Addictions can be a relentless struggle for many individuals, often consuming their lives and causing immense pain.

In his enlightening session, renowned expert Dr. Will Horton shares his invaluable insights gained from 35 years of treating thousands of people.

Join him as he dispels the seven common myths surrounding addictions, delves into the distinction between a bad habit and an addiction, and unveils the remarkable power of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) in expediting recovery.

Discover the top 2 NLP techniques designed to aid those grappling with addictions and embark on a transformative journey toward freedom and healing.

The 7 Myths about addictions

When it comes to addictions, several common myths persist in society. Dispelling these myths is crucial for understanding addiction more accurately and providing appropriate support and treatment. Here are seven myths about addictions:

Addictions are simply a matter of willpower or moral failing

Reality: Addiction is a complex disease that involves changes in the brain’s structure and function. It is not solely a result of weak willpower or a lack of morals.

Factors such as genetic predisposition, environmental influences, and psychological factors contribute to the development and progression of addiction.

Addictions only involve illegal drugs.

Reality: While illicit drugs can lead to addiction, addictions can also involve legal substances such as alcohol, nicotine, prescription medications, or even behaviors like gambling or internet use.

Addiction is characterized by compulsive, harmful patterns of substance use or behavior, regardless of legality.

Addicts can quit anytime they want

Reality: Without the right help and therapy, quitting an addiction can be tricky since addiction is a chronic disease that disrupts the brain’s reward and motivation systems. The decision to retire is frequently made more difficult by psychological urges, withdrawal symptoms, and physical reliance.

Addictions only affect weak or morally flawed individuals

Reality: Addiction can affect everyone, regardless of their moral character or sense of morality.

Those with solid willpower or a history of keeping a healthy lifestyle are susceptible to this condition.

Treatment is not practical for addiction.

Reality: Addiction treatment has proven to be effective and can help individuals achieve and maintain recovery.

Evidence-based strategies have improved significant outcomes for addicts, including counseling, therapy, support groups, and medication-assisted treatment.

Relapse is a sign of failure.

Reality: Relapse is a common occurrence in addiction recovery and should be viewed as a setback rather than a failure.

Relapse can provide valuable information, a moment for reflection, and a chance for patients to make the necessary adjustments to their treatment plans because recovery is a lifelong journey.

Addictions can be cured completely.

Reality: While recovery from addiction is possible, addiction is considered a chronic condition with the potential for relapse.

Achieving and maintaining recovery often requires ongoing management, support, and lifestyle changes to minimize the risk of relapse and promote overall well-being.

Lousy Habit or Addiction: Understanding the Distinction

In the realm of addictive behaviors, it is essential to understand the distinction between a bad habit and a full-blown addiction.

While both can have negative consequences, recognizing the severity of the issue is crucial for effective intervention and recovery.

Habitual Behavior

A poor habit is a recurring conduct ingrained into a person’s daily routine. Even if it contains harmful or meaningless actions, it might not significantly affect someone’s life.

Examples of bad habits include biting nails, procrastination, or excessive social media use. Although these habits may interfere with daily life to some extent, they are generally manageable and do not result in severe consequences.

Loss of Control and Compulsion

On the other hand, addiction goes beyond a mere habit. It involves a loss of control and a compulsive need to engage in a particular behavior or consume a substance.

Addictions often develop due to the brain’s reward system becoming hijacked, leading to intense cravings and the constant pursuit of the addictive behavior or substance.

Individuals with addictions may experience a diminished ability to resist impulses, despite harmful consequences affecting their physical health, mental well-being, relationships, and overall functioning.

Psychological and Physical Dependence

Addictions are commonly associated with psychological and physical dependence. Psychological dependence is the emotional reliance on an addictive behavior or substance to cope with stress, regulate emotions, or experience pleasure.

Physical dependence manifests as the body adapting to the presence of a substance, leading to withdrawal symptoms when the meaning is reduced or discontinued.

Impact on Daily Life and Relationships

While bad habits may interfere with daily life to a certain extent, addictions significantly disrupt various aspects of a person’s life.

Addictions tend to consume an individual’s time, energy, and resources, often leading to neglect of responsibilities, social isolation, and strained relationships.

Pursuing the addictive behavior or substance becomes the central focus, overshadowing other essential areas of life.

Negative Consequences and Tolerance

Bad habits may result in minor inconveniences or occasional regrets, but addictions typically lead to severe negative consequences.

These consequences may include deteriorating physical health, mental health issues, financial problems, legal troubles, and damaged relationships.

Moreover, individuals with addictions often develop tolerance, requiring higher doses or increased engagement in the addictive behavior to achieve the desired effect.

Why NLP helps speed up Recovery

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) offers valuable tools and techniques that can significantly speed up the recovery process for individuals struggling with addictions.

Here are several reasons why NLP is effective in expediting recovery:

Targeted Communication Strategies

NLP focuses on understanding how language and communication patterns affect our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

By utilizing specific language techniques, individuals can reframe their thoughts and create new neural pathways that support positive change.

NLP helps individuals identify and modify self-defeating internal dialogues, enabling them to overcome limiting beliefs and adopt more empowering perspectives.

Accessing Unconscious Resources

NLP recognizes the power of the unconscious mind in shaping our behaviors and experiences. It provides techniques to access and utilize unconscious resources to facilitate change.

Through NLP, individuals can tap into their inner strengths, values, and motivations, empowering them to make healthier choices and sustain recovery efforts.

Anchoring Positive States

NLP incorporates anchoring techniques associating positive emotional states with specific triggers or anchors.

By intentionally linking positive emotions to healthy behaviors or alternative coping mechanisms, individuals can break the automatic association between addictive behaviors and pleasure. This helps reduce cravings and reinforces new, healthier patterns.

Addressing Underlying Issues

Addictions often stem from underlying emotional, psychological, or traumatic experiences.

NLP offers practical tools for identifying and resolving these root causes. Techniques such as timeline therapy, parts integration, and reframing can help individuals process and release emotional baggage, heal past wounds, and create new empowering beliefs and behaviors.

Pattern Interruption and Reframing

NLP provides strategies to interrupt and disrupt negative behavior patterns associated with addiction.

By breaking the cycle of triggers, cravings, and habitual responses, individuals gain increased awareness and control over their actions.

NLP also facilitates reframing, enabling individuals to reinterpret their experiences and view them from a more positive and empowering perspective.

Enhanced Self-awareness and Mindfulness

NLP techniques promote self-awareness, allowing individuals to observe their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors without judgment.

This heightened awareness facilitates mindfulness, which is a powerful tool for managing cravings, reducing impulsive behavior, and making conscious choices aligned with recovery goals.

Utilizing Strategies of Successful Individuals

NLP studies successful individuals and models their strategies for achieving desired outcomes.

By adopting the mindset, beliefs, and behaviors of those who have successfully recovered from addiction, individuals can accelerate their own recovery process.

NLP techniques help individuals model the strategies and resources of resilient and empowered individuals, giving them a roadmap for success.

By incorporating NLP into addiction recovery, individuals gain valuable tools to rewire their thinking patterns, address underlying issues, and develop new coping mechanisms.

NLP empowers individuals to take control of their recovery journey, accelerate positive change, and build a strong foundation for long-term healing and well-being.

The top 2 NLP techniques for addictions

When it comes to Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques for addictions, there are several practical approaches.

Here are two top NLP techniques that can aid individuals in their recovery process:

Submodalities and Swish Pattern

NLP utilizes the concept of submodality to understand how our minds represent and code information. Submodalities are the finer distinctions within our sensory experience, such as visual images, sounds, feelings, and internal dialogue.

The Swish Pattern technique focuses on reshaping the submodalities associated with addictive behaviors and replacing them with more desirable alternatives.

The technique involves the following steps:

Identify the trigger or cue that leads to the addictive behavior.

Recognize the submodalities associated with the trigger, such as the image, sound, feeling, or self-talk.

Create a desired outcome representation with more empowering submodalities, such as a positive image, sound, feeling, or self-talk.

Mentally create a large, vivid image of the undesirable trigger submodalities.

Quickly replace the undesirable image with the desired outcome representation, swishing them in your mind.

Repeat the process multiple times, making the swish faster and more automatic.

By repeatedly applying the Swish Pattern, individuals can reprogram their unconscious minds to associate the trigger with the desired outcome, effectively reducing the power of the addictive behavior and replacing it with healthier alternatives.

Anchoring and Resourceful States

Anchoring is an essential NLP technique that involves linking an internal response, such as a positive emotional state, to an external trigger or anchor.

This technique can be used to create resourceful states that support recovery and help individuals overcome cravings or negative emotions associated with addiction.

The process involves the following steps:

Recall a specific moment or memory when you experienced a powerful, resourceful state, such as confidence, determination, or joy.

Intensify the associated sensory experience of that resourceful state, focusing on the sights, sounds, feelings, and self-talk associated with it.

Choose an anchor, such as a touch on a specific body part (e.g., pressing your thumb and forefinger together).

As you reach the peak of the resourceful state, apply the anchor by pressing the chosen body part.

Release the anchor and relax.

Repeat the process several times, associating the anchor with the resourceful state.

Once the anchor is established, individuals can use it whenever they need to access the desired resourceful state.

When cravings or challenging situations arise, applying the anchor can help shift their emotional state and support them in making healthier choices.

These two NLP techniques, Submodalities and Swish Pattern and Anchoring and Resourceful States, provide individuals with practical tools to reframe their experiences, reshape their associations, and access positive emotional states.

By incorporating these techniques into their daily practice, individuals can accelerate their recovery process and strengthen their ability to overcome addictive behaviors.

The NLP Models of Addictions and How Addictions Occur

NLP offers various models, such as the Submodalities Model and the Meta-Programs Model, which shed light on the cognitive and behavioral processes involved in addiction.

Understanding these models can help individuals and professionals gain a deeper understanding of addiction and design effective interventions.

Self-Hypnosis for Recovery and NLP Techniques for Addictions

Self-hypnosis is a powerful tool for supporting addiction recovery. By learning self-hypnosis techniques, individuals can access their subconscious mind and reprogram limiting beliefs, reduce cravings, and strengthen their motivation for change.

When combined with NLP techniques, such as reframing, anchoring, and pattern interruption, self-hypnosis becomes even more effective in supporting individuals on their recovery journey.

The Opioid Addiction Recovery Overview

Addiction to opioids has become a severe public health concern with dire effects for both individuals and society.

Understanding the recovery process for opioid addiction is crucial in developing effective interventions and support systems. Here is an overview of opioid addiction recovery:

Acknowledgment and Awareness

The first step in opioid addiction recovery is acknowledging the problem and becoming aware of its impact on one’s life.

This includes recognizing the physical, psychological, and social consequences of opioid addiction and the need for change.

Medical Intervention

Opioid addiction often requires medical intervention to address physical dependence and manage withdrawal symptoms.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), which combines counseling and behavioral therapies with drugs like methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone, is widely used.

MAT assists people in the first stages of recovery by lowering cravings, preventing relapse, and stabilizing them.

Psychological Support

Recovery from opioid addiction also involves addressing the psychological aspects of the habit.

Counseling and therapy play a vital role in helping individuals understand the underlying factors contributing to their addiction, develop coping strategies, and acquire skills for relapse prevention.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and support groups are commonly utilized in opioid addiction recovery.

Holistic Approaches

In addition to medical and psychological interventions, holistic approaches can enhance the recovery process.

These may include complementary therapies such as mindfulness practices, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and art therapy. These approaches promote overall well-being, reduce stress, and support emotional healing.

Social Support and Peer Networks

Building a solid support system is essential in opioid addiction recovery. Peer support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or SMART Recovery, provide a safe and non-judgmental environment for individuals to share their experiences, gain encouragement, and learn from others who have successfully overcome addiction.

Social support from family, friends, and loved ones also plays a crucial role in maintaining motivation and accountability.

Lifestyle Changes and Relapse Prevention

Recovery from opioid addiction often involves making significant lifestyle changes. This may include adopting a healthier lifestyle, engaging in regular physical exercise, pursuing meaningful activities and hobbies, and establishing positive relationships.

Learning relapse prevention strategies and developing effective coping mechanisms are essential to long-term recovery.

Continued Care and Monitoring

Opioid addiction recovery is an ongoing process that requires continued care and monitoring.

Regular check-ins with healthcare professionals, therapists, or support groups can help individuals stay on track, address any challenges that arise, and prevent relapse.

This may involve periodic medication adjustments, therapy sessions, or participation in aftercare programs.

Background on Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and the Bridge Model

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a globally recognized mutual support organization that provides a framework for individuals recovering from alcohol addiction.

Founded in 1935, AA follows a twelve-step program emphasizing personal responsibility, spiritual growth, and peer support.

However, what few people know is the integration of NLP and hypnosis techniques within the framework of AA, referred to as the Bridge Model.

The Bridge Model combines the principles and practices of AA with Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and hypnosis techniques to enhance the effectiveness of the recovery process.

It acknowledges that while the twelve-step program of AA has been instrumental in helping countless individuals achieve sobriety, incorporating additional tools and strategies can further support personal transformation and long-term recovery.

NLP is a discipline that focuses on understanding the language of the mind and how it influences behavior. It provides techniques for changing limiting beliefs, shifting perspectives, and creating new patterns of thinking and behaving.

On the other hand, hypnosis is a condition of concentrated attention and increased suggestibility that enables people to enter their subconscious minds and make adjustments at a deeper level.

Integrating NLP and hypnosis within the Bridge Model offers individuals in recovery additional resources to address the underlying causes of addiction, reframe negative thought patterns, and develop new coping strategies.

These techniques can assist individuals in overcoming limiting beliefs, managing cravings, and enhancing motivation for positive change.

By incorporating NLP and hypnosis, the Bridge Model aims to bridge the gap between traditional addiction recovery approaches and the integration of powerful psychological techniques.

It recognizes that addiction recovery is not solely about abstaining from substances but also about personal growth, healing past traumas, and developing healthier ways of living.


Addictions can have a profound impact on individuals, but there is hope for recovery. Dr. Will Horton’s session on habits and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) provides valuable insights and techniques to expedite the recovery process.

By dispelling common myths about addictions, understanding the distinction between bad habits and addictions, and debunking misconceptions about treatment and relapse, a clearer understanding of addiction emerges.