The aim of this article is to explore the role of "hitting bottom" as a motivation to initiate a recovery process and desistance from crime and substance use disorders (SUDs), and in building recovery capital (RC). Researchers and practitioners have long been interested in why and how offenders desist from crime. Desistance and recovery from crime and SUDs have also been linked to negative turning points, such as hitting bottom, which represents multidimensional suffering with physiological, familial, social, and criminal implications. The deleterious outcomes of SUDs cause individuals to lose their social and personal resources and hit bottom. According to the conservation of resources model, in the context of actual or potential loss of resources, individuals strive to maintain, protect, and build them. Thus, hitting bottom not only provides the initial motivation for change, but also drives individuals to build personal resources. The prospects for successful recovery are dependent upon the individual's personal and social resources, or RC. This article represents a first step in examining the role of hitting bottom in building RC in the process of long-term recovery. The conclusions may have theoretical as well as practical implications.