Signs You’ve Hit Rock Bottom Due to Addiction

For some people, occasional drug and alcohol abuse can escalate into full dependence, and then suddenly, nothing is more important than getting high or drunk. Although addicted individuals often make excuses for why they don’t need treatment, hitting rock bottom is often the end of the line and forces them to take action.

While not everyone has to hit rock bottom before they decide they need to get help for addiction, certain life events or occurrences might be catalysts to do so. Here’s a deeper explanation of what the term “rock bottom” means and signs that it might be time to get help.

Related post: What Is Holistic Drug Rehab?

What is “rock bottom”?

In terms of addiction and recovery, the phrase “rock bottom” is often used to describe someone’s lowest point in life. However, this term is relative and can also describe a gradual reduction in quality of life due to substance abuse. Or, it can be a single event that makes a person realize they need to go to rehab for addiction.

Essentially, “rock bottom” is a term that encompasses the severe or mild consequences of addiction and the way they impact a person’s life. 

Signs you’ve hit rock bottom due to your addiction

Hitting rock bottom doesn’t necessarily have to mean that your life is completely out of control. Instead, it might just mean that you have started to notice the negative consequences of your substance abuse and realize that you can’t stop without help. The experience of hitting rock bottom varies greatly from person to person, but here are a few common signs that you’ve reached a low point and may need help from an addiction treatment provider.

You lost your home.

Perhaps you often prioritize getting drugs or alcohol over everything, including paying your mortgage or rent. If this goes on for too long, you might get evicted or lose your home. Regardless of how it happens, becoming homeless is associated with higher risks of psychiatric disorders, poorer mental health, and it can also exacerbate existing disorders like addiction.1 

You’re in trouble with the law.

Getting a DUI, DWI, or being charged with a crime like physical assault, public intoxication, or theft can all have a lasting impact on your future. If you’ve gotten into trouble with the law or gone to jail due to your substance abuse, this is a sure sign that you need professional help to overcome your addiction.

You’re struggling financially.

Sustaining ongoing drug and alcohol abuse can be a significant drain on your wallet. You may have even gone as far as selling personal valuables or stealing loved ones’ money or possessions to pawn so you can fuel your addiction. These are serious offenses that can damage relationships, your reputation and make it difficult for you to recover from financial ruin. Getting help for your addiction can help you stop all the destruction to your finances and get your life back in order.

Your relationships are falling apart.

If the majority of your relationships have become strained or have slowly dissipated into nothing, it’s likely a result of your addiction. Substance abuse changes the way we interact with others, often causing arguments, domestic violence, isolation, and producing unhealthy codependent behaviors.2 This can make it difficult to maintain lasting relationships, which might end up with you being completely alone and isolated. If you’ve pushed your close family and friends away in favor of your drug of choice, it’s time to get help.

You lost your job.

Losing a job is another life-altering effect of addiction, which may leave you in a lurch without a way to provide for yourself or your family. Not only can job loss be a result of addiction, but it can also aggravate your substance abuse. According to a literature review from the Institute of Addiction Research, University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt, Germany, unemployed individuals are more likely to consume excessive amounts of alcohol and use illegal and prescription drugs.3 Job loss is most certainly a turning point for someone struggling with addiction, so reach out and get help if this is you.

You overdosed.

In most cases, an accidental overdose is a clear sign that treatment is necessary. Although sometimes overdose can occur with the first use of a drug, many people who overdose have a history of substance abuse or addiction. If this is the case for you, addiction treatment can help you uncover the contributing factors of your addiction and make life changes that will help you live a sober life free from overdoses and other harmful consequences of addiction.

You dropped out of school or got kicked out.

Any behavior that negatively impacts your ability to get an education is worth taking another look at. Whether you’ve been kicked out of school because you violated drug policies or you dropped out in favor of drinking or drugging, your substance abuse might be keeping you from the future you want for yourself.

You’ve neglected your personal responsibilities.

Addiction can quickly take over your life, making it all too easy for you to neglect personal responsibilities like going to work, caring for children or pets, or attending classes. Doing so has serious consequences that can affect you for years to come. As a result, it’s best to get help for your substance abuse.

You isolate yourself.

At a certain point, you might find yourself alone, without friends or family to help you. Chances are, throughout your addiction, you’ve either pushed them away with your behavior, or you’ve purposely isolated yourself because it’s easy to continue your substance abuse that way. Regardless, we are not meant to be alone! Life can be very dark and lonely without loved ones, but the only way to repair those relationships is to get a handle on your addiction and change your habits.

You are emotionally wrecked.

Are you alone, depressed, anxious, or suicidal? For some people, this is the “rock bottom” that forces them to take an honest look at their life. If you’re feeling this way, addiction treatment and individual therapy can help you find a way out.

You feel physically ill when you try to stop drinking or using drugs.

If you feel sick when you stop using drugs or drinking alcohol, you’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms. That means your body is physically dependent on the substance, and you may need medical detox to get sober safely. 

Related post: Do I Need Drug and Alcohol Rehab?

Help is available now

If you’re experiencing one or more of the signs listed above, it may be time to seek professional help through a drug rehab program. At Nova Recovery Center, we offer individualized drug rehab in Austin with evidence-based treatment methods that will help you achieve long-lasting sobriety with positive behavioral therapy and life changes. After residential or outpatient rehab in Austin, Texas, we can also help you locate an Austin sober living program for ongoing support. 

Contact us online or call (888) 427-4932 to speak with an admissions representative. 


  1. https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/view/never-ending-loop-homelessness-psychiatric-disorder-and-mortality 
  2. https://www.aamft.org/Consumer_Updates/Substance_Abuse_and_Intimate_Relationships.aspx
  3. https://www.uniad.org.br/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/images_cpia-de-0002CDAR.pdf 

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