“Hitting rock bottom” is when a person feels like they’ve reached the lowest possible point in addiction. This is often discussed as the point in which a person gets sober.
However, you don’t have to hit rock bottom in order to get sober. Addiction is a progressive disease; negative effects tend to build as you get further into substance use. Waiting to hit rock bottom before you get sober can mean you lose more things, and can potentially be dangerous.
Everyone has different reasons for getting sober. Some may have lost jobs, relationships, or other things that are important to them. Others might have faced few external consequences of their substance use, but felt dissatisfied or unhappy. Some might have noticed that alcohol or drugs exacerbated physical or mental health conditions.
Relatedly, “rock bottom” is different for everyone. Waiting to get sober based on an idea of what rock bottom looks like can prolong suffering. Additionally, someone in active addiction may continually change their idea of rock bottom in order to rationalize continued substance use. For instance, getting a DUI might be out of the question for someone until it happens, and then they might justify it to themselves and keep drinking. In that case, a DUI was their idea of a bottom, but their idea changed.
If you are considering getting sober, it’s likely because you are unhappy with the role substances play in your life. Whatever the reason, it’s valid, regardless of whether it feels like a bottom.
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. Amatus Recovery Centers offers high-quality treatment for mental health disorders and addiction in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you build tools for thriving in sobriety. Call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.