Resources & Education

February 5th, 2016

What Does It Mean to Hit Rock Bottom?

Rock climbers hands holding onto edge

It’s said that most addicts won’t try to seek help until they’ve hit rock bottom. But what does that really mean?

Hitting rock bottom will mean something different for every drug addict or alcohol abuser. It generally means getting to the lowest point you can imagine: a near-death experience, serious legal trouble, or the loss of a home or a spouse or children. It may mean putting yourself or others in danger, such as if you drive drunk. It may also mean having a mental or emotional breakdown.

The common wisdom about hitting rock bottom is that it’s supposed to serve as a wake-up call to the person who is drinking or abusing drugs. It’s supposed to be a message telling them to get professional help. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen the first time, or even the second or the third. When someone is in the throes of addiction, it can be hard for them to see their way up.

And if someone has gone through addiction treatment before and relapsed, they may feel it’s hopeless or useless to try and fight the addiction.

Can Rock Bottom Be Avoided?

One of the hardest things about addiction is that it can change your life so quickly. You may find yourself saying or doing things that you never would have even considered before. You may find yourself cheating or stealing to get your hands on your drug of choice.

If you’re lucky, you see and understand that your behavior has changed before it’s too late. If you feel as if your drinking or drug use is starting to get out of control and you don’t want it to get worse, it’s never too soon to reach out for help. You can set up an appointment with a counselor, attend a recovery group meeting, or check yourself into rehab. Speaking to your doctor will help you decide which course of action is best for you.

If you’re still unsure about whether you need help, or if you’re looking for help for a loved one, please call our HOPE line at 855-969-HOPE, so we can help you make that assessment.

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