Habit vs Addiction: Difference and Comparison

The fine line between habit and addiction has been diluted in today’s modern world. People don’t like being considered addicted, and this dilemma of acceptance delays reality.

On the other hand, people’s habits could turn into addiction, whereas addiction is not easy to get rid of.

Key Takeaways

  1. Habits are repetitive behaviors that occur with little conscious thought and can be either beneficial or harmful; addictions are compulsive behaviors that result in negative consequences.
  2. Habits can be changed through conscious effort while overcoming addiction requires professional help and support.
  3. Addiction involves physical or psychological dependence on a substance or behavior, whereas habits do not necessarily have this level of dependence.

Habit vs Addiction

The difference between Habit and Addiction is that habit is a repetitive behaviour but under control, whereas addiction is also a repetitive behaviour but with no control. Habits could become an addiction if someone loses control over his actions. Anything which is done under limits is healthy, so considering these habits are healthy, whereas addictions are self-degrading and unhealthy.

Habit vs Addiction

Habits are repetitive behaviour under control, making a man’s routine and habits more healthy. It’s easy to change habits as anything can influence and could change the habits.

People’s morning routines provide the finest representation of habits. Cleaning teeth, taking a bath, drinking coffee, and other morning rituals are just a few examples.

Addictions are also repetitive behaviour under no control. Individuals will, for the most part, make a sacrifice in their lives in these situations because they feel obligated to follow a product or activity.

Because of their addiction to a substance or a behaviour, people have a difficult time making decisions.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonHabitAddiction
HealthHabits are healthyAddictions are not healthy and could have various ill effects depending on the addiction.
ControlHabits are under control and make a man’s routineHabits turn into addiction when someone loses control.
ChangeHabits could change by changing routineGetting rid of addiction is not easy, many try and many fail.
AcceptanceHabits are something that nobody’s ashamed of because they are not bad.People who are addicted sometimes can’t accept that they are addicted, acceptance is never easy.
After effectHabits are built and broken, they don’t affect when someone changes their routine.Addiction could have many serious after-effects which can directly cause a behavior change.

What is Habit?

A habit is defined as a routine or activity which is done on a regular basis that becomes more difficult to break the longer it is practised. People’s morning routines provide the best examples of many habits.

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Brushing teeth, showering, making coffee, and other morning rituals are just a few examples. For people, the sequence of these behaviours might become predictable over time.

People can acquire beneficial habits or “logical addictions” in a variety of ways, according to a Forbes article. These types of good habits, on the other hand, can only emerge when people are more aware of their actions.

The study discovered that “as ‘rational addicts,’ people are able to analyse the advantages and disadvantages of their current behaviour, taking into consideration that its ramifications for the future,

yet nevertheless choose to involve,” according to the report.

It’s important to look at how habits have an influence on decision-making to grasp how they work.

In an interview with Harvard Business Review, the author and reporter of the New York Times highlighted the effects of habit in the workplace.

“About 40- 45% percent of whatever we do on a daily basis feels like a decision of ours, but it’s a habit, not a decision,” he said. This sentiment is more likely to explain the kind of unconscious process we go through when we make decisions.

During continued, “As behaviours grow more automatic and routine, they become more difficult to break afterwards.” It’s critical that folks “diagnose the trigger and the reward” when they’ve identified an unhealthy habit.

People can then work successfully toward forming new behaviours.


What is Addiction?

Addictions are far more potent than habits. People will, for the most part, make sacrifices in their lives in these situations because they feel obligated to follow a substance or activity.

Although it is difficult to define addiction, the American Psychiatric Association has explained the causes of some addictive behaviours.

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“People with addiction (severe disorder usage of substances) have an extreme effect on using a certain substance, such as drugs or alcohol, to the point that it takes over their lives,” stated the organization.

Resulting, persons who are involved in something have different brain functioning and abnormal patterns of thinking.

People with addictive characteristics are known for their health issues but still choose to participate in problematic, dangerous behaviours.

However, addictions mostly do not have to be focused on the usage of substances. Certain behaviours, according to research published in the article of International Preventative Medicine Journal, things can be just as addictive.

The research has stated that a “behaviorally addicted person has particular signs and will undergo the same consequences brought due to addiction to drugs and alcohol and other behaviours.”

National Institution for Drug Abuse investigates the brain works of people who are addicted to something more thoroughly.

“Surges of dopamine in the reward system which promotes the reinforcing of pleasurable, however, unhealthy behaviours like consumption of drugs, leading people to repeat the activity over and over,” according to the group.


Main Differences Between Habit and Addiction

  1. Habits are under control and make a man routine, whereas Habits also turn into addiction when someone loses control.
  2. Habits could change by changing routine, whereas changing or getting rid of addiction is not easy, many try and many fail.
  3. Habits are something that nobody’s ashamed of because they are not bad, whereas addictions are of many types, and most of the addictions are not good and are not taken healthily by society.
  4. Habits are built and broken, and they don’t affect when someone changes their routine, whereas Addiction could have many serious after-effects which can directly cause a behaviour change or ill effects on the body.
  5. Conclusively habits are much healthier compared to addiction, nothing done more than required does have negative effects or, in words, is unhealthy.
Difference Between Habit and Addiction
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0747563219301931
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306452214007787

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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8 thoughts on “Habit vs Addiction: Difference and Comparison”

  1. It’s good to be aware of these differences because sometimes we can get lost, the line between a habit and an addiction is not always clear

  2. Such an informative article. I think that a lot of people are addicted to sugar without even realizing it. It’s interesting how actions done with little effort can have such an impact on our lives

  3. I’m not sure I buy that it’s always easy to change habits. I think that some people struggle with breaking habits for a variety of reasons

    • I couldn’t agree more. The distinction between habits and addictions can sometimes be subtle. It’s important to be aware of the implications of both.

  4. The article does a great job at distinguishing the differences between habits and addictions. It’s something that is often blurred in society. It’s curious how it is easier for people to recognize a habit from an addiction from an external perspective, but not from within.

  5. It’s fascinating to see the chemical reactions in the brain that contribute to addictions. It’s all very complex and interesting.


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