Shoplifting - Addiction

How Shoplifting Becomes An Addiction

While most non-professional shoplifters feel guilty, ashamed and fearful of getting caught, the excitement they experience from shoplifting entices them back, again and again. The excitement of “getting away with it” produces a chemical reaction which is described as an incredible “rush” or “high”. Many shoplifters say that this is the “true reward” of shoplifting rather than the item itself.

A shoplifter’s habit or addiction can develop quickly when a person discovers that the “high” they experience helps to temporarily relieve such feelings as depression, frustration, deprivation, anger or boredom. At these times, people feel the desire to give themselves a reward, a gift or lift which they feel they need or deserve.

The illustration below shows how, from the moment a shoplifter targets an item, their tension level rises as they walk across an emotional tightrope to reach the “high”.

People Can Learn To Get The “High” They Need Without Shoplifting.
E D U C A T I O N makes it happen!

Shoplifters who seek temporary relief from unhappiness in their lives can learn how to get the “high” they need without shoplifting. Through “offense-specific” educational programs, shoplifters learn how to substitute “natural highs” such as shopping, eating out, reading a good book, playing ball, getting their hair done or calling a friend. Once shoplifters understand the pressures which triggered their shoplifting incident and how to get relief, the chances of repeating the offense typically drops from 25% to 2%.