Do You Have an Addiction or a Habit?

If you are wondering whether your loved one is living with an addiction or a habit, you aren’t alone. This is a difficult situation for you and your family, and you need to understand exactly what you are facing.

habit vs addiction

Addiction or Habit – How to Tell the Difference

Since addiction is not something that can be measured with a blood test or on any other type of scale, you need to be able to tell the difference between something that a person enjoys on a habitual basis has crossed the line into a more serious situation.

  • A habit is something that a person chooses to do. They can decide when they want to stop using the substance, and don’t experience physical or psychological consequences as a result.
  • An addiction has a powerful psychological or physical component. It is in control of the person instead of the other way around. An addict who does not continue to drink or use drugs will experience withdrawal symptoms if he or she doesn’t continue using drugs or alcohol.

Get Help for Addiction

Once you determine you are dealing with a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you need to understand that they will need help to get well.  You may now know how to do an intervention, but there are many professionals out there who can help. This is a disease that requires treatment. The person who is suffering from addiction is unable to stop using on his or her own. It’s not a question of whether they “want” to stop.

Blaming or shaming a person who is addicted is not going to get you the results you want. It’s normal to feel angry, hurt and frustrated when dealing with this disease. An intervention can help an addict become accountable for his or her actions and get them into a treatment program.

Hold an Intervention

What is an intervention? An intervention is a controlled way to encourage your loved one to get help for his or her addiction. If he or she refuses to go for treatment, there will be clear consequences for this choice.

You will work with a professional interventionist who will sit down and get to know you and your family members. Each situation is different, and this is not a one-size-fits-all solution by any means. Arrangements will be made for your loved one to go to a treatment facility immediately if he or she agrees to go for help. You and your family members will write letters expressing how the addiction has affected each one of you.

Mike Loverde

As a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP), member of NAATP, NAADAC, and accredited by the Pennsylvania Certification Board, Mike Loverde knows first-hand what it’s like to live life with addiction. By overcoming it, he had a calling to work with others who struggle with drug and alcohol addictions—the people who use and the families who feel helpless watching them decay.

With thousands of interventions across the United States done and many more to come, Loverde continues to own the intervention space, since 2005, by working with medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and others who need expert assistance for their patients who need intervention. To further his impact on behavioral health and maximize intervention effectiveness, Loverde is near completion of a Masters in Addiction Studies (MHS) accreditation, as well as a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC), and is committed to attaining the designation of a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

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