Not everyone has to hit “rock bottom” to seek treatment. According to Billy Anderson, the director of clinical outreach for Bayview Recovery, the term “rock bottom” may mean different things to different people because levels and types of addictions can vary greatly.

“For some, the first sign of a problem may mean having hard time with stressors,” Anderson says. “That can include a lack of motivation, financial hardship, or not being able to complete the daily tasks that everybody has to do. This can be a form of a bottom. People don’t need to be houseless or have serious medical problems before jumping into action to correct the issue.”

So, how do you know when it’s time to seek treatment? How do you determine if you or someone you care about needs treatment?

According to the National Institutes of Health, you should ask yourself these questions and if you answer “yes” to two or more you may want to look into finding help.

In the past year, have you:

  • Had times when you ended up drinking more or longer than you intended?
  • More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
  • Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over the aftereffects?
  • Experienced craving — a strong need, or urge, to drink?
  • Found that drinking — or being sick from drinking — often interfered with taking care of commitments to your home, family, job or school?
  • Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?
  • Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?
  • More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
  • Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout?
  • Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want? Or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
  • Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating? Or sensed things that were not there?

What if you do answer “yes” to two or more of these questions? What then?

“Addiction thrives in the darkness,” Anderson says. “The friends’ and family members’ job is to not let the darkness take over, to bring up the conversation, talk about how their addiction is affecting them, tell them that they think they have a problem, and ask how you can support them.”


The NIH divides treatment types into behavioral therapies, medications and mutual-support groups. Your primary care physician or an accredited drug rehab center like Bayview Recovery can help you find an effective, accessible and unique recovery program for yourself or a loved one.

Anderson goes on to say that it’s imperative for friends and family to show concern before the patient hits rock bottom.

“Even though it’s uncomfortable, ultimately you’re showing your love and concern by being honest and truthful in a nonconfrontational way,” Anderson says. “Train family and friends to approach in a calm and matter-of-fact way. If they yell, you stay calm. Screaming matches are never beneficial. If someone is being approached about something they know is a problem but they don’t want to admit is a problem their response will be visceral — they’ll say you’re wrong. Be prepared for a visceral reaction but bring it up anyway.”

Overall, Anderson says it’s important that everyone knows there is help out there regardless of the type of situation they’re in. Treatment can be customized to the individual. Not everyone needs high-intensity care or treatment. No matter where a person is in their addiction, there are people who can help you or your loved one start managing the problem.

Bayview Recovery Center offers proven outpatient treatment programs at our Tacoma, WA drug rehab center. Our services can provide varying levels of care, which allows each client to find an effective and accessible recovery program for them. 855-478-3650