Does a Person Need to Hit Rock Bottom to Get Help?

Many people link the phrase “hitting rock bottom” to alcohol misuse and other forms of addiction. When discussing alcohol, This means an event or circumstance that causes someone to reach the lowest point possible in their drinking habits. For some, “rock bottom” describes losing their job or getting arrested. For others, it’s broken relationships or financial ruin.

Although these are awful circumstances that most of us would like to avoid, there remains a tendency in our culture to wait until things can’t get any worse before getting help. However, change is possible before “hitting rock bottom.” It boils down to your willingness to acknowledge the direction your life is going, and take action.

Rock Bottom Myths

rocky riverbed surrounded by beautiful trees
Photo by John Salzarulo on Unsplash

“Rock bottom” is a phrase popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous. Since it’s so closely linked to getting clean from alcohol misuse, you’d think that rock bottom is easy to identify. However, this concept means something different for everyone.

The general belief is that the painful impact of hitting rock bottom will be what it takes to motivate someone to get help. This idea has led many to believe some dangerous rock bottom myths:

  • They don’t have a problem with alcohol: Many people who have alcohol use disorder (AUD) feel that they don’t have a problem. In their minds, they’re just having a good time. However, AUD evolves. It’s a progressive disease1 that deepens, impacting your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual life.
  • There will be a clear rock bottom: Rock bottom is arbitrary. Many people make excuses and accept different levels of discomfort or pain to keep drinking. Recovery can only happen once you’re willing to admit that alcohol misuse is causing more pain than happiness.
  • Things need to get worse before they can get better: Some people hit rock bottom quickly. Others avoid meeting rock bottom for years, or never hit such a low place. The longer you wait, the more you experience the consequences of alcohol addiction.
  • Rock bottom is the end of addiction: To think that rock bottom is the endpoint is perhaps the biggest myth of all. Recovery is a long journey, and many people relapse several times2 along the way. Lasting recovery only comes when you can control the disease rather than it controlling you, and usually involves a number of ups and downs.

How Do You Change Before Hitting Rock Bottom?

painted rocks, hope.
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Some people never hit rock bottom, but that doesn’t mean alcohol isn’t negatively impacting their lives. Sometimes, instead of a specific event, change means a willingness to take stock, and commit to a healthier life overall. If you:

  • Feel your life is out of control
  • See that your alcohol use is problematic
  • Realize your drinking is bringing more hurt than enjoyment
  • Hear family or friends asking you to make a change
  • Encounter any work-related, legal, or financial difficulties

It’s time to get help.

Get Help Before Hitting Rock Bottom

Contrary to the long-held belief, you can get help before hitting rock bottom. Anyone at any stage of alcohol use disorder can benefit from alcohol treatment. In fact, the earlier you get treatment for alcohol misuse, the more likely it is that you can get your drinking under control, and recover more quickly.

Ria Health has the resources you need to help you end alcohol addiction, without putting your life on hold. We offer regular coaching and medical support, combined with anti-craving medication—all available from your smartphone.

Learn how this revolutionary treatment program works, or get in touch with our team today.


Written By:
The Ria Health Team
Our experienced team is committed to transforming alcohol addiction treatment.
Reviewed By:
Content Writer/Editor
Writer specializing in targeted, informative content. Dedicated to making the abstract accessible.

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