Shoplifting – a Hidden Addiction: heavy news coverage after a celebrity convicted of shoplifting offence in the UK.
Addictions UK receives many calls from desperate people asking us for help with addictive problems relating to their shoplifting. There is a clear difference between those who shoplift because of their pathological dependency – as opposed to those who steal to fund their other addictions – such as finding money for their drink or drug habits.
It is not uncommon for people to have pathological dependence in relation to such addictive behaviours. The thrill of stealing in this way has no relation to financial need. It is the excitement that is obtained from the activity that causes this behaviour.
The “ups and downs” of the addiction are similar to other more recognised conditions. Earlier this week Simon Stephens, Addictions UK Director of Case-Work was interviewed about this problem on BBC Three Counties Radio.
Addictions UK has a policy whereby we never comment on any individual – for us, Addiction issues are all about principles – not personalities.