Why Hitting Rock Bottom Is Often Needed To Begin Addiction Recovery

Dr. Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on October 13, 2022

Hitting rock bottom is a phrase that’s often heard in addiction treatment and recovery circles to describe reaching a low point in your addiction, where you feel things can’t possibly get worse.

What this looks like, or feels like, can be different for everyone. For many, it can become the biggest sign that change — positive change — is necessary in order to go on.

Even so, our treatment providers at Bedrock Recovery Center know that seeking help for addiction isn’t easy. We also know it’s possible to get help before you reach this point.

What Does Hitting Rock Bottom Feel Like?

Many people describe rock bottom as the point where their addiction has become unmanageable to the degree that it’s caused significant hardship in their lives.

This can make you feel:

  • powerless
  • exhausted
  • angry
  • hopeless
  • depressed
  • unsure where to turn
  • like there’s no way out

What this looks or feels like can vary. Maybe rock bottom is being cut off from a loved one, such as a family member, spouse, or best friend.

It could mean getting into a serious accident, suffering injury as a result of your drug use, or behaving in ways that make you unrecognizable from who you once were.

What Happens When You Hit Rock Bottom With Drug Or Alcohol Abuse?

Rock bottom is generally used to describe a place you’ve reached where it feels impossible to imagine that things could really get worse. 

For some, this can look like:

  • financial loss
  • losing your home
  • being cut off by loved ones
  • waking up with no recollection of the day prior
  • constantly thinking about drug use or getting more drugs
  • being unable to feel “normal” without drugs or drinking
  • getting in trouble with the law
  • being involuntarily committed 

Knowing what to do when you hit rock bottom isn’t easy. Alcohol and drugs can often be used as a way to cope with emotional distress or symptoms of a mental health disorder.

This means, for some people, even when you’ve hit rock bottom, turning to the bottle, or drugs, can feel like the natural move to make if you’ve been struggling with addiction for a long time.

How Do You Know When You Are Ready To Recover?

The hard truth is that in most cases, there is no point a person will reach when they feel completely “ready” to get help, even after years of struggling.

Hitting rock bottom can be a motivator for many. This can make you feel angry, lost, or sad, and ready to do whatever it will take to work toward a happy, fulfilling life you can be proud of.

But this motivation won’t always last. Addiction is incredibly difficult to overcome without professional help and a strong support system. 

Drug cravings, withdrawal, and the role that drugs can come to serve in your life can bring you back to your substance of choice, even after hitting rock bottom.

Do You Have To Hit Rock Bottom To Enter Addiction Recovery?

No. Rock bottom can put a person in a place where they feel as if there is no other path but the path that leads them toward addiction treatment and recovery.

But you don’t have to hit rock bottom before seeking help. 

This can be true for people addicted to:

  • alcohol
  • opioids
  • prescription drugs
  • illicit drugs (e.g. heroin, methamphetamine)
  • certain addictive behaviors (e.g. gambling)

In fact, it can be much better for your health, and your overall well-being if you can seek help before things reach that low point.

Getting Help For Drug Addiction Before You Hit Rock Bottom

What you or your loved one needs in a substance use disorder treatment plan will depend on the severity of the substance abuse, and other factors, like serious medical issues.

At Bedrock Recovery Center in Massachusetts, we offer a number of addiction treatment options that reflect a holistic, personalized approach to the treatment and recovery process.

Our treatment programs include:

Find Lasting Recovery At Bedrock Recovery Center

Bedrock Recovery Center belongs to a network of accredited rehab centers in Massachusetts that, together, offer a full continuum of care, from inpatient, to an intensive outpatient program, and aftercare.

For more information about Bedrock Recovery Center, call our helpline today to learn about our leading addiction treatment center and the treatment services we offer.

  1. U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — Treatment and Recovery https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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