What is Rock Bottom for an Addict?

hands reaching outWe have all heard the term “rock bottom” before during conversations about drug and alcohol abusers.  Some people incorrectly believe an addict cannot be helped until they reach the point of rock bottom with their addiction.  Others say that you should not wait until an addict hits rock bottom to attempt to help them, because at that point it may be too late.  But just what is this concept of reaching rock bottom?

“Rock bottom is the darkest, most dangerous place; a person struggling with addiction can go. It does not have to be the starting point for seeking treatment.”

Rock bottom is defined as “The culmination of a descent to a place where a person has nothing left to lose in terms of possessions, status, wealth, and perhaps even shelter, food and warmth as a result of self-destructive behavior.”  This is an addict’s lowest possible low point.  Rock bottom can also be accompanied, or quickly followed by, major catastrophic events.  Things such as overdoses resulting in death, heinous illegal actions resulting in prison, spousal or child abuse, loss of job, and can all hit an addict once he or she nears rock bottom.  Rock bottom is a frightening place that no addict ever wants to reach with their addictions.

Some professionals tell families that they must wait until an addict reaches this state of complete hopelessness before they can help them recover.  The truth of the matter is that this is not necessarily true.  A trained professional can “raise the bottom” and make an addict truly understand that they need help before anything majorly catastrophic happens in their life.  It is important to try and get an addict help the moment you notice they have a problem, as that problem will be much easier to fix before it blossoms into a more serious addiction.  With each passing day more and more damage is done to an addict mentally and physically.  The sooner they receive the help they need the better.

Rock bottom is a terrifying prospect for both the addict and the family that loves them.  Allowing an addict to reach rock bottom can result in irreparable damages.  Rather than waiting for the addict to hit rock bottom before helping them, it is much better to seek a professional or interventionist for an intervention that will convince the addict to receive the treatment he or she needs to start moving down the path to recovery.

Mike Loverde

With firsthand experience with addiction, Mike Loverde is now a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP), as accredited by the Association of Intervention Specialists and the Pennsylvania Certification Board. He founded Family First Intervention in 2008 and has since helped hundreds of families find intervention and addiction rehabilitation solutions.

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