things are hard, a few small words can help get you and your loved one get through a difficult day. Whether or not the author knew these quotes would be applied to addiction and love, their wise words carry insight for those struggling. If you or your significant other struggles with addiction, these love and addiction quotes will help you better understand addiction, motivate change and inspire you to seek help. 


1. “Addictions … started out like magical pets, pocket monsters. They did extraordinary tricks, showed you things you hadn’t seen, were fun. But came, through some gradual dire alchemy, to make decisions for you. Eventually, they were making your most crucial life-decisions. And they were… less intelligent than goldfish.”   – William Gibson

Gibson does a great job of explaining how the rush of drug abuse can go from enjoyable to a full blown addiction that controls a person’s waking thoughts and actions. Just like in a bad relationship, at the beginning, using drugs and alcohol may feel good. Love and addiction can have this in common. However, at a certain point, it becomes difficult to achieve the same initial high. As the body builds up a tolerance, increasing amounts of the substance are needed to feel the desired effects. At the same time, many begin to develop dependence, meaning without the drug, they will feel negative physiological and physical effects. These factors combined can lead to addiction. Things can quickly turn destructive as getting drunk or high becomes a priority.   

Some try to recreate the feeling of the first time they used, struggling to recognize the level of control that alcohol and drugs now has over their lives. On a personal level, the costs of addiction are steep. Losing relationships, financial stability, personal freedoms, loss of custody of children, overdose and even death can be common outcomes for many.  The societal costs of substance abuse are great at over $532 billion a year. This estimate includes costs from disease, premature death, lost productivity, theft, violence, law enforcement, prosecution, incarceration, and probation.

If you are in a relationship with an addict, you may struggle to understand why your partner continues to use, despite the negative consequences. Unfortunately, by the time a person exhibits symptoms of addiction, it may be too late to simply stop using. Drugs and alcohol can actually hijack important areas of the brain including the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain that helps us recognize the dangers of addictive substances and make decisions.


2. “The worst part about anything that’s self-destructive is that it’s so intimate. You become so close with your addictions and illnesses that leaving them behind is like killing the part of yourself that taught you how to survive.” -Lacey L. 

This quote has become quite popular in 12-step and recovery communities, and for good reason. Although it is difficult to track down who exactly Lacey L is, her insight helps explain why so many cling to their addictions. Those who haven’t dealt with addiction struggle to understand why simply stopping is so challenging.If you love an addict, you may be frustrated by their self-destructive behavior. Despite best efforts, they continue to use.  

For many, there is also an emotional aspect to their addiction. Using drugs and alcohol may temporarily protect the addict from feeling pain, allowing them to “manage” their emotional issues for a short time. Getting high and drunk may become a means of survival: physically, by avoiding symptoms of withdrawal, and emotionally, providing a form of escape. Nonetheless, neither the underlying pain nor the deep-seated issues will go away through substance use. They will only be compounded. Despite the negative consequences, many addicts depend on drugs and alcohol to survive and feel better temporarily, making them feel a sense of closeness to their addiction.  However, clinging to one’s addiction provides little benefit in the long run. In order to keep the addiction alive, there are deep financial, physical and emotional costs. 


3. “She goes from one addiction to another. All are ways for her to not feel her feelings.” – Ellen Burstyn, American actress

This love and addiction quote is true on many levels. It is common for addicts to struggle with multiple addictions–for instance, polydrug abuse. Some may be able to curb their substance abuse, but without fully addressing their underlying issues, they develop another addiction such as pornography, gambling or overeating. In essence, the new addiction becomes just another way to avoid core issues. 

There is also an important emotional element that Burystn addresses. Many addicts use drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism to avoid difficult emotions and trauma. Child abuse, maltreatment, neglect, mental health issues and having substance abusing parents are all risk factors for addiction. This means a person who has experienced one of these issues may be more likely to develop an addiction. Drugs and alcohol can help a person numb feelings associated with these difficult experiences. 


4. “Addiction, at its worst, is akin to having Stockholm Syndrome. You’re like a hostage who has developed an irrational affection for your captor. They can abuse you, torture you, even threaten to kill you, and you’ll remain inexplicably and disturbingly loyal.”  -Anne Clendening

It can be difficult to understand why an addict continues to use drugs, when they may have destroyed that same person’s intimate relationships, family, friends, finances, and life overall. Stockholm Syndrome is a great way to describe the control addiction has despite the devastation it causes. Although this is not one the love and addiction quotes that directly refers to romantic relationships, it can provide insight to a loved one on why it is not so easy to just quit.

To some, it may feel like being held hostage, but in biological terms, a bit more is happening.  Addiction is a complex disease. It is defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) as a “chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences.” Although the initial decision to use drugs or alcohol was voluntary, as the addiction develops, a person’s ability to exercise self-control becomes severely diminished. Long-term drug and alcohol abuse can create changes in the brain which may even persist after a person stops using. 

On an emotional level, many find themselves trapped in shame spirals, blaming themselves for their addiction and then continuing to use to escape their guilt. They have tried to get sober on their own and then felt hopeless when they were unable to do so. Like any other disease, the best way to deal with addiction is to seek treatment from trained professionals. If you are feeling trapped by your addiction, take the first step by asking for help. If your partner struggles with addiction, you cannot force them to seek help. However, you can let them know that there are treatment options available, even if they are not yet ready to begin their recovery.


Love & Addiction Quotes on Self-care and Avoiding Codependancy


5. “I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” -Audre Lorde

Remembering to take care of yourself is important for anyone, but especially for addicts and those who love addicts. For the addict, caring for yourself means taking a hard look at your current situation, recognizing that you do in fact have a problem and accepting help. Facing addiction is truly an act of survival. 

This also means recognizing that addiction is in fact a disease, not a moral failure. Rather than blaming yourself for your addiction, be kind to yourself. Do not feel bad if you were unable to achieve sobriety on your own. You may not yet possess the tools to do so, but treatment you can develop these tools. Treatment offers structure and accountability, increasing the odds of remaining sober. Moreover, programs teach healthier ways of coping, dealing with conflict, and responding to triggers.

Self care is equally important for those in dysfunctional relationships where addiction is a factor. If you are in a codependent relationship with an addict, it can be especially hard to focus on your own needs. Some even describe this relationship dynamic as addictive in nature. In codependent relationships, the addict’s needs are prioritized over those of the other partner. That partner may take on the addict’s problems, attempting to keep them safe, cleaning up their messes, providing them with financial support, and bailing them out of legal situations. However, in reality they are enabling the addict’s behaviors by removing the consequences of their actions.

If you are the romantic partner of an addict and are looking for love and addiction quotes, this truly applies to you. For the partner, the first step is recognizing that you cannot “fix” your significant other’s addiction. You also cannot force them to accept help, but you can care for yourself by creating healthy boundaries and seeking support. Addiction takes an emotional toll on those closest to the addict. Self care includes seeking therapy and attending recovery support groups such as Families Anonymous and Nar-AnonCreating boundaries with your partner, and allowing them to be responsible for the consequences of their addiction is a big step. In some cases, caring for yourself implies knowing when to leave a relationship. 

Love & Addiction Quotes on Seeking Treatment 


6. “Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take the step.” -Naeem Callaway

Many blame themselves for not being where they want to in life. If you are in a dysfunctional relationship, you may feel like it is impossible for things to get better. If you are struggling with alcoholism or addiction, sobriety may feel like it is thousands of miles away. If you are dealing with both, you may feel even more hopeless. It is easy to get caught up in negative thought patterns or to feel like you aren’t capable of leading a healthy, addiction-free life like those around you. But focusing on those discouraging thoughts only prevent you from moving forward. 

Small actions build over time, and taking that first small action will help you gain momentum to keep moving forward. Even if you are afraid that you will be unable to remain sober, the act of seeking treatment can change your life. If you or your loved one is struggling, take inspiration from these love and addiction quotes and make a change. Start by reaching out to a treatment center like Liberty Ranch that offers evidence-based programming to learn more about next steps.



7. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”– Nelson Mandela, South African political leader, philanthropist and revolutionary

Nelson Mandela truly understood the importance of facing insurmountable odds head-on. As an addict, the disease of addiction may seem unconquerable, but you will never truly know what you are capable of until you actually try.  Although your drug of choice may have caused you a great deal of pain, the thought of not having it may seem even scarier. Addiction creates physical and psychological dependence. The body now requires drugs or alcohol in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Many individuals do want to quit, but struggle with the painful symptoms. 

As impossible as the withdrawal process may seem, it is a necessary obstacle to overcome. For instance, intense heroin withdrawal symptoms usually last for about 5 to 7 days, although others may experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome in the following weeks and months (PAWS). You should also keep in mind that detoxing alone can be dangerous. You or your loved one may require medical support depending on the substance and the severity of the addiction, so it is always best to speak with trained professionals rather than going “cold turkey” alone. Facing this first obstacle is a necessary step to getting clean. The only way you will be able to recover is if you continue forward despite how impossible the end goal may seem at the moment. 



8. “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain

Changing your life for the better is not easy. It is normal to be afraid. However, too many people allow their fear of failing to stop them from trying in the first place. If you let your fear stop you, it is certain that you will never succeed. Recovery can be a scary process, and it is okay to recognize that. It will force you and your loved ones to get to the core of what caused the addiction in the first place, allowing for healing. This may mean digging up painful memories and addressing issues you or your loved one have tried to avoid for a long time. 

Dealing with the problems that you have been avoiding is difficult, but worthwhile and necessary. Although the thought of recovery may seem daunting, don’t let that hold you back. Instead, recognize your fears and address them through treatment.  A good recovery program will provide therapy, family counseling, life skills training, and other services to help you through this process. It is important that both the individual dealing with the addiction and their loved ones participate in this process. Treatment provides an opportunity for the addict and their families to move beyond their fears and learn how to address painful issues and conflict in a healthier way. 



9. “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop” – Confucius

The process of recovery is not short, but it is rewarding. Whether you are seeking treatment, have already completed a program, or are supporting your significant other on their recovery journey, time and commitment are required. Struggling with sobriety is normal and sometimes relapses do occur. However, it is important to focus on the daily goal of remaining sober, rather than getting stuck on past failures. 

This is true for the addicts, alcoholics and their loved ones. As the partner of an addict, you too play an important role in the recovery process. Some days you may struggle and feel as though your partner is not making as much headway as you would like. It is important to maintain healthy boundaries during this time. Avoiding criticizing them or pushing them to progress faster. Also, do not blame yourself. There are many ways in which you can offer support, while avoiding codependency. Allow your loved one to take ownership over their sobriety and recognize their small victories. Recovery is a continuous journey and some days will be harder than others, but do not stop. 



10. “The way to measure your progress is backward against where you started, not against your ideal.”— Dan Sullivan, THE GAIN AND THE GAP

A pitfall that many struggle with while in recovery is feeling like they are not where they want to be. However, addiction cannot be solved in one day and becoming sober is just one step in the recovery process. The urge to simply “get better” can create feelings of shame, hopelessness, and even result in dry drunk syndrome or a relapse. Some even begin to resent others who don’t struggle with addiction. It is easy to focus on what you haven’t achieved or how far from your goal you are. But rather than judge yourself for a lack of progress, think about how far you have come. 

Comparing one’s progress in recovery to that of others will only distract you from improving your life. Make an effort to congratulate yourself and recognize your progress. Or, if your loved one is in recovery, support them by letting them know how proud you are of their bravery and progress. Try and recognize their accomplishments, no matter how small rather than focus on the negative. Sometimes a few positive words can go a long way.