Stop smoking, problematic alcohol use, substance misuse

We often use the words habit and addiction interchangeably, yet there are significant differences between the two terms. Habits can be both positive and negative whereas addictions by their very nature are only negative.

One of the most important identifiers of a habit vs. an addiction is the amount of effort and time required to change the learned behavior of the habit or addiction.

Like with addiction, you may wish to change a negative behavior that you habitually do. A habitual behavior can typically be modified with fairly minimal concerted effort, time, and attention. An addiction, on the other hand, will manifest itself through major negative impacts on your health, relationships, employment, spirituality, and life, despite even the most dramatic efforts to change or stop the addictive behavior.

The source that drives negative behaviors is sometimes hard to identify. When you are abusing a substance or behavior that is negatively affecting your life, it is extremely important to determine whether or not you have developed a habit or an addiction. If you or a loved one strongly suspects you have developed an addiction, we urge you to quickly seek professional guidance rather than try to diagnose and treat it on your own. If left untreated, addictions can be life-threatening.