To Hit Bottom or Not

As a family member of a loved one that has struggled with the disease of addiction I have spent twenty plus years researching treatment and program philosophies dealing with this issue of whether allowing your loved one to hit bottom or not. Many people in recovery relate their own experiences and what defining moment changed their lives to recovery. For many of these people the defining moment was hitting rock bottom. The realization that they have lost everything near and dear to them. They had no place to go and they had run out of options and therefore were accepting of a process that would lead them into a life of change and sobriety. In my opinion allowing someone to hit rock bottom is not without some serious potential incremental consequences. Leaving someone out on the street does expose them to serious consequences in the form of personal health issues, bodily injury from a criminal element as well as dealing with legal issues as a result of their own criminal behavior.

Is it better to rescue or “Let go, let God”? I could certainly make an argument that not allowing someone to hit rock bottom does make recovery and dealing with recovery issues much easier and simpler. Dealing with legal issues, health issues etc. can add to complexity of recovery. But as I previously stated many people believe that the concept of hitting bottom is necessary for many before recovery can start.

I have personally attended many Naranon meetings in which this very subject has been the focus of discussion. I can tell you personally there is no mandate for one course of action vs. the other. I will tell you the way any particular family may determine their actions in dealing with this situation often comes down to how they personally feel about leaving a loved one on the street or not is based on their philosophy of tough love or not. Will they have feelings of guilt if something untoward would happen to their loved one?
I have been in many Naranon meetings in which many members subscribed to the philosophy of getting their loved one off the street and getting them out of harms way and hope that they will be willing to go into treatment and start embracing a life of sobriety.

So in my humble opinion I’m not sure there really is a right or wrong answer to this question, but ultimately comes down to what the family is comfortable doing. What is your feeling on this subject? “Let go, let God” or rescue and hope your loved one is ready for recovery?

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