Our Mission

Breaking Free is committed to one goal: helping individuals and families live in a community where everyone reaches their full potential. We do this by building strong family foundations and rebuilding those impacted by substance use and other life challenges.

For over 40 years Breaking Free's passionate and proven approach has been strengthening the lives of 15,000 people annually. Our compassionate staff uses nationally recognized prevention and educational programs to build the life skills people need to thrive and make positive decisions for themselves and their families.

We understand that every client comes to us with unique challenges. That's why we help them rebuild their lives with counseling and treatment services that are tailored to individual needs and focused on individual strengths to best ensure success. Our sliding scale fees mean no one will be turned away because of economic circumstances.


"Thank you for your help. It changed my life for the better. This is the best I've been and I owe it to you guys, thank you!”

— Breaking Free Client


While our staff helps clients develop the strength to resist and provide the support they need to recover from challenging life circumstances they may encounter, Breaking Free's dedicated leadership continues to research, refine and expand the agency's programs to meet the increasingly complex needs of today's families.

Breaking Free cannot accomplish our goal alone. Based in Aurora, IL, we collaborate with schools, law enforcement agencies, local coalitions and other human service organizations to help strengthen communities in the five-county area we serve.

Breaking Free was founded in 1975 by a community coalition and incorporated in Illinois in 1977 as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.



Breaking Free has been accredited by CARF International for its Intensive Outpatient Adolescent and Adult Integrated treatment programs, Outpatient Adolescent and Adult Integrated treatment programs, Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention programs, and Family Based child abuse prevention programs.

CARF International establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services.