Addictive thinking can be very similar to criminal thinking. A lot of times these thinking patterns overlap. When a person is in active addiction he or she will often justify a lot of things. Moreover, in a lot of cases they just want to continue their addiction. Maybe he or she does not know how to stop drinking, drugging or gambling. Therefore, they are not even willing to consider stopping because they “think” that they have no choice. Sort of like the criminal who steals to survive. But, once a person gets into recovery he or she will learn that recovery is more than just putting the plug in the jug or stopping whatever their addiction is. It is about changing and changing one’s thinking.
There is no question about it that addiction is a thinking disease. So, let’s discuss how an addict’s thinking is like a criminal’s thinking. People who are prone to criminal thinking and addictive thinking often have a “victim stance” attitude. This attitude allows the person to blame others for situations that he or she really have created for themselves. For example, it’s the cops fault I got that DUI or I drink because I’ve had a rough life. These thinking patterns lead to irrational decisions.
Then there are the criminals or addicts who take the “good person stance”. He or she focuses on the good things they have done and ignore the harm. They might say I may make bad decisions here and there but I am a good person in general. Someone might also say,” I pay taxes and I get a DUI from this cop. I am paying more for his or her salary than anyone. The police should not have arrested me!” Now you also have those who promote the “unique person stance”. He or she might think no one in the whole world has experienced what I have been through. I was slighted, abused or made fun of in school, therefore I drink.
One of the first signs that a relapse is going to occur is that one’s thinking changes and a big piece of this is they start to compromise their values. A recent article discusses the problem of addiction and how it can contribute to crime in a community. So, if you are compromising your values and heading down the wrong path it is important to reach out for help and make some changes. Then and only then can recovery become a part of a person’s life.