Catalog of Addictions

Addictions and compulsive behaviors can be a very real challenge to the wholesome relationship that we seek with our Savior.

As a way of clarifying what the scope of addictions is, this resource may be a source for all who may be part of the ministry of your church. This list is far from comprehensive; but it does give a fairly clear idea of what we’re facing in our communities, our churches, and even our own homes.

Addictive agents are those persons, places, or things (choices) on which we form an excessive dependency, consequently causing our lives to become unmanageable. A “moment of truth” from a Divine Power greater than ourselves leads to rigorous honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness to change.

The catalog of addictive agents includes:

1. Alcohol or other drugs
2. Work, achievement, or success
3. Money addictions, such as overspending, gambling, hoarding
4. Control addictions, especially if they surface in personal, sexual, family, and business relationships
5. Food addictions
6. Sexual addictions
7. Approval dependency (the need to please people)
8. Rescuing patterns toward other persons
9. Dependency on toxic relationships (relationships that are damaging and hurtful)
10. Physical illness (hypochondria)
11. Exercise and physical conditioning
12. Cosmetics, clothes, cosmetic surgery, trying to look good on the outside
13. Academic pursuits and excessive intellectualizing
14. Religiosity or religious legalism (preoccupation with the form and the rules and regulations of religion, rather than benefitting from the real spiritual message)
15. General perfectionism
16. Cleaning and avoiding contamination and other obsessive-compulsive symptoms
17. Organizing, structuring (the need to always have everything in its place)
18. Materialism1, 2

1. R. Fowler, and R. Hemfelt, Serenity: A Companion for 12-Step Recovery (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1990).

2. Adapted with permission from the iFollow Discipleship Resource, ©North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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