Gambling Addiction, like prescription pill addiction, is shrouded in DENIAL all over the world. Back in the day, gambling involved taking your own life into your hands as you were always at risk of being shot, even just for winning or allegedly cheating!
Today gambling is a silent destroyer of lives that is increasing in power and strength daily due to gambling access on computers and cell phones. Governing agencies surrounding this addiction are virtually non-existent and those that do exist are really for show in an attempt to appease the general public.
Problem gamblers gamble on a regular basis but may still hold down a job and generally function quite well. Despite the negative consequences though, the gambler continues to gamble.
Pathological Gambling is now classified as a psychiatric disorder as the signs and symptoms are much the same as any other addiction. The Gambler cannot, or will not see the damage their gambling is causing and will, at virtually any cost continue to gamble regardless. The pathology becomes shrouded in belief that some, or all of the money can be won back which of course never happens. Gamblers will put both theirs and their family at risk by borrowing money from unscrupulous money lenders who ‘help’ the gambler with a loan who require high interests rates on the borrowed amount.
The Sadness That Comes With Gambling
I recently visited Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape where there is a casino at The Boardwalk. My wife and I thought we would look around to see what it was like and we were quite shocked to see young children sleeping by the front doors of the casino waiting for a parent to finish gambling! I have heard stories of grown men wearing ‘nappies’ so as they do not have to be distracted by having to go to the toilet!
Interestingly enough you can have yourself ‘BANNED’ from a casino by your own request but in reality a pointless exercise that in no way assists the gambler from stopping to gamble.
In the UK if a person wants to gamble more than £10.000 then the ‘punter’ has to prove where the money came from as laundering ‘dirty money’ through betting shops is very common. If the betting shop does not follow this regulation then they will be fined. Twin Rivers has an ex-client who is suing a betting shop company for taking large sums from him for betting without questioning where the money came from! A lawyer is now involved supporting the ex-client and it looks like they will get some money back which is great.
Gambling can start at a very young age, even marbles at school is a form of gambling which can generate a mindset that wants to gamble for other things rather than marbles!
Gambling Addiction Recovery Programme
Twin Rivers Rehab offers a programme that is centred on individual and group therapy which aims to help the client identify the attitudes and repeating patterns of gambling behaviour that have been in place. With support from their counsellor, Gamblers Anonymous literature and encouragement from their peers, the client is given the opportunity to gain insight into their problem and identify the changes required to support their recovery and improve the quality of their life.