“When she hits her rock bottom, she’ll be ready.”
“He has to hit bottom before he will change.”
“Rehab won’t help if she hasn’t hit rock bottom.”
Rock Bottom is One of the Biggest Misconceptions Regarding Addiction
If you’re waiting for a son or daughter, spouse, parent or friend to get help for a drug or alcohol addiction, you may have heard some of the above statements about hitting rock bottom. Perhaps you’ve watched television shows or movies, read or heard about other people’s “rock bottoms.”
- Drunk driving DUI arrest
- Job loss
- Child Protective Services (CPS) took away the children
- Kicked out of home or apartment
You may wonder what your loved one’s rock bottom may be – and when he or she will reach it. You may even question whether she’s at her rock bottom right now.
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Thinking that a person must hit rock bottom before getting help and successful treatment for addiction, is one of the biggest myths surrounding the disease.
Rock Bottom is Not a Destination
Can he fall any further? Can she suffer any more than she already is suffering?
Rock bottom isn’t something to aim for. Rock bottom isn’t a place that your loved one should be looking to land. Rock bottom isn’t a destination. It can’t be quantified or measured. Who’s to say what each person’s rock bottom looks like – or what things need to happen he or she needs to get there?
Addiction is a Disease
As with any other progressive disease, left untreated, the only ‘rock bottom’ in addiction – is death. Anything else, is a way out.
Think about other chronic, treatable diseases – such as diabetes or asthma. Do we wait for diabetic people to get as sick as possible before we treat them with the care they need? Do we feel that treatment for asthma should be withheld until a person can’t breathe?
Just like these diseases, addiction is treatable long before a person suffers to an unbearable point. So why would we wait to give them help they so desperately need?
Waiting for Rock Bottom Can Be Dangerous- and Deadly
Waiting for a drug addicted person to hit rock bottom before seeking treatment and recovery is incredibly dangerous, and often times deadly. While for some, showing up for work high on Oxycontin and getting fired may be enough to inspire them to seek help. For others, drinking themselves into a coma in attempt to achieve intoxication may be the turning point. For others still – they will never find that point. Reaching a ‘rock bottom’ may have devastating and lasting consequences including those involving health, finances and relationships.
In addition to these factors, assuming that a person needs to hit a devastatingly low point in life before seeking addiction rehab and treatment assumes that there are no other factors that may lead to their road to recovery.
‘Hitting rock bottom’ isn’t the only way that a person struggling with addiction can get into treatment and successfully complete rehab and get on the road to recovery.
Other compelling influences that can inspire a person to seek help for alcohol or drug addiction include:
- Encouragement of family and friends
- Not treating your loved one as a victim, but instead seeing them for the person they can be beyond the drugs and alcohol
- Being ready to help them into a drug addiction treatment program
- Ending enabling behaviors such as giving money or providing housing
- Confronting a person struggling with addiction
- Being prepared to outline your concerns
- Treading lightly
- Putting your foot
There is also a chance that a person struggling with addiction can recognize their problems before finding themselves in extreme danger.
Don’t Rely on Rock Bottom
Relying on rock bottom for a loved one to get help and treatment for addiction means waiting for the perfect moment to confront addiction. The perfect moment isn’t “bottom” – it’s right now. Don’t let rock bottom be your reason to put off or make excuses for your loved one to delay treatment.