Horizon Blog

Ask Horizon – What is “rock bottom”?

June 16th, 2014

ID-10068314If you’re struggling with an addiction or struggling to understand an addict, you may have heard the term “rock bottom” —usually to describe a point in the life of an addict when they are finally willing to seek help. Rock bottom usually means things have gotten so bad for the addict that it is impossible to deny their problem anymore.

What causes an addict to hit rock bottom?

It’s different for everyone, of course. Some addicts can suffer a lot more in life than others. An addict may hit rock bottom due to a particular event, or they can go into a slow decline over time. Common triggers include:

  • Job loss
  • A relationship breakup
  • Remorse over bad behavior while under the influence
  • Legal problems
  • Loss of friendships
  • Deteriorating health or a doctor’s warnings
  • Loss of a home
  • Financial problems
  • Social embarrassment

Why don’t some addicts ever hit rock bottom?

People who are addicted to alcohol or drugs may not hit rock bottom if they’re experiencing strong denial. In other words, they don’t want to face the truth. Their life is falling apart because of their addiction, but they’ll find other factors to blame. It may also be that they’re comfortable in their addiction, because it is predictable and known. The idea of kicking their habit can be frightening because it involves the unknown.

How can I help the addict in my life?

One reason some addicts can continue to hide behind denial is that they’ve been protected from the consequences of their addiction—what is sometimes referred to as “enabling.” When family members, friends, and work colleagues make allowances for the addict and cover up for their mistakes and misbehavior, it protects the addict from hitting rock bottom. If the people in the addict’s life no longer give them this protection, the addict will be increasingly faced with the negative impact of their behavior and hopefully, unable to hide from their problem.

Do you know someone who is headed toward rock bottom? Or has already hit it and doesn’t know how to climb back up? Please contact the team at Horizon Health Services located in Western New York. Our mission is to help individuals with substance abuse issues to make choices that improve their quality of life and achieve their personal recovery goals.  Please call us today at 716-831-1800.

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