He sounds like a decent guy who just took a wrong turn.
At the same time I can't help but notice that he's not taking responsibility for his own addiction. He also claims that because he's not stealing, we shouldn't respect any addicts that do.
He might have been raised lovingly, been educated well and has had plenty of opportunity to choose another life path. I bet people that steal have not been in that same situation, so there's little point in comparing (or judging) them.
Interesting story about the process of addiction, though.
If you want something badly enough, you'll take it. That's how we all work. Morals? They're a weight on the other end of the scale, the angel on our shoulder, but there's also fear of consequences and all sorts of other things on that side. For a deeply principled person, the moral aspect might be a particularly huge weight, for others, maybe not.
In the end, though, if you desire it enough, no matter how many obvious reasons there are not to do it, you'll do it. You'll do it, and if morals are really important to you, you'll convince yourself doing it is the right thing, that it would be downright stupid to not do it.
Add in addiction, and the desire side can outweigh all other factors easily, because in the end we're self serving, we want what we want, and with enough mental gymnastics, can talk ourselves into anything.
Fortunately, most of us don't want anything badly enough... we aren't consumed with hate, and feeling the need to hurt or kill others, we aren't hopelessly addicted and living in such a small world where feeling just a little better for just a little while is the only thing that matters, or have obsessive sexual desire for children, to the point where it's the only thing we can think about, until we eventually act on it, to hell with the consequences to them or us.
We're lucky, but we might not always be. No matter how strong our will or ethics, that little voice in our head tells us to look out for number one, and if we desire something enough, the scale will tip in that favor and we will do it. We're all just people who look down on cannibals because we've never been starving to death in the presence of a corpse, convinced we're simply better than everyone who does bad things, often even while we're doing bad things ourselves.
TL;DR: Every one of us can be a piece of shit in the right circumstances, and capable of doing way worse than stealing material goods.
This comment disgusts me. It is not best of material. It is an example of the attitude that creates the addiction problem, the homeless problem, and the mental health problem we currently have in this country.
Edit: My response to the OP. I wish I had more time to compose it, but oh well. Got shit to do.
> I can't tell you how lucky you are to have had such a high bottom. But some people don't. I can tell you, as someone who was in your situation except worse, I don't respect you for your lack of empathy, understanding, and *especially* for speaking like an authority on the morality of addicts when you are not such an authority. Get off your high horse, please, and realize not everyone was as lucky as you.