The Rock Bottom Myth Surrounding Addiction and Recovery
Hitting rock bottom. It’s a term we’ve probably heard thrown around quite frequently, specifically when it comes to the topic of addiction. It’s a commonly held perception that a person will only seek help for their addiction after they’ve reached rock bottom, and that it isn’t worth reaching out for help until they’ve reached this point. Unfortunately, this idea is flawed, incorrect, and is ultimately referred to as the “rock bottom myth.” It’s such a widely assumed reality, largely due to the dramatization of addiction seen in many movies and television shows, but it’s simply not true.
What is the Rock Bottom Myth?
In simple terms, the rock bottom myth refers to the idea that a person will only seek and receive the full benefit of treatment once they’ve reached their lowest low AKA rock bottom. It’s a conveniently held assumption by friends and loved ones of the addiction individual, one that can create serious negative ramifications. If you assume that you or a loved one will only benefit from drug or alcohol intervention treatment when they’ve hit their lowest point, you will ultimately neglect to offer this option to them earlier in the process of their addiction.
Taking a proactive approach, especially with addiction, can be a huge benefit to the person who is addicted, as it will offer them a healthy alternative prior to getting too invested in their addiction. The belief that waiting for a person’s problem to get worse simply doesn’t hold water, as it allows them to sink deeper into dependency and will make it harder for that person to detach from their addictive behavior. The idea that we should wait for things to reach their lowest point before we act makes it easy to be too hands-off until things really get out of control, making any form of intervention a much more serious process.
Getting and staying sober is very challenging, but with the right support network and tools, it's completely attainable.
What Constitutes Rock Bottom?
To better understand the rock bottom myth, let’s define what these terms actually mean. First, it’s essential to realize that every person’s rock bottom will be different depending on their particular circumstances. What constitutes rock bottom will vary based upon a person’s economic standing, their relationships, their support system, and ultimately that individual’s outlook on their situation. However, there are a few main factors that can contribute to a person feeling like they’ve reached rock bottom when it comes to their addiction.
One major indication that a person has experienced rock bottom is when they have undergone some kind of resource loss in their life as a result of their addiction. This refers to not only factors related to a person’s economic situation but also relates to the individual’s overall life circumstances. A resource loss can come in the form of losing a job as a result of addiction, but it can also be in the form of a serious relationship becoming damaged or strained. It can mean the loss of housing as well since addicted individuals often prioritize servicing their addiction over taking care of their most important life expenses.
In addition to a loss of one’s resources related to money and relationships, a person hitting rock bottom can also suffer serious consequences to both their mental and physical health. An addiction to drugs and alcohol can begin to impact a person’s physical health, as certain substances can contribute to weight loss or gain, as well as negatively impact the body’s overall functioning. One’s mental health can suffer as a result of substance abuse, as it can be easy to experience things such as depression and anxiety as a result of addictive behavior. A person may experience all of these things together or just a few in order to reach their personal rock bottom.
Addiction doesn’t need to reach its apex before a person makes the decision to address it. In fact, it’s preferable in any addiction to treat the condition as early as possible. The longer an addictive behavior persists, the more trying the recovery process can be, as individuals can become extremely attached to their drug of choice. Whenever you begin to notice yourself or someone you love developing a stronger addiction to something, it is crucial to make the difficult decision to intervene.
Don’t wait until you’ve hit rock bottom to begin addressing this serious condition. If you or someone you love is battling an addiction and needs to find a strategy for tackling this condition, contact SpringBoard Recovery to begin this life-saving process. We help individuals who are struggling with addiction find a way to turn their downward spiral of alcohol abuse into an upward spiral of recovery. Our team of professionals understands that not every addiction is the same, and we work with our clients to develop a personalized treatment plan which is uniquely tailored to their specific needs.
- Lifehack: https://www.lifehack.org/433401/10-things-to-remember-when-youve-hit-rock-bottom
- Dailygreatness: https://dailygreatness.co/blogs/be-your-own-guru/52291205-12-reasons-why-hitting-rock-bottom-is-the-best-thing-that-can-ever-happen-to-you
- Quora: https://www.quora.com/Whats-it-like-to-hit-rock-bottom
- Column Health: https://columnhealth.com/blog_posts/the-dangerous-myth-of-rock-bottom/
- Health Advocate: https://www.healthadvocate.com/site/article/employees-suffering-losses-from-addiction-lose-their-jobs-last
- WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/drug-abuse-addiction#1
- MentalHealth.gov: https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health
- American Psychiatric Association: https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction