The Connection Between Crime and Behavioral Addictions

People who suffer from behavioral addictions such as shopping and gambling addiction often spend much longer in denial than those who use alcohol or drugs. After all, they're not snorting or injecting an illegal substance, and their behaviors don't interfere with their ability to drive, function at work, or remain healthy. Behavioral addictions affect the brain just as heavily as drug and alcohol addictions, though, and these addictions can quickly lead to both criminal behavior and victimization.

The Need for a Fix
Just like any other addiction, the need for a fix increases exponentially with behavioral addictions. At first, you may be able to resist. But until you commit to sobriety, you'll eventually give in. For many people, this means breaking the law, particularly when the addiction source is not readily available. Sex addicts may hire prostitutes, while gambling addicts may participate in illegal gambling.

Debt and Financial Challenges
Many behavioral addictions, such as shopping and gambling, are expensive. Others, such as compulsive sexual behavior, may get you into financial trouble by taking you away from work or even causing you to lose your job. This can lead to criminal behavior in a number of ways. Some addicts steal from loved ones or stores to fund an addiction or pay down debt. Others get involved with bookies and other illegal lenders, and some may engage in illegal behavior – such as drug dealing or prostitution – to help fund an increasingly costly habit.

Involvement With an Underworld
The longer your addiction lingers, the more likely it is that it will bring you into contact with an underworld. This is especially true of gambling addiction, which almost inevitably involves some form of illegal gambling. Other addictions are not immune to this challenge, though. As you grow more desperate to indulge your addiction and as your addiction takes over more and more of your life, you'll likely spend more time with other addicts. This not only exposes you to criminal behavior; it also increases your odds of crime victimization. If you don't pay back a bookie, you could be harassed, beaten up, robbed, or even killed, for example.
  • 3 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • Good post here zawn! Behavioral addictions lead to crime, no questions asked and I have an example of that in my family, as my brother robbed the family and who knows who else just to maintain it's addiction. When people are addicted they will do pretty much everything to keep the addiction going, so that will lead to crime eventually. 
  • This is exactly why family and/or friends should step in when someone is beginning to go down that road. I've had family who had a gambling addiction. She always wanted to try just one more time. If we hadn't gotten her to stop going to the casino, I don't know what would have happened.
  • A very informative post that needs to be read by more folks. Really appreciate that you posted this as it rings true of a relative of mine. Certain addictions and crime tend to go hand-in-hand and it's very difficult to break free. Friends and family should come together and help the troubled individual to gradually start getting their life in order, before matters get worse. 
Sign In or Register to comment.