You hear the term “rock bottom” fairly often in the world of addiction recovery, as many individuals put off seeking treatment until there is truly no other option. Rock bottom looks different for everyone. For someone who is addicted to alcohol, it might mean getting a DUI or incurring a serious injuring while driving under the influence. For someone who is addicted to prescription drugs, it might mean going into debt or losing a job. For someone who struggles with methamphetamine addiction, it might mean getting arrested or seeing a marriage descend into divorce.
There is no knowing what “rock bottom” might mean for you, but the good news is that you do not need to get there before seeking help. In fact, seeking help as quickly as possible will only make overcoming your dependence or addiction easier, increasing your chances of having a successful recovery.
For one, seeking help before you reach rock bottom will help you enter recovery with the strongest possible support system by your side. Addiction can and often does impair relationships—especially relationships with those who are closest to you. Seeking treatment early on, then, can ensure that you are facing your addiction head-on before those vital relationships are damaged.
In addition, the longer an addiction continues, the more likely a person is to have suffered irreversible damage to the body. If you are in the early stages of liver disease caused by chronic alcohol abuse, for example, it is possible to reduce or reverse the damage by ceasing use of alcohol. If you have already developed cirrhosis, however, the outlook is not quite as positive, as you have an 80 percent chance of living another ten years, even if you stop drinking completely. Still, eliminating alcohol from your diet can only help to reduce any liver damage you have, even at the later stages of cirrhosis. So while you should never consider it “too late” to begin seeking treatment, seeking treatment earlier on can only improve your chances of enjoying better, stronger health in your recovery.
Finally, it’s important to remember that not all individuals who are dependent on or addicted to substances will ever have that “rock bottom” moment. This is because in the most unfortunate of cases, addiction can lead to scenarios such as overdose, coma, or death.
You don’t need to see “how bad things can get” before choosing to face addiction head-on. Despite what common myth surrounding addiction recovery might tell you, you do not need to hit rock bottom first in order to have a successful recovery. After all, there is no telling what rock bottom might eventually mean for you, and it is never a good idea to wait around and see.