One of the most deeply ingrained viewpoints in our culture is the concept of rock bottom. “You have to let him hit rock bottom before he can get better,” is a common refrain that many parents hear when their child is struggling with substance use or addiction. But is that really true?
The problem with the universal concept of “hitting rock bottom” is that it’s a moving goalpost. How can you decide what the limit is that your child needs to hit in order to decide that the costs outweigh the benefits? And most importantly, why do you have to wait to get to that point — which may never come — to help motivate your child to change?
The reality is that you can help influence and motivate your child to get better now, regardless of any arbitrary waiting period.