5 Signs You’ve Hit Rock Bottom & What to Do

While the term “rock bottom” is always being thrown around in conversations about severe drug and alcohol abuse, what is rock bottom for an addict? How can you tell when a person with an ongoing substance use problem has hit this point? For many addicts, a rock-bottom addiction can creep up on them. What begins as occasional abuse can quickly spiral out of control until they find themselves in this place that they cannot seem to get out of. Below are common signs that you’ve hit rock bottom and how to get back up.

What Is Rock Bottom for an Addict?

“Rock bottom” is a common phrase that refers to a time when a person hits their lowest point, whether that be in their family, work, or with a substance use disorder. For addicts, a rock-bottom addiction takes place when the individual has hit the lowest point in their substance use. Rock bottom can be triggered by life-altering events such as losing custody of a child, the loss of a loved one, getting arrested, or any other eye-opening experiences that display the severity of the person’s substance use.

Early addiction research shows that for someone to change their behavior and get professional help for their addiction, they would need to hit rock bottom or experience consequences that were often terrible and beyond repair.1 However, while research suggests this, it’s not required for every addict to hit rock bottom for them to realize their problem, get help, and get sober. Additionally, as the understanding of addiction and sobriety has shifted, the concept of rock bottom can now be better described as the turning point of a person’s life that inspires change.

It’s important to note that the definition of rock bottom is subjective. A person’s circumstances and experiences (such as an underlying mental health disorder in addition to their addiction) may vary, as well as what their rock bottom would be. With this said, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) suggests that a person’s rock bottom often represents their motivation, desire, and need to change and is what pushes them to move forward.1

Major Signs of Rock-Bottom Addiction

While hitting rock bottom may seem hopeless, the only direction to go from here is up. Our luxury drug and alcohol rehab in Palm Beach is sharing the signs you or a loved one have hit rock bottom so you can either help a loved one get treatment or realize your problem and get help for yourself.

You’re Getting Into Legal Trouble

A DUI is a sure sign that you need alcohol addiction treatment. This is one of the many legal issues that addicts often find themselves battling. Many addicts also take to criminal offenses, such as stealing, to feed their habits. Not only can these legal issues cost you financially, but they can also have a lasting negative impact on your future.

You’re Experiencing Financial Problems

First, it starts with the individual spending most of their money on drugs or alcohol. When they’ve hit the bottom of the barrel, they may reach out to friends and family and ask to borrow money with promises they’ll pay them back. As their substance use gets worse, the addict may take to selling their things for money and even stealing money or things to pawn. It’s also not uncommon for addicts to prioritize sustaining their addiction to the point where they neglect to pay their bills. This is often why so many addicts become homeless and lose their families.

Your Physical Appearance Has Suffered

Many addicts get so caught up in their addictions that they neglect their physical appearance. What may start as skipping a shower here and there can develop into complete neglect of grooming habits, drastic weight loss, and unsightly physical imperfections. Certain substances are also known for their brutal effects on a person’s physical appearance, such as methamphetamine and alcohol. These drugs often impact dental hygiene, cause wrinkling, and lead to skin disease and sores. If you look in the mirror and this describes you, you may be at rock bottom.

You’ve Neglected Your Responsibilities

Nothing is more important to an addict who has hit rock bottom than continuing to fuel their addiction. Often when this becomes the case, their normal responsibilities may be neglected. They may start getting late to work more frequently, forget to pick the kids up from school, forget to pay the light bill, and more. These things often pile up to the point where unemployment, separation, divorce, and child custody battles occur.

Your Relationships Are Impacted

Of all of the signs you’ve hit rock bottom, the most telling may be your relationship problems. It’s common for addicts to separate from and divorce their spouses, have broken family relationships, and lose their friends because of their substance abuse. The lack of love and support can make starting recovery even more difficult, perpetuating a cycle of negativity. When the majority of your closest relationships have become strained, broken, or ruined completely because of your addiction, you’ve probably hit rock bottom.

As a luxury drug and alcohol rehab in South Florida, we know that, unfortunately, many addicts will neglect to get help until hitting this extreme, but you should not wait until it reaches this point. It is better to get help sooner rather than later because the more severe the addiction, the harder it is to stop as well as repair the damage that was left behind.

What to Do When You Hit Rock Bottom

If you’re showing signs you’ve hit rock bottom, there are steps you can take to get help and get better. Regardless of the circumstances or life events that have gotten you to this point, seeking professional support from a rehab facility, like our high-end rehab, can ensure that you have the care and guidance needed to begin your recovery.

Not only does our facility offer residential addiction treatment in Palm Beach, but we also provide an array of quality treatment and therapy options for both individualized substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders. We know that mental illness often goes hand-in-hand with addiction, which is why we provide dual-diagnosis treatment.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, do not wait any longer to do something about it. At Seaside Palm Beach, we work with cases of addiction that range from mild to severe.


To learn more about our programs, call us today at 561-677-9374.



  1. SAMHSA – Enhancing Motivation for Change in Substance Use Disorder Treatment


Related Reading:

Signs of a High-Functioning Drug Addict

Signs of a Weekend Alcoholic

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