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Behavioral Addiction-related Crimes and Offenses

Addiction applies to more than drug and alcohol abuse. Many crimes and offenses stem from compulsive behavioral problems. 

What Is Behavioral Addiction?

Behavioral addictions are everyday habits that people with no self-discipline take to extremes at the expense of everything else in life. While everyone loves food, sex and social media, behavioral addicts get so engrossed in these activities that it’s all they do, day and night.

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Danger Signs of Behavioral Addiction

A lot of behavioral addictions are unhealthy. Food addiction causes people to overeat for the pleasure of taste, even on a full stomach. Social media addiction keeps people glued to apps throughout the day; no exercise. The most dangerous consequences of behavioral addiction include:

  • Antisocial behavior – During hours when they can’t engage in the activity, behavioral addicts get irritable and anxious. They can’t engage in professional and social activities because their minds are 100% consumed with their addictive behavior. Behavioral addictions can cost people friends and employment prospects.
  • Self-neglect – Behavioral addictions can also cause people to neglect their hygiene and habitat. A gaming addict is unlikely to shave, groom or clean his room when he can’t pull away from the joystick. The same goes for porn addicts, who sit around on PornHub all day and rarely get up to shower or leave the house.
  • Criminal behavior – Behavioral addiction can also lead to criminal behaviors. A person who wants and wants more with no concept of earning may resort to illegal behaviors to get their fix. Such behavior is often spurred by the use of illegal substances.

Behavioral addictions often go hand-in-hand with alcohol consumption and drug abuse. Drugs and alcohol lower inhibitions and boundaries. People often commit crimes of passion, desire and rage when under the influence because they’re too intoxicated to fathom the consequences.

Sex Addiction and Criminal Conduct

Everyone loves sex but the majority of healthy, adjusted people reserve sexual activity for select hours and lead balanced lives. People with sexual addiction are consumed with their sexuality 24/7. People with dangerous kinks, especially those in non-stop pursuit of sex, could easily give in to illegal behaviors like:

  • Nonconsensual filming – Some sex addicts are so obsessed with their exploits that they keep diaries of all their conquests and film their encounters. Oftentimes, sex acts are filmed without the random partner’s consent. Sex acts caught on tape can easily end up as viral clips on PornHub, unbeknownst to the other party.
  • Knowing transmission – Sex addicts are less likely to share their STD status to potential conquests. HIV originally spread, in part, due to individuals who hid their positive status. Today, many jurisdictions make it a crime to withhold such information. Sex addiction can also increase a person’s odds of coming into contact with a covert carrier.
  • Sexual assault – People with extreme S&M fetishes place themselves at risk if they frequent unregulated environments. A man who enjoys choking during sex could take the act too far and end up with a manslaughter charge, if not worse. A masochistic female could place herself in grave danger if she hooks up with a man who plays too rough.

Sex crimes are often spurred by alcohol and drug abuse. A stimulant drug abuser could get hyped up and manic during his sexual exploits and engage in rough, wild antics that cross the legal line.

Porn Addiction and Criminal Activity

As with sex addiction, porn addiction stems from an inability to reserve sexuality to select hours. Porn addicts are typically less social than sex addicts, who are constantly on the prowl. Many get hooked on porn because they’re too shy or awkward to find partners. Some people are addicted to porn and sex. Criminal acts from these people may include:

  • Revenge porn – People who film their sex acts and later post the footage online after the other person leaves the relationship. Revenge porn is now illegal in most jurisdictions. Offenders can get steep fines and lengthy prison sentences. Porn addicts have fewer moral qualms about this phenomenon.
  • Stalking – Porn watchers consume copious amounts of porn yet disrespect the performers. Some porn addicts are so lonely and isolated that they think they have some entitlement to the woman, all because of a private online chat or OnlyFans membership. Some take the obsession too far and harass, dox and possibly locate the woman.
  • Inappropriate sexting – This could involve sending unsolicited dick pics to women or exchanging nude pics with much younger women, possibly below the age of consent. This could also involve sexting on work phones and computers.

Porn addiction can lead to worse criminal behavior if the person is intoxicated with alcohol, depressant drugs and/or stimulants.

Gambling Addiction, Adverse Consequences

Gambling itself is legal in most jurisdictions but its risks can have financial and legal consequences. People who gamble habitually and lose tons of money could end up getting involved with:

  • Lone sharks – People who loan money and demand it back by a certain date… OR ELSE! This is a dangerous trap that can get people permanently entangled in the mafia.
  • Thievery – Some people steal to pay off gambling debts. A pricey ring or family heirloom could disappear if a relative or loved one has a gambling debt to pay.

People get hooked on gambling because of the infinite possibility of huge wins. People who gamble themselves into trouble might see criminal behavior as their only option.


Shoplifting is criminal behavior, period. Some people get hooked on this behavior due to the thrill of acquiring “free” stuff. Others want more than they can afford. The methods and motivations hardly matter because the consequences are the same.

Most people who engage in this illegal activity are amateur thieves. Those who have lucky streaks often get overconfident and more daring in their shoplifting stunts. This can lead to far worse legal consequences when they do get caught.

Thrill Rides

Risky behaviors like speed racing and bungy jumping can be addictive to people who get hooked on the adrenalin rush. Speeding and reckless driving are dangerous, illegal and often deadly. In many cases, these are alcohol and drug-related crimes. When intoxicated, people are less inhibited and more prone to impulsive, risky and violent behavior.

Behavioral Addiction and Drug Addiction Treatment

Get Help Today

Don't go through the process of recovery alone. There are people who can help you with the struggle you're facing. Get in touch with one today.

Make a Call

As with drug-related offenses, crimes stemming from behavioral addiction are a burden on the criminal justice system. Sometimes. when people are under the influence of illegal drugs, they commit behavioral crimes like shoplifting or violent sexual assault. In many cases, these behaviors stem from mental illness.

Fortunately, some of the same centers that offer drug addiction rehab and mental-health counseling also offer behavioral addiction treatment. Many patients have co-occurring disorders.

If someone you know has problems with drug and/or behavioral addiction, get that person the help he/she needs. Contact the treatment centers in your area and ask about their program. Your call could save this person from a dangerous and possibly fatal slide.

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