There are many myths surrounding drug addiction, but none more dangerous than the idea that a user must hit rock bottom before they seek treatment.
Men in all stages of addiction come to Prescott House for treatment and recovery from a wide variety of conditions. Rock bottom is a myth, and while many of our residents share details from situations that would definitely be considered rock bottom for most, it’s absolutely unnecessary for an addict to endure this kind of added pain as opposed to seeking treatment earlier on. In fact, if you wait for an addict to hit rock bottom as opposed to seeking treatment earlier on, it may be too late to save them before they’ve done irreversible damage to their lives or the lives of others.
Here’s why waiting until an addict hits rock bottom is a terrible idea.
Length of Addiction Can Play a Significant Part in Difficulty of Recovery
Treating earlier stage addiction is typically the best bet for a full recovery with minimal damage. By the time some addicts realize they need help, they’ve been struggling with drugs and alcohol for years, severely strained relationships with friends and loved ones, and often they’ve done permanent damage to their body from continued substance abuse.
While substance abuse remains treatable even for long-term users, it’s often so ingrained in their very existence that the user forgets what life was like before they began using. This can be a difficult thing to overcome, as part of the motivation for recovery stems from the desire to get a life back on track, and become the person they once were – or better. Long-term continued use leads to a sort of shell of a former self that needs to be completely rebuilt from the ground up and often brings with it severe mental health issues that need to be treated in accordance with the substance abuse itself. Things like bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety are all common amongst long-term substance abusers.
It’s Dangerous and Could Lead to Serious Injury, Incarceration, or Death
Drugs and alcohol do a number on the mind, body, and soul. Continued use of these substances effectively breaks down the body, which leads to internal and external damage including that of the organs, skin, teeth, and hair. While some of these effects are reversible, the longer an addict is using the higher the chance for irreparable damage to the body or even death.
The human body is remarkable in its ability to flush toxins and rebuild itself after damage. However, drugs and alcohol start to inhibit bodily function, which ultimately leads to damage the body can no longer repair. Cirrhosis of the liver, heart disease, decreased respiratory function and many other ailments might be treatable, but we currently don’t have the power to cure them, and each could be life-threatening or offer a diminished quality of life.
In addition, you have rapid mortality risks from poor decision making while inhibited by substances. Drinking and driving, violence, and decreased inhibitions make for a dangerous combination that could leave the user seriously injured, dead, or incarcerated.
The Longer the Addiction Controls an Addict’s Life, the More Difficult it becomes to Repair Strained or Broken Familial or Interpersonal Relationships
It’s no secret that addicts are difficult to live with. A study by the University of Iowa found that substance abusers are leading causes of both divorce and domestic violence. These types of behaviors make it difficult or impossible to maintain relationships with friends or loved ones while using. As such, many addicts report severe feelings of guilt and regret due to things they’ve done to loved ones or the situations they were responsible for putting them in.
These types of behaviors lead to feelings of isolation amongst addicts and lead to a difficult or impossible process of trying to rebuild these strained or broken relationships. In fact, the family of an addict often experiences severe trauma requiring professional help when attempting to mend these relationships. By furthering the myth of an addict hitting rock bottom, you’re only prolonging the inevitable all while putting further stress on already damaged friendships and relationships.
It’s Not Necessary
The number one point to take away from all this is that it’s not necessary, and often quite counterproductive, to wait for an addict to hit bottom. Not only is it dangerous for them, but the longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to pick up the pieces and get back to some sense of normalcy.
Don’t wait. If you or a loved one needs help, contact Prescott House today. Our all-male treatment facility can help you or your loved one to pick up the pieces, and get their life back on track.