Habit Vs Addiction: What’s The Difference?

Habit Vs Addiction: What’s The Difference?

Many people interchange the words “habit” and “addiction” all the time. However, there is a big difference between them. Habits can have both a positive and negative impact on someone’s life. However, addictions have a negative impact. There are a few ways to distinguish between the two. Let’s start by taking a closer look at habit vs addiction now.

A Habit

Habits usually begin with a loop, which is based on a reward system. A trigger goes off in our brain, making it go on an autopilot trip when we perform a certain routine. When our brain finds a benefit in a particular routine, we tend to do the action over and over.

An example is when our alarm goes off in the morning. This might trigger us to get up, make coffee, beginning our routine. You drink the coffee which gives you a boost of energy, a reward. So, logically, we continue this routine because we enjoy the boost of energy. This reward causes us to start a habit.

It can take some time to develop a habit. Typically, it can take between 18 and 254 days. Yes, up to 254 days. However, the average person usually develops a habit within 66 days. Some research shows it takes about 21 days to break a habit.

Some habits are good. Exercising, eating healthy foods, and getting the right amount of sleep are all examples of good habits. Most people can modify good habits without much effort. However, bad habits can become encoded in the brain. They serve an emotional or biological function. This is where addictions often come into play.

Habit vs Addiction

A habit is much easier to kick than an addiction. Addicts want to experience the “feel good” feeling and often become lost without it. Many substances cause a person to have a genuine physical response when they go without their favorite substance. In fact, they may become terrified thinking about living without it.

When your brain believes the harmful substance you are using is beneficial, your habit becomes an addiction. This is all because of a physiological connection. Your brain starts to assume your bad habit is useful and vital for your body. However, you should know that drinking a glass of wine after a long day of work, if done in moderation, might be nothing but a harmless habit. On the other hand, when this becomes a daily habit and one glass becomes two, three, or more, you might be headed down a road to addiction.

With habit vs addiction, many people believe that drinking or drug usage is just a harmful habit. However, if it is taking over your life, it is possible you have an addiction. Addict’s often have conflicts in their family relationships, jobs, and spiritual well-being. A person might also get in trouble with the law and have financial issues.

Now, you know more about habit vs addiction.

Are all the Popular Drugs Addictive?

There is no clear response to this question. Every individual is different. Some people might become addicted to one substance and not another. Some people might have a greater tolerance for a drug. Others might be able to quit using a particular drug and some people might become very dependent on the same substance. Many people who use heroin and cocaine become addicted to the drug. They often have trouble overcoming this type of addiction. If you have an addiction, the best thing to do is to seek addiction treatment.

Your Brain on Drugs

It doesn’t matter what type of drug you are taking, repeated use of any substance that over stimulates the dopamine in your brain could cause you problems. Dopamine is a receptor which regulates emotional, learning, and movement responses. Over time, the use of substances can reduce the dopamine receptors in your brain which may leave your brain less efficient. This is one reason many people have trouble overcoming an addiction.

With habit vs addiction, the two may seem the same, but they are not. A habit can be good or bad. In addition, a bad habit can easily turn into an addiction. However, if you are suffering from an alcohol or drug addiction, you should know there is help out there. Addiction treatment programs are great places for those trying to overcome an addiction. Don’t wait, get the help you deserve today.

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Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance use disorder, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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