Rock bottom is a term used by many addicts to describe an event resulting from their using. This implies that things cannot get any worse. The situation demands a change.

The term is a subtle form of denial because things can always get worse from one’s using. The very nature of the addiction trajectory is that things do get worse, as “powerlessness” or impaired control drives the downward trajectory.

The only point at which things can no longer deteriorate is death but then, sadly, it is too late. Addicts tend to use the term rock bottom in a way that justifies their ongoing using.

They will say in their defence that “I haven’t hit rock bottom yet” or “I will stop when I hit rock bottom”, implying that things are not that bad, yet.

The belief is a self-deception because there is no particular set of circumstances that automatically constitute rock bottom. The reality is that rock bottom is a choice, not an event.

Most addicts have had multiple rock bottom events during the course of their addiction. Few of these incidents have deterred them for very long.

Once the damage repairs and the shock wears off, active addiction resumes with vengeance.

The term rock bottom serves no purpose except to highlight a more memorable loss in the list of ever-increasing losses that characterises active addiction.

In fact, these events often encourage addiction because the depths of despair associated with the event
results in more using to deal with the distress arising from the event.

Addiction is a self-sustaining ecosystem – the more you use, the worse it gets; the worse it gets, the more you use.

Overcome addiction with Rustenburg Addiction Care

Our personalised treatment programs help you break free from the cycle of substance abuse. Rustenburg Addiction Clinic is your first choice when it comes to rehab. We offer a personalised and informed approach to handling addiction, as well as a comprehensive primary care programme.

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