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This page was reviewed by Sarina Wheatman, (Emotional Freedom Technique Master Practitioner (EFT), Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals (FDAP) NCAC), Addiction Treatment Programme Manager at Manor Clinic.

Making the decision to break an addiction takes courage. Whether you’re struggling with a substance addiction or a behavioural addiction, it’s important to understand that these are complex conditions. However, they are entirely treatable and it’s possible for you to make a full recovery.

Read on to find out the steps that are involved in breaking an addiction.

How to Break an Addiction

There are a number of steps involved in breaking an addiction. Typically, these happen as part of an addiction rehab programme, but it will also take lots of internal strength and determination to break the addiction.


If you’re addicted to alcohol or drugs, an important first step towards breaking your addiction may be for you to undergo a detoxification (detox) process. During detox, you’ll be supported to withdraw from these harmful substances in a safe and controlled environment. You’ll have professional help when it comes to managing your withdrawal symptoms, and will have round-the-clock care to make sure you’re physically well.

This is a vital first step towards removing the dependency you’re currently experiencing in relation to the addictive substance.

Addiction therapy

A core part of addiction rehab is a comprehensive programme of addiction therapy. This will usually be a combination of both individual and group therapy. Therapy helps you get to the bottom of your destructive behaviours, develop more positive, healthy thinking patterns and learn vital coping skills so you can learn to deal with the temptation to relapse.

There are a wide range of therapy types that can be used to tackle addictions, including:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for addiction
  • Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)
  • Mindfulness
  • Cognitive analytic therapy (CAT)

Many addiction rehab programmes also offer a range of wellbeing activities, helping you to stay healthy in mind, body and spirit, while you’re recovering from your addiction. These can include things like yoga, meditation and acupuncture.

Family support is also an important part of addiction treatment. This gives your family and loved ones the opportunity to receive tailored support sessions, helping them to understand your addiction and learn how you can all support each other more effectively moving forwards.


When it comes to breaking an addiction, the process doesn’t just stop when you complete your treatment programme. Aftercare is a hugely important part of your recovery journey and it’s crucial that you engage with it as much as possible. Addiction aftercare will consist of ongoing therapy (this could be face-to-face or remote), alumni events and support groups, helping you to stay on track and consolidate all of the skills you learned during rehab. 

How Long Does It Take To Break an Addiction?

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that 28 days is the optimum treatment length for addictions. However, this can vary from person to person and also depends on other factors, such as the type of addiction you’re struggling with and whether you need to undergo a detox.

However, it’s often said that addiction recovery is a lifelong process. It’s not something you’ll be able to achieve completely within a 28-day period – it will likely require determination and strength for the rest of your life. That’s why professional treatment is so important as it will give you the tools to manage and sustain your recovery. 

Can I Break an Addiction on My Own?

Overcoming an addiction takes willpower and it isn’t something that will just go away on its own. However, there are a number of things you can do to kick-start the process for breaking your addiction:

  • Ask for help – once you’ve made the decision that you want to break your addiction, it’s a good idea to share this with someone you’re close to and ask for their support throughout the process. They’ll be able to help you in your recovery and be there for you if you’re finding things tough
  • Remind yourself of why you want to change – it’s a good idea to keep reinforcing to yourself the drivers behind you wanting to make this change. It might be so that you can be a better parent, spouse or friend, feel physically well, and just be more present. Reminding yourself of these reasons can help to motivate you
  • Learn how to cope with stress – stress can be a huge trigger for addictive behaviours. That’s why learning techniques to cope with stress can help you to stay abstinent in situations when you may have previously given in to your addiction. You could explore techniques such as meditation or mindfulness or join a yoga class

Many people think that if they simply stop drinking, taking drugs or engaging in an addictive behaviour, this will help them to break the addiction. However, this is only the start. The majority of breaking an addiction lies in the ability to change your thinking, behaviours and attitudes, and this is what will happen as part of a rehab programme.

Addiction Treatment at Manor Clinic

Fully breaking an addiction and achieving recovery often needs professional support, especially if you need to safely withdraw from alcohol or drugs. At Manor Clinic, we can help you every step of the way towards overcoming your destructive behaviours and getting your life back on track. Our 28-day Addiction Treatment Programme offers:

  • A free, no obligation addiction assessment
  • Medically assisted detoxification for alcohol and drug addictions, if required
  • Structured group therapy programme
  • A high quality family programme
  • Access to 12-Step support groups
  • Free aftercare for life
  • Free family support for life

We can also offer 7, 14 and 21-day options for addiction treatment, if appropriate, to fit in with your life and commitments. To find out how we can help you to break your addiction and achieve wellbeing, contact us today using the information below.

For more details please call 023 8046 4721 or click here to book a FREE CONFIDENTIAL ADDICTION ASSESSMENT. Alternatively, you can enquire online and one of our team will get back to you via your preferred contact method.  

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