What Is Rock Bottom in Addiction?


The term “hitting rock bottom” originated among miners in the 19th century. The phrase indicated that the bedrock of the mining operation had been hit, leaving no way to go lower.

This phrase takes on a similar meaning to someone suffering from addiction. It explains the point where the individual has gotten so far in over their head that certain things no longer matter to them. In many cases, rock bottom is the extreme it takes for an individual to acknowledge their addiction and make a change.

When Does Someone With Addiction Hit Rock Bottom?

While many people experiencing addiction have to be at their lowest before they can begin to recover, rock bottom looks different for every individual. The downward spiral usually starts with rationalization. Those with addiction may make many excuses for their behavior, creating a sense of denial about their declining health.

The following are a few common examples of rock bottom in addiction:

  • Complete dependence on the substance: At a certain point of addiction, a person’s body is unable to function without the presence of substances like drugs or alcohol. Without the substance, withdrawals are intense. The fear of life without the substance can paralyze an individual from seeking treatment earlier.
  • Loss of a relationship, job or property: With no signs of a change, an individual’s dependence on alcohol can often drive others away. For some, eviction, the end of a marriage or the loss of a job can signify rock bottom and shine a light on the weight of their struggle.
  • Recklessness with legal consequences: The individual may develop a strong sense of apathy on top of everything else, no longer caring about the law. Jail or court no longer phases them, and their behavior becomes more consistent and reckless until they face consequences.
  • Life-threatening events: For some, a near-death experience can serve as a sign that it’s time to make a change. An overdose or a car crash due to driving under the influence are wake-up calls for most individuals.

Seek Addiction Treatment With Crest View Recovery Center

Getting to rock bottom can happen quickly or take multiple years. Either way, it’s possible to break free from addiction.

At Crest View Recovery Center, we are committed to helping you or your loved one reach sobriety through our treatment programs. For more information, contact us today.

Related Posts