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10 Recovery Symbols to Celebrate Sobriety

a man celebrates his sobriety

Recovery symbols can be powerful reminders of the work and progress that went into overcoming addiction. Just like religious iconography can center someone’s spirituality and put their values top of mind, drug recovery symbols offer positive reminders that recovery is worth it and sobriety is the best way to live life. Oftentimes, people will mark their departure from rehab by getting a tattoo of a common recovery symbol. Necklaces, medallions, and other accessories are also common vehicles for drug recovery symbols. The form matters less than the function. They offer powerful inspiration for the lifelong process of staying sober.

Get help with addiction by contacting 855.732.4842 to learn more about Rockland Recovery’s drug addiction treatment program.

10 Recovery Symbols to Celebrate Sobriety

The list of potential recovery symbols is basically infinite. Anything that provides a meaningful reminder to someone about their recovery and the impact of staying sober counts as a recovery symbol. Nonetheless, the addiction recovery community has developed some common drug recovery symbols to celebrate sobriety. The list below captures ten of these celebratory drug recovery symbols.

“One Day at a Time”

This is a common mantra for people in recovery. It points to the never-ending effort that sobriety requires. Yet it is also a declaration that sometimes getting through today is what matters most. Recovery is built one day at a time.

The Phoenix

The phoenix is widely recognized as a symbol of rebirth and transformation. The addiction community has adopted it to represent the transformation that people undergo as they navigate recovery and reclaim sobriety.

The Lotus

The lotus flower is an ancient symbol that dates back thousands of years. It symbolizes rebirth, renewal, and the natural cycle of life. The flower also connects to the idea of resurrection because of its natural behavior. At night, the flower closes, only to reopen at dawn the next day.

Yin and Yang

The yin and yang sign hails from Chinese culture. They represent balance, symmetry, and harmony. Those in the addiction recovery community gravitate toward the yin and yang because it points to the importance of achieving balance in life beyond addiction.

Inscribed Triangle

This recovery symbol is a triangle with a circle inscribed within it. The three sides of the triangle represent strength, willpower, and hope. The circle in the center represents the necessary community support during recovery.


This punctuation symbol is a reminder to people recovering from addiction that their story is not over. Instead of a period trapping them in addiction, the semicolon offers a chance to extend the sentence. Addiction may be the first chapter. But it is not the whole story.


This category naturally includes phoenixes. And while phoenixes may be the most popular example of a recovery symbol bird, many more options exist. Birds, in general, are viewed as symbols of freedom, movement, and change. Common representations for people in recovery are birds in flight. Songbirds, bluejays, cardinals, and eagles are all common drug recovery symbols.


The “2%” symbol has become common specifically among people in recovery from methamphetamine. Its origins are not entirely known, though it likely refers to the fact that all but 2% of users in meth recovery will relapse at some point. Positively claiming this drug symbol means accepting the necessity of perseverance and determination during recovery.

“Strength,” “Hope,” “Love”

These three words are common tattoos or symbols in the drug recovery community. A single word can offer a positive headline to the often difficult journey of addiction recovery.

“Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On”

This is another common phrase in recovery. Like “One day at a time,” this mantra reminds people that challenges will present themselves, but they do not need to derail progress.

Overcome Drug Addiction With Rockland Recovery

Could you or someone you love benefit from comprehensive drug addiction treatment? Connect them to high-quality services when you call 855.732.4842.

Medical Reviewer Kate Perfetti, LADC II

Medically Reviewed by Kate Perfetti, LADC II

Kate is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor who has worked in the field of substance abuse for the last nine years. At Rockland Recovery, Kate works to provide resources to the local community and engage and progress Rockland Recovery’s alumni program.


Take the First Step Toward Recovery.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, we encourage you to request a confidential call to explore treatment options, ask questions, and receive support from experienced professionals. We know taking this first step can be challenging, but it’s a courageous and important part of the recovery journey.

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