Josh Chandler | May 15, 2024

How to Break an Addiction

Understanding Addiction

Addiction is a serious health problem that is often trivialized or oversimplified in popular culture. Some people believe it’s a self-control issue or that people with addiction are weak, but the truth is much more complicated. Substance abuse makes changes to the way your brain works and the chemicals your body produces. Over time, drug and alcohol habits cause behavioral changes that turn into compulsive use, leading to addiction. Suppose you’re wondering how to break an addiction on your own. In that case, it’s important to acknowledge that it might not be possible, as the chemical, psychological, and behavioral changes that have occurred are powerful. You will likely require professional therapy, medical care, and other treatments to move into recovery. This is why a professional rehabilitation program that uses a comprehensive, holistic approach is the best way to overcome alcohol or drug addiction


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Acknowledging the Need for Help

Addiction isn’t always something that suddenly becomes obvious, and not everybody hits a “rock bottom” point in their life that tells them it’s time to make a change. Many times, people realize that their lives have slowly changed so all they think about or want to do involves drinking or drug use. 

Some signs that you have a drug or alcohol addiction include falling behind in your work, having money and relationship troubles, and skipping your regular activities because of substance use. When you try to cut back, withdrawal symptoms can cause severe pain, sickness, and cravings that you can’t ignore, and you might find yourself using substances more often, even when alone or first thing in the morning. If you’ve seen that drugs and alcohol have taken over your life in any way, and you can’t quit on your own, it might be time to get help to learn how to break an addiction. 

Professional Treatment Options

When determining how to break an addiction, there are many avenues one can explore, which are decided upon depending on the severity of your substance use disorder, how long you’ve been abusing drugs and alcohol, your mental health condition, your practical concerns, and your recovery goals. 

At Muse, we assess each person individually to ensure you get the right type of help for your needs. The types of therapy, medical care, groups, education, and support you receive depend on your health, wishes, and practical needs. If you show signs you need inpatient rehab, you might benefit from long-term inpatient care, living inside a treatment center for 30 to 90 days, with daily therapy and holistic healing. Other people may be better off in an intensive outpatient program for the same amount of time, getting treatment like cognitive behavioral therapy and joining support groups for several hours per week. 

The Role of Detoxification

Detoxification (detox) is usually the first step on the road to recovery. To put it bluntly, you cannot quit drugs without stopping taking drugs. A medical detox program will make this process easier on you and help you avoid the worst of your detox symptoms. Most detox plans occur in an inpatient setting, meaning you will move into the treatment center and live there for the full duration of your detox. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may stay there for a couple of days to two or more weeks. 

In detox, you’ll have a comfortable bed, healthy food, and 24-hour supervision to make sure you stay medically safe, with somebody there to talk to day and night. In some cases, you may be offered prescription medications like buprenorphine to help you slowly taper off your drug use, medicine to help prevent seizures or high blood pressure, or you may receive over-the-counter medication to ease aches and pains. Once you’re ready, you can then begin your rehabilitation program.


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Behavioral Therapies and Counseling

Behavioral therapy and counseling are the keys to healing the underlying issues that contribute to substance abuse and addiction. By better understanding yourself, where you’re coming from, and how to move forward healthily, you can stop harmful behaviors and start living a healthier, sober life. Behavioral therapies offer insight into how our thoughts and actions affect how we feel while gaining practical skills and stress reduction methods you can use for the rest of your life. Counseling will help address issues affecting the quality of your life, giving you the inner strength and understanding required to move forward.

Building a Support Network

Everybody’s support network looks different. For many, it might involve family members like their spouse, parents, or siblings, while others may choose to include friends, support group members, and others in the community. Having people you can talk to who care about you and understand what you’re going through can make a big difference in your recovery. It can ensure you feel less alone and give you somewhere to turn when things are difficult, as addiction thrives in loneliness and secrecy. 

Developing Healthy Habits and Coping Skills

A big part of any successful rehabilitation program will be developing healthy habits and coping skills that you can use to continue improving the wellness of your body, mind, and spirit. From a healthy sleeping and exercise schedule to eating well and self-soothing, these techniques will help you feel better while reducing stress in your everyday life. Over time, these habits will become part of your routine so you feel good and stay busy, leaving less space for relapse. 

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Relapse Prevention Strategies

Rehab does not cure addiction, and even after you’ve completed your full rehabilitation program, you will run into stressful situations and other triggers that, if not managed, could cause a backslide in your recovery progress. This is why a relapse prevention plan is so important. Some effective relapse prevention strategies after you learn how to break an addiction might include:

  • Avoid high-risk situations and triggers and replace them with safer options. For example, rather than meeting up with friends at a pub, you should invite them to a board game night at your place or a hike in nature.
  • Knowing where to turn when you feel like you might relapse or have a craving. 12-step meetings, therapy, friends, family, hotlines, and other support is available 24 hours a day. Planning your course of action and discussing it with your support system will help you stay sober during the more difficult times.
  • Sticking to your healthy routines, even when you don’t feel like it (and noticing when you’re slacking). Some days, it may be more difficult to get to the gym or get up early to practice mindful meditation before work, but these techniques are important to your recovery, and pushing through will be beneficial. 
  • Spend quality time with supportive friends and family, and build up a sober community you can lean on and who you can also serve. The more positive interactions you have, the better.
  • Know when it’s time to get professional help. Returning to rehab is not a failure; it must mean the types of treatment you received were not right for your unique situation. You can always go back and try something new. 


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Muse Treatment’s Approach to Breaking Addiction

If you or a loved one are affected by addiction, or if you’re looking for more information about how to stop addiction from taking over your life, please call Muse Treatment Center today at 800-426-1818 or contact us online. We have addiction specialists available to talk to you confidentially, answer your questions, and give you the details you need to make an informed decision about your future. With our help, you can start down your road to recovery by learning how to break an addiction today. 

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Josh Chandler

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