The Difference Between Habit and Addiction

Written by Will Long

In our daily lives, we often encounter the terms “habit” and “addiction,” sometimes using them interchangeably without understanding the profound differences between the two. Recognizing these differences is crucial, especially when discussing mental health and well-being. This article aims to elucidate the distinctions between habit and addiction, shedding light on their implications for individuals and how they can seek help, particularly for those of us in Tennessee.

What is a Habit?

A person repeats a habit as a routine of behavior regularly and tends to do it subconsciously. Habits may be beneficial, neutral, or even harmful, but they do not overpower our capacity to make choices or control our actions. Examples of habits include brushing your teeth, exercising, or checking your email first thing in the morning. We have learned to perform these actions automatically due to repetition, and we can change or break them with conscious effort and motivation.

What is an Addiction?

Addiction, on the other hand, is a complex condition, a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences. Unlike habits, addictions are marked by a loss of control over the activity, escalating engagement over time, and significant distress or impairment in daily functioning. Addictions can be substance-related, such as alcohol or drugs, or behavioral, like gambling or shopping.

Key Differences Between Habit and Addiction


One of the primary differences between a habit and an addiction is control. With habits, individuals retain a degree of control and can decide to stop or alter their behavior with relative ease. In contrast, addiction takes over one’s self-control, making it extremely difficult to stop without professional help due to physical or psychological dependence.


Habits, even if they’re not particularly good for us, typically don’t have devastating consequences on our lives. On the other hand, addiction leads to a range of negative outcomes, affecting physical health, mental well-being, relationships, and social responsibilities.


People are usually aware of their habits and can describe them if asked. Those with addictions, however, may be in denial about their behavior’s severity and the negative impact it has on their life and the lives of those around them.

Seeking Help for an Addiction Vs. a Habit

Recognizing the transition from habit to addiction can be challenging, especially when denial is a factor. If you or someone you know is struggling with behaviors that seem beyond control and are causing harm, it’s crucial to seek professional help.

JourneyPure At The River in Tennessee provides comprehensive support and treatment for individuals facing addiction. Their approach focuses on understanding the unique needs of their clients and equipping them with the necessary tools and resources to regain control over their lives.

Get Help Today With JourneyPure At The River

Don’t let addiction define your life or the life of someone you care about. Take the first step towards recovery today by reaching out to JourneyPure At The River. Our compassionate team is ready to support you on your journey to wellness. Call us now at (615) 410-9260. Your path to a healthier, happier life begins with a single phone call.

Understanding the distinction between habit and addiction is the first step towards recognizing when professional intervention is needed. By acknowledging the need for help, individuals can embark on a transformative journey towards recovery, supported by the expertise and care of professionals like those at JourneyPure At The River.