If I do something frequently, I do not think I am addicted. Habituated might be the term to apply. It could be dangerous but it’s not compulsive. Bad habits can need reform but are not as hard to change as real addictions. Those conditions can ruin lives.

The difficult issue, however, is the authority of others to prohibit or discourage such behaviors, habitual or addicted. Educational institutions, factories and offices can legislate against activities that endanger others’ health in the workplace. Living accommodations can impose limits for similar reasons.

Governments waffle between banning and tolerating problematic materials and behaviors. It seems admirable to help addicted people avoid their temptations, but this has proven impossible since many people, often only habituated, work with suppliers to undercut the ban.

When the problem is not substance, but behavior — like gambling — prohibition is impossible. In that case, governments have learned to profit from those attracted by compulsion or habit with lotteries, etc. Maybe that is a model for dealing with substances, too, like heavy taxes on tobacco. With some drugs, however, companies and gangs get the profits instead of governments.

In any case, enjoy your habits, practice them safely, and hope you are not irritating others or becoming addicted.

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