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Addiction or Habit? Know the Critical Difference

Do I have a habit or addiction

At Reset My Future, we often encounter individuals unsure whether they are grappling with a habit or facing addiction. Understanding this distinction is crucial, as it informs the most effective approach to managing these issues. This article aims to clarify these differences, providing insights for those questioning their relationship with substances.

Understanding Habit and Addiction

A habit is a routine behaviour often performed regularly, sometimes subconsciously. Habits can be positive or negative, but they generally don't overpower one’s life or lead to severe consequences. Addiction, on the other hand, is a more severe condition. It involves compulsive substance use despite adverse consequences and can include physical or psychological dependence, significantly impacting life.

The Gradual Shift from Habit to Addiction

A habit becomes a concern when it starts overtaking important activities. For example, social drinking is a habit, but if it becomes more frequent and begins to disrupt responsibilities, it could be moving towards addiction. Addiction is characterised by an inability to stop the behaviour despite its harmful effects. It becomes a central need, often leading to neglect of personal, professional, and social responsibilities.

Physical and Psychological Signs

Unlike a simple habit, addiction often leads to physical dependence. This dependence is marked by withdrawal symptoms when not using the substance, which is not typical of a habit. Additionally, addiction encompasses a psychological dimension, including persistent cravings and an inability to cope without the substance.

Evaluating the Impact on Life

One of the key indicators of addiction is its impact on daily life. If a behaviour disrupts work, relationships, and health, it’s likely an addiction. The consequences of addiction, such as health issues, financial problems, legal issues, and relationship breakdowns, are typically more severe than those of a habit.

Seeking Help

Recognising the need for help is an essential step in addressing addiction. Whether it's through online programs, traditional rehab, therapy, or support groups, finding the right kind of support is crucial. Each individual’s journey is unique, and various options can offer the tools and resources needed to manage addiction effectively. Understanding your needs and seeking help that aligns with them is vital in the journey towards recovery.

Distinguishing between a habit and addiction is a crucial step in seeking appropriate help. Understanding the nuances of both is essential in finding the right support and guidance. With the right help, change is achievable, paving the way to a healthier and more balanced future.

If you would like to discuss you personal situation with one of our experts, please feel free to book a consultation here.


Our Alternative To Rehab is a life-changing experience for people feeling restricted by a reliance on substances.

In just 12-weeks you can break free from your chains to alcohol and drugs, and learn the life skills to propel yourself towards becoming the person you deserve to be.

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