The words habit and addiction are very commonly misconstrued to have essentially the same meaning. While they do have some similarities, they are drastically different. One is defined as “a life-altering disease” while the other is simply a common tendency to do something, according to Alvernia University.
To begin with, a habit typically has less negative effects on someone’s life and behaviors, and can even be a positive aspect of someone’s life. A habit is something that gradually forms out of a repetition and reward systems that becomes a routine. According to JourneyPureRiver, “A cue or trigger tells the brain to go on autopilot while performing a routine. If the brain benefits from the routine, it will continue to do the action.” Some common habits can be biting your nails, playing with your hair or having dessert every day after dinner. A habit varies greatly from addiction because it has the ability to create a positive impact on someone’s life. Habits rarely disrupt people’s daily lives and only become a danger once they become an addiction. In other words, a habit can be harmless, but may become destructive when it goes too far and transforms itself into an addiction.
On the other hand, addiction has a larger scale impact on somebody’s physical, social, emotional and mental health. Unlike a habit, an addiction feels almost impossible to stop. Along with that, an addiction usually involves negative substances and behaviors. Addiction to alcohol, prescription drugs, cocaine and gambling are just a few examples of addictions that people all over the globe suffer from. Along with that, when someone is able to put a stop to their addiction, they have to deal with withdrawals. This contrasts greatly from most habits that rarely have physical or mental consequences of stopping.