How to Know When a Bad Habit Has Become an Addiction

Everyone has bad habits and guilty pleasures. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Bad habits become a problem when they turn into addictions.

Recognizing addiction isn’t as easy as you’d think. Addiction takes many forms. It looks different in each person.

If you are concerned about you or a loved one, take a step back. Here’s how to know if the habit has crossed the threshold into addiction.

  1. It’s Taking Over

How often do you engage in this habit?

If it’s every day, it’s probably an addiction. Try cutting back.

See if you can go a day without it. If you find this difficult, that’s a problem.

Think about how the habit interferes with your daily life. Is drinking getting in the way of your routine? Do you go out of your way to seek alcohol?

There are other forms of alcohol abuse than addiction.

Binge drinking is another form of substance abuse. Try to drink only one drink. If you don’t know when to stop, you have a problem.

Some people can notice the warning signs of a drinking problem and stop.

If you can’t, it’s time to get help.

  1. You Think You Need Help

Most people know they have a problem.

They usually just don’t want to admit it to others or themselves.

If you feel like your habit is getting out of control, you’ve probably thought about talking to someone about it. Chances are you’ve run through the conversation in your head.

You might have even looked up recovery centers like Hollywood Hills Recovery.

If a loved one mentions they’re considering getting help, support them.

Do some research for them and throw a few ideas out there. They might be too afraid to bring up the subject.

Take the first step for them.

  1. You’re Lying to People

Lying isn’t always a direct lie.

Sometimes lying is not volunteering information. It could also be hiding things.

Do you hide your drinking from other people? Do you go out of your way to find alcohol and then lie about where you’ve been? Do you lie about how much you’ve had to drink?

This is not a good sign.

You shouldn’t be lying to the people who are closest to you.

And you shouldn’t be lying to yourself.

Ask yourself about your habits. You probably aren’t going to like the answers. But that’s part of admitting that you have a problem.

Recognizing a problem is the first step to recovery.

  1. You’ve Stopped Good Habits

Habits aren’t always a bad thing.

There are many good habits like having a good diet.

Eating foods like these on Eat This should be part of your daily routine.

When you have an addiction or substance abuse problem, you’ll stop doing good things. Your routine and good habits will slowly start to change. You might forget about them.

Or maybe you’re too drunk or hungover to practice good habits.

If you’ve started neglecting your health, it’s time to seek help.

Bringing good habits into your life is a good way to get rid of bad ones. It’s part of the road to recovery. Try cutting out negative habits.

Whenever you want to drink alcohol, pour yourself a soda. Or chew some gum. Find a healthy alternative.

Creating good habits will help you establish a routine.

This gives you something to fall back on when things get rough.

Recovering isn’t easy. Things can easily get out of control.

Good habits prepare you for hard times.

  1. Other People Say Something

Your friends and family have probably noticed your problem.

They usually won’t start with an intervention. They are more likely to say something about your problem indirectly.

Think carefully about what they’ve said.

Do they commonly mention that you drink too much? Or do they complain about your drinking?

If multiple people have mentioned that you have a problem, you probably do.

However, it could be that they don’t notice how severe the problem is.

Ask them what they think about your problem.

They will probably be glad that you’ve asked.


Admitting you have a problem is the first step in solving it. This is often the most difficult step.