The Upside of The Bottom

Maybe the most common approach to drug and alcohol addiction (of keeping addicts away from the bottom with treatment, interventions, etc.) is all wrong.

Perhaps, instead of imploring our friends and loved ones to stop doing whatever it is they’re doing, we should encourage them to do more.

Not only keep drinking…

Drink more.

Don’t stop doing drugs…

Do more drugs.

Just hopefully they won’t die… But maybe they will kill themselves.

I mean, we all die… It’s inevitable.

It seems sick, I know… But the world is kind of sick.

And someone who is a functional alcoholic, who’s destroying their lives and the lives of those around them…?

…Perhaps they need to experience (near) death sooner.

The upside of the bottom is the impact. 

Someone who hits rock bottom… They hit hard.

They experience the impact of the bottom and it wakes them up…

They’re like:

“Holy f**k!… What the hell was that…?!?! … I don’t want to experience that again…!”

And then I think they’re much less likely to do whatever it was that was causing them (and those around them) problems before.

I’ve had friends that have gone through both – hitting rock bottom and treatment. Family members too.

And I think the cure needs to be less of a whisper…

More of an existential threat.

If people experienced the bottom sooner, it could mean:

  • Less time wasted (double entendre)
  • Less pain to themselves
  • Less money down the drain on expensive “treatment”1
  • Less risk of harming others
  • Less damage to everything around them

The best part is, though, they could have a real chance at recovery…

Assuming they’re not dead.

No one ever changed because of an external force… Hope and lasting change only comes from within.

Yes it would be sad if they died.

But because death is part of life, everyone would get over it.


  1. Much of treatment for alcoholism and drugs, I believe, is an attempt to persuade… By connecting with our higher selves. The prefrontal cortex part. This ignores the fact that in most people, the prefrontal cortex is weaker than our amygdala (the lizard brain). Indeed, we probably spend more of our time trying to manage our lizard brains than anything else. Genetics plays a huge part. If you have family members who are addicts, chances are you need to be extra careful because you’re sharing their genes. The future holds promise for gene therapy for the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction, though. There is a terrific Wall Street Journal article on our “Fortunetelling Genes” in this weekend’s newspaper. By knowing what our genes suggest about our biology, we can not only be forewarned (and forearmed), but possibly in the future have our genes edited in some way that addiction is no longer a problem.