It’s difficult to define a subjective term like rock bottom because it’s different for everyone, but anyone who is close to addiction knows about this concept.
The longer an addict continues to use, the more damage they will inevitably do to their lives, rock bottom is the point where the damage is so overwhelming, that they have no option left but to seek help. Each addict must decide what their own rock bottom is. For some, it’s simply being confronted by loved ones who they thought didn’t know about their addiction. While others are willing to sacrifice everyone and everything they ever loved in order to continue using.
Signs of rock bottom
- Financial ruin – addiction is a far more expensive endeavor than some people realize, being an addict isn’t cheap and when getting high is the only thing a person cares about, they are willing to spend every dime in pursuit of it.
- Loss of support from loved ones – as the cliche goes, “we hurt the ones we love”. Why we do this is difficult to understand, but some believe it’s because they’re the most forgiving. Well when the ones we love finally get fed up with being hurt, they may choose to live their lives without us.
- Unemployment due to addiction – getting high can turn into a full time job. From the moment an addict wakes up to when they fall asleep, their primary goal is to get or stay high, so the idea of a job sounds terrible. Addicts are often willing to give up everything for their addiction, even lucerative, high power careers that they have worked for years to attain.
- Decline in physical health – drugs and alchol take a toll on every aspect of an individuals physical health. Some of these risks are: kidney damage, liver damage, stroke, heart attack, seizures, brain damage, diarrhea, lung cancer and irregular heartbeat, this list go on and on. The feeling of chronic pain is a real issue.
- Mental breakdown – the emotional ramifications can be overhwelming as well. Some of the psychological effects of addiction include: depression, anxiety, hallucinations, confusion, irritability, mood swings, paranoia and more.
- Legal issues – these go hand in hand with addiction, it’s very rare to meet an addict with a clean record. Some crimes that are often associated with addiction include: DUI/DWI, breaking and entering, shoplifting, burglary and fraud. This short list are just the most common crimes, addiction often forces individuals into risky behaviors that can also result in violent, life-changing crimes.
Is rock bottom a myth?
Rock bottom isn’t a hard and fast rule like it was once thought to be. An addict doesn’t have to lose everything before they are willing to seek treatment and steps can be taken to prevent the worst, like suicide. While recognizing the destruction caused by one’s addiction is a common precipitating factor, it’s up to the individual addict to decide when enough is enough. If you or a loved one are having trouble deciding if it’s time to seek treatment, give us a call at Pacific Solstice for a free phone consultation, (949) 200-7929.
Emerson Levine, CADC II Intake and Discharge Manager