Humphrey Bogart once quipped, “things are never so bad they can’t be made worse.” Alcoholics and drug addicts who have hit rock bottom belie this sentiment. For them, things have gotten so bad that there is no chance of them ever getting any worse. As horrific as this may seem, when handled properly, hitting rock bottom can be a good thing. When an alcoholic and drug addict has sunk so low that he cannot get any lower, the only remaining choice is to go up. Climbing back from rock bottom will be a long and difficult struggle, but it reflects movement in a positive direction away from the ravages of drugs and alcohol.
When You Hit Rock Bottom
No single event or series of events will define “rock bottom” for every alcoholic or drug addict. Each addict and alcoholic has his or her own story of what rock bottom meant. Hitting rock bottom might include, for example, a job loss or house foreclosure, one or more trips to an ER for overdose treatment, severe alcohol- or drug-induced illness, or termination of relationships with family or close friends. An alcoholic might have been arrested or incarcerated for a DUI that caused serious injuries or fatalities. A drug addict might have seen close friends die from overdoses or come close to death himself. Hitting rock bottom is an intensely personal, life-altering event. When it happens, it can be the catalyst that the alcoholic or drug addict needs to regain his or her life.
Somewhat perversely, alcoholics and drug addicts might be tempted to wait until they hit rock bottom before they get help for their problem. Addiction counselors always emphasize the importance of getting help before reaching that last desperate place. An alcoholic or drug addict does not need to delay treatment until he actually hits rock bottom, and treatment can be successful at any stage of addiction or alcoholism before reaching the lowest rung of that ladder.
Regardless of how bad their situations are, alcoholics and drug addicts might deny that they have hit rock bottom. Denial is a common symptom of an addiction. It can lead an alcoholic or drug addict to feel comfortable with his problem and to ignore his downward spiral. In these circumstances, an addict’s or alcoholic’s friends can play an important role in helping that person to understand his situation.
An alcoholic or drug addict who has hit rock bottom and who has mustered the courage to acknowledge that fact will have many resources to bring him back up. Support groups, professional counselors and rehab centers will all be available to give that person the basic tools he needs to start rebuilding his life. Alcoholism and addiction are family diseases, and that person’s family will also benefit from what might have been a long-delayed decision to get help and support from their own support groups. In all cases, the individual who is coming up from rock bottom will need to remedy the problems that his alcoholism and addiction created while simultaneously starting over with a whole new life. This will not be a fast process, and it will require enormous amounts of patience on the part of both the alcoholic or addict and his family.
If you feel that you are approaching or you have actually hit rock bottom, please call the Last Resort Recovery Center near Austin, Texas, at 512-360-3600. We can provide the assistance and encouragement you need to turn your life around and to recover from the disease that pushed you down to where you have found yourself.