Featured Guest Articles – ‘Do We Ever Give Up On An Addict?’ ‘Why Some People Become Addicts and Some Don’t?’

Featured Guest Articles – ‘Do We Ever Give Up On An Addict?’ ‘Why Some People Become Addicts and Some Don’t?’

I have been busy buzzing around some of my recovery sites and online mags I enjoy reading, including the ones I receive news by email. TWO interesting articles I read this past week were “Note Worthy” of re-shares by SoberRecovery as the articles are not only interesting but very informative about two topics that many of my recovery friends and parents who visit me want to know more about.

FIRST: Why do some people become an addict and others don’t?

SECOND: Do we ever give up on helping an addict?

So, here are two articles I found that share some insights and answers to these questions with some amazing advice. Even those of us maintaining recovery always need to learn more and read all that we can to be able to be aware and gain knowledge about all addictions. Learning can powerful and helpful tools for maintaining recovery …
Catherine 🙂

 

Why Do Some People Become Addicts and Others Don’t?

Courtesy of SoberRecovery  Mag, Staff

 

.

target on one person

.

There are many factors that can point towards a future addiction problem, but all in all, the nature of addiction is a mystery. Science may have a set of markers indicating future addictive patterns, but there is really no formula. Nor is there a set way to avoid addiction if these markers appear in a person.

Some people are born into families with long histories of addiction, but they will not use drugs or alcohol until much later in life. However, the behavior patterns of an addict may be present and noticeable from an early age.

Even more, not all addicts will drink alcohol or use drugs, further adding to the mystery of addiction.

Spotting Addictive Traits

Genetic traits may point to addictive behaviors in the future, but not everyone in an “addictive” gene pool will become an addict, and some addicts may have no family history of the disease. Those predisposed may work to control addiction by not participating in drinking or drug behaviors. They may show other personality traits similar to an addict’s, just not the use of addictive substances. They are also likely to become emotionally attached to the personality traits of an addict.

Some science focuses on early childhood patterns of behavior that may indicate addictive traits. These are most often characterized as risk-taking behaviors, a need for attention that goes beyond a normal level and sometimes early childhood trauma.

 

  • Risk-taking behaviors: These traits may be recognized in young children who are more active than their peers. They tend to repeatedly do things that place them in danger of being harmed. Very seldom do they know why they take these risks or why they are punished for behaviors that are not the norm.
  • Need for attention: This pattern may combine with risky behaviors. Some children will do things primarily because their need for attention is so great that they look at negative attention (punishment) as better than no attention. Many of them may develop this chronic need as a result of early childhood abandonment or abuse.
  • Early childhood trauma: A pattern of seeking safety can be developed around trauma. When children are exposed to a traumatic event(s), they may begin to seek a safe place. If none is available, they will learn to protect themselves in inappropriate ways. This can become addictive if food, gambling, drugs or sex become their tools for feeling safe. They can use these tools to dull their emotional pain. Since these tools offer only short-term relief and no resolution to the situation, addiction may ensue. 

    .

    Tackle Childhood Trauma 1

    .

Some of these tendencies may be learned when children are raised in an environment that focuses on escape from all emotional development. This means that the family is not emotionally present for one another. There is no process for feelings that come up in the course of day-to-day living. No one is speaking about their feelings of pain, anger, sadness or grief.

This is a socially-imposed condition that has existed for many years. When parents do not teach children to talk about their feelings, there is no structure for healthy emotional venting. As we learn more about the importance of expressing feelings, this can change.

In a home where mom and dad are not emotionally connected to feelings, children learn to avoid those feelings that are termed “negative”.  These feelings become problems as they go unexpressed. As time goes on, pain becomes trauma, anger becomes rage and sadness or grief becomes depression.

Finding relief for these emotions can become addictive. If alcohol or drugs bring a feeling of relief, the addict will return again and again to this solution, which then becomes a problem.

Trauma and Addiction

Traumatic events in later life can also bring a person into addictive patterns. A person may have genetic traits that are channeled in positive ways, such as careers, education and attaining financial success, but a single event or crisis may tip the scales and patterns that were controlled in the past can start to become a problem.

  • Example 1: This may look like a young man who comes from a high-risk environment, but gets an education, develops a successful career, has a family and looks like a normal, healthy citizen. During this period, he may drink socially, even heavily at times, but is able to function and maintain a relatively good picture of success. Relationships are strained, but the family keeps up a good face, despite functional breaks such as poor health and other symptoms of addiction. At a later age in life, the children may leave home or another big change occurs; or the man may retire and find that what kept him going is removed. The fabric of the structure is under stress. One or more of the family may begin to practice addiction.
  • Example 2: A young man or woman may have relatively normal upbringing and behaviors when young. They may be involved in a traumatic event, such as a terrible accident or military combat. This can then leave them without coping skills to overcome the emotional impact of the event. They may turn for relief to drugs and alcohol. If this becomes a pattern, an addiction may become manifest for this person. Tendencies may have been present for many years that suddenly expose themselves to the person and those around them.

Seeing the Signs

Recognizing traits and patterns of behavior is the first step out of denial. Getting help at this point can look like this:

  • Learning new coping skills for stress, anger, and emotional regulation
  • Learning healthy relationship tools
  • Beginning a conversation with loved ones who are showing signs of addictive personality traits
  • Opening your mind to new options for dealing with life
  • Becoming willing to change what isn’t working for you

There are therapies and treatment available for everyone involved in addiction. When a family system has been impacted by addiction and behaviors leading to addiction, everyone needs to learn how to be supportive of changes needed to break the patterns. Everyone may need to learn new skills and how to communicate and support each other in healthier ways.

Opening the door to recognizing a problem is only the first step. Change must occur to break the patterns of behavior and poor thinking that create and support an addiction.

.
*****************

When to Stop Trying to Save an Addict


.

distraught woman

.
If you have a loved one suffering from gambling, drug or alcohol addiction, you’ve likely experienced one or more of the following heartbreaking scenarios:

  • Staying up late worrying about whether or not they’ll get home safely tonight
  • Waiting anxiously in the hospital waiting room for the doctor to break the good news that they’re going to pull through an overdose
  • Hearing the guilt-inducing demands for more money or variations of the “if you love me, you’ll let me be” comment?
    .

There are countless other painful day-to-day experiences one encounters when living with or loving a drug addict. Most of the time, you’re scared for them, you want to help them and you want them to change their ways but you don’t know how to get them to do so. And because you love them, you don’t want to increase the already-growing distance between the two of you—so you end up covering their tracks. Time and time again.

You give them the five more dollars that they’re begging for; you clean up the vomit in the bathroom from the night before; you tuck them into bed to sleep off an episode; you sign them out of the hospital early because they’re miserable and begging you to let them out. When does it ever stop?

 

The Conundrum

First of all, it is important to know that nobody is blaming you. Addiction is complicated and painful and we often believe that we can love those around us into sobriety. However, sadly, that is never the case. As difficult as it is to hear, behaviors, like giving your friend that measly five dollars or signing your son out of the hospital for early release, are actually enabling your loved one to continue down his or her self-destructive path. The addicted part of their brain remembers that they can always get money from Mom with guilt-tripping tactics or that they can always rely on their best friend to pick them up no matter what hour of the night.

As part of the disease, an addict will go to any means to get what they crave—even at the emotional expense of those they love. Although they often will exhibit guilt and sorrow for their behaviors the next morning, once the cravings kick in, they’ll be doing everything all over again. Addiction is a vicious cycle and drugs will continue to fuel that one-track thinking pattern of doing whatever is necessary to get that next high.
.

Related image
.
It may be one of the toughest things you’ll ever have to do, but friends and families of addicts need to let go of the notion that they can save their loved one in order for there to be any chance at real change. By doing so, you can begin to explore your personal limits and define your boundaries.

Time to Pull Away

As much as it hurts, sometimes pulling away from the addict’s vicious cycle may call for ultimatums. This can include ending a romantic relationship, cutting off the addict financially, forcing him or her to move out of the house, or taking away their child custody rights, just to name a few.

By simply telling the individual to “stop doing drugs” or that “things need to change soon,” you’re just giving the addict either too broad an obstacle to conquer or too much wiggle room in which they can find ways to manipulate the situation (which they’re very good at doing). Therefore, the key is to be specific and unclenching with your boundaries. By implementing exact, time-sensitive consequences for their repeated bad behavior, the addict will then be forced to make a choice.
It is also important to keep in made that this choice is for your loved one to make alone and, as frustrating as it to watch, they may not want to choose recovery—even with all your inflicted consequences. He or she may need more time for the reality of the consequences to sink in before they take any action towards sobriety and, ultimately, it is only he or she who can decide to get out of the dark pit that has swallowed him or her up.

.

Related image
.
Finally, in the midst of caring for your loved one, remember that you are also responsible for taking care of yourself. You can’t allow your loved one to fuel their addiction at the expense of depriving you of all your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Your health is of equal importance and by doing what is best for you—even if that includes walking away from the toxic situation—you are coincidentally also doing the best thing you can do for your addicted loved one.

 

If you or someone you know is seeking professional support, please visit SoberRecovery and their directory of counseling and therapy centers or call 866-606-0182 to start the path to recovery today.

.

Advertisements

“And Now a Message From Our Recovery Sponsor”… Dr. Rev. Kevin T. Coughlin, of The Professional Institute of Higher Learning.

“And Now a Message From Our Recovery Sponsor”… Dr. Rev. Kevin T. Coughlin, of  The Professional Institute of Higher Learning.

Are Your Teens Playing Games with Their Lives?


We all know that gambling, and now internet gaming has been around for a long while.

What we didn’t know was about to happen with the internet and tech offerings and expansion that began in the late 80′ and early 90’s –that gaming and gambling options would be so accessible and continue to grow at a rapid pace as it has. No person better besides myself knows this than my dear friend and The Addiction Expert of Rev Kev’s Recovery World and now the new amazing coach, teacher, and trainer behind the new “The Professional’s International Institute of Higher Learning Online” .

So, I welcome and am honored to have Kevin Coughlin back to share some interesting facts about gaming and why parents need to be very privy to the time your kids are spending on their computers and what are they DOING on the internet …
Take it away Rev. Kev!   ~ Advocate Catherine Lyon 

.

Image result for copy free images of Kevin Coughlin Author
.

“A good coach asks great questions to help you remove the obstacles in your mind and to get you back on track in life.”  – Farshad Asl 

Recently, The World Health Organization added “gaming disorder” to the International Classification of Diseases. This newly identified gaming disorder causes “impaired control over gaming,” according to The World Health Organization. The decision to include internet gaming as a mental health disorder has not come without controversy; professionals from the American Psychiatric Association and other professional’s in the industry have made clear that they believe that internet gaming disorder is a condition that needs further study. Some mental health professionals don’t agree with the “gaming disorder” diagnosis, they think the label is premature. Many clinicians voiced that they believe that young people are actually using video gaming as a coping mechanism for anxiety and depression, which are on the rise in teens, according to the latest national research.

This new process of addiction should not be determined based on a short period of behavior. The World Health Organization stated that a diagnosis of having a gaming disorder should be determined based on behavior over a period of at least twelve months. If an individual’s personal life, social life, family life, work environment, or if they’re a student, their school environment is impaired by excessive internet gaming, these should be considered warning signs of addiction. Comparable with other addictions, despite negative consequences, there is a loss of control and escalation.

Experts believe that the causes of gaming disorder are quite rare and that only approximately three-percent of gamers may suffer from this addiction. There is hope for the three percent; however, more help is needed. A former gaming disorder addict, Cam Adair, was quoted as saying, “First just more prevention, there needs to be more awareness in schools. Parents need to be educated, there is a need for better resources and a need for more professionally trained interventionists,  recovery coaches and support services available.”

.

36599899_1947322662226047_2829353536381255680_n
.
Many parents have referred to internet gaming as “digital heroin!” Don is twenty-five-years-old, who just had his second child thirteen months ago, he lives with his girlfriend and the children at her parent’s house. Don works part-time and spends more than ten hours per day playing video games online. He spends every dollar he makes buying online video games and counts on State assistance to feed his children.

Some nights, Don doesn’t even sleep, he plays video games all night and then goes straight to work in the morning. He doesn’t spend any time with his children or his girlfriend. He doesn’t give his family any financial or emotional support. His girlfriend is on the verge of leaving Don and taking the children with her. His life is totally out of control because of online gaming addiction.

Dr. Vladimir Poznyak from The World Health Organization’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, which proposed the new diagnosis to The World Health Organization’s decision-making body, said, that there are three major diagnostic characteristics of gaming disorder: “One is that the gaming behavior takes precedence over other activities to the extent that other activities are taken to the periphery.

The second feature is impaired control of these behaviors, even when the negative consequences occur, this behavior continues or escalates. A third feature is that the condition leads to significant distress and impairment in personal, family, social, educational or occupational functioning. The impact is real and may include disturbed sleep patterns, like diet problems, like a deficiency in the physical activity.”

The main features of gaming disorder are very similar to the diagnostic features of pathological gambling disorder and substance use and abuse disorders. Gaming disorder is a clinical condition and must only be diagnosed by professionals who are properly trained in this mental health disorder. The majority of treatment and interventions for gaming disorder are based on the methods and principals of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and other added sources of support.

Co-founder of Restart (One of the first US inpatient treatment programs for gaming disorder), Hilarie Cash was quoted as saying, “It’s time to recognize gaming disorder as a legitimate medical and mental health condition.”

Dr. Vladimir Poznyak (from The World Health Organization’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse) was quoted as saying, “Whatever the therapy, it should be based on understanding the nature of the behavior and what can be done in order to improve the situation. Prevention interventions may also be needed.” A licensed psychologist, executive director at The Telos Project, Anthony Bean was quoted as saying,

“The ICD diagnosis is not “appropriately informed since most clinicians — and the mental health field as a whole — do not understand the gaming population. And even most clinicians would probably agree that they don’t understand the concept for video games because they’re not immersed in that world or experience.”

Bean recommends that parents and other loved ones concerned about a much-too-avid gamer, ask questions to become as informed as possible. What games are they playing? Why do they find them interesting? Bean is the author of a guidebook for clinicians wishing to work with gamers; however, he has made it clear that he is not on team Poznyak when it comes to the latest thinking on gaming disorder. I believe that Dr. Poznyak is right on target!

Witnessing Don’s gaming addiction firsthand, there is no doubt in my mind that online gaming becomes a disorder when despite negative consequences, there is a loss of control and escalation and the person’s choices are even affecting his family in a negative way because of online gaming.

Anything that is out of balance in a person’s life that has negative consequences that are ignored is a potential problem. I think the writing was on the wall a long time ago when it came to gaming addiction. I’m surprised it wasn’t diagnosed sooner!

Some of the warning signs that parents can look for to help determine if there is a problem with gaming and their teen:

Long hours of playing video games.
 
On the computer or other online devices.

Poor personal hygiene.

Lack of self-care.

Not sleeping, playing video games all night.

Poor grades in school or skipping school.

Lack of interest in everything except video gaming.

Isolation and spending much time in their room.

Irritability and anger problems when not playing video games.

Compulsively buying video games and add-ons.

Not eating regular meals at regular times.

Unhealthy diet, impulsivity,  and irresponsibility.

Life out of balance, obsessed with video gaming.

Depression, anxiety, or mood swings.

.

drug education (2)

.
Remember, if you think that your loved one is suffering from a gaming disorder, this should be diagnosed and treated by professional clinicians. You should also remember that approximately three-percent of gamers suffer from this addiction and that behavior should be considered over at least a twelve-month period.

The last thing that anyone wants is a parent thinking that their teen has a problem because they played video games one afternoon for several hours and skipped lunch. It’s important to look at the big picture and not to ignore the facts. Should you have any questions, consult a professional who works in this field. Let’s all be informed and aware!

Rev. Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin Ph.D.
www.theaddiction.expert
Visit:  “The Professional’s International Institute of Higher Learning Online” .
Learn More: About Coaching-LinkedIn Article

Recovery Guest Writer ~ Meet Aurora McCausland … Kids Drug Education

Recovery Guest Writer ~ Meet Aurora McCausland … Kids Drug Education

What Kind of Drug Education Is Your Child Getting at School?


When people hear the term “drug education”, they assume negative connotations. However, that is a misconception. Drug education isn’t an attempt to convince your child to do drugs, it’s the exact opposite. Drug education is not only a necessity for your child’s health and future but in most cases, drug education isn’t being taught to our children at a young enough age. And in a lot of cases, children aren’t getting any sort of drug education at school.

 

Most parents think it won’t be their kid

 

Parents tend to assume the best of their children and assume they would never dabble in drugs. And yes, parents do know their children better than a random observer would. However, parents are often willing to overlook the negative things and actions when it comes to their children. Well-meaning parents all too often conveniently don’t notice the signs of drug use, simply because they don’t want to believe that it’s a possibility. And even if your child has never used illegal substances, it’s very possible that they know someone that has.

 

“Say no to drugs” isn’t enough

 

Drug education is important for a lot of reasons. If your child is ever confronted with the decision to do drugs or is ever interested in experimenting, they need to have the education necessary to make a good decision. Education is the key to prevention. Without knowledge, your child doesn’t have the tools necessary to make a decision in that sort of situation and may make a rash decision that they won’t be happy with.


.

drug education (1)

 


Without education, horrible mistakes can be made

 

Consider synthetic drugs. Many synthetic drugs are much stronger than their traditional counterparts. If your children aren’t getting the education to know what synthetic drugs are and how much damage they can cause, they won’t have any idea what they’re getting into if they are presented with them. There have been instances of death when a teenager is offered synthetic drugs and, thinking they are something else, such as LSD, take a dose that is much too large. Education can prevent this.

 

They can handle the information

 

In middle school and high school, your child’s brain is still developing. This is the best time for them to get the drug education that they need. They need to be able to assess the risk and learn to make decisions for themselves when they are presented with the opportunity to do drugs. Your children are smart. They are able to handle the information. If we aren’t communicating with our kids and giving them that information, someone else is going to be giving them information.

With nothing to compare it to, they’ll believe the other information they are given. Don’t give them the chance to be confused, and give them the information that they need from the beginning. This isn’t to say that if you don’t make sure your child is getting a proper drug education that they are going to be out on the streets in search of cocaine. It just means that you would never want that sort of situation for your child, and educating your child is the best means of prevention.

 

Educate, instead of saying “don’t use”

 

With a lot of taboo subjects, people tend to opt for a blanket statement, disregarding any pertinent information that would be useful for decision making. If we don’t educate our children, how are they supposed to know anything? Ignorance is absolutely not bliss, and especially not in a situation like this. Ignorance and education could be a life or death difference.

.

drug education (2)

 

Educate about over-use of legal substances

 

Teaching our children about illegal drugs is incredibly important. What’s equally as important, is teaching them about the dangers of things that are legal. Alcohol, tobacco, and prescription medication/opioids are all things we should be talking to our children about. Again, without education, youth don’t have any way to create well-meaning decisions about something. If you know nothing about something you nothing about how to protect yourself from it. Teach your children about the dangers of overuse of substances that are legal, as well as the dangers of using illegal substances.

######

.

~ This article was written by Aurora McCausland ~

Aurora McCausland

Aurora is a 20-something with big hair, a love for Nutella. New Mexican raised, living in Utah. Twitter addict. English and Journalism Major at U.V. Utah, with a minor in French. She’s been writing since before she can remember and a model …

VOICES We Will Never Hear ~ Gambling Addiction and Suicides ~ National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling.

“Voices, voices we will never hear because their gambling addiction was so bad they took their own lives by SUICIDE to STOP GAMBLING!  Those with gambling problems are TWENTY TIMES more likely to commit suicide.”

(Courtesy of Casino Watch – Gambling and Suicides) .. .. ..

Michigan – A small-business owner, had just returned from a trip to the Las Vegas Strip’s MGM Grand Tuesday when he allegedly killed his pregnant wife and three children (under 7 years old) before turning the gun on himself. In his Mich., home, police found a suicide note blaming gambling addiction – and $225,000 in shredded casino markers. His business was $500,000 in debt because he withdrew the money to cover his gambling.
Las Vegas Sun 11/22/00 Las Vegas Review-Journal 11/23/00

Atlantic City – An 11-year-old Herndon girl died yesterday after initially surviving the slayings of her mother and brother and the suicide of her father, who authorities now say had defrauded area banks of nearly $2 million and had $10 million in gambling and other debts.
Washington Post 8/6/98

LA – On Thursday, another fight about gambling steeled Jueliene Butler’s determination to leave her husband, as her children raced down the street on their bicycles and tricycles. The two shots that resounded through the neighborhood ended a tempestuous 26-year marriage between Rodney and Jueliene Butler in a murder-suicide heard by their 13-year-old daughter.
Times Picayune 5/8/98

IL – Each turned on the ignition of their Olds Regency after stretching a vacuum hose from the exhaust pipe into the car’s interior, climbing in and rolling up the windows. Carol, 63, was the obsessive gambler. Disabled and saddled with the monstrous debt she had created, Skip, 69 had wanted to join her. Undone by a ravenous habit that cost them $200,000, a house, a nest egg and two lives, it was Carol who left a terse hint of the forest of guilt and fear that had grown around them. Bexson and Carol Warriner chose suicide as a last exit from gambling habits.
Los Angeles Times 6/22/97

ATLANTIC CITY — An unidentified man hanged himself under the Boardwalk on Thursday, the third suicide outside a casino in the last three months, police said.
The Associated Press 6/9/00

ATLANTIC CITY — A 50-year-old Vernor man apparently committed suicide Tuesday afternoon by jumping off the parking garage of a casino, police said.
LAS VEGAS SUN 4/5/00

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A German tourist jumped to his death off a 10-story casino parking garage Wednesday in the third such suicide in eight days.
The Associated Press 8/25/99

Atlantic City – Ex-casino worker leaps to death from roof of Trump Marina. He is the fifth person to jump from a casino here and die since August 1999.
South Jersey Publishing CO 5/27/00

Atlantic City – A bloodied body was found at the entrance to the Sands Casino Hotel parking garage just before 8 a.m. Investigators believe he fell two stories to his death but don’t know much more than that.
South Jersey Publishing 7/30/00

Atlantic City – The 36-year-old Florida man leaped seven stories to his death Tuesday after losing between $50,000 and $87,000 at Trump Plaza.
South Jersey Publishing Co. 8/19/99

CT – He had developed a gambling habit over the past few months that began on a trip to Las Vegas this summer. Police believe he was driving home from Foxwoods Resort Casino when, in desperation, he killed himself by hanging.
The Day Publishing 9/9/00

A Long Island teen who had a “death wish” because of a $6,000 World Series gambling debt used a $1.75 toy gun to force cops to shoot and kill him, police said yesterday.
New York Post 11/16/97

Detroit – A gambler losing big dollars in the high-roller area of the MotorCity Casino in Detroit pulled out a gun Wednesday, shot himself in the head and died, police said. He was playing double hands at $500 per hand, and lost $10,000 that night.
Detroit Free Press 1/27/00

BILOXI, Miss. — Police are trying to determine what caused a gambler down on his luck to shoot three people before killing himself at a busy Gulf Coast casino.
ASSOCIATED PRESS 1/15/01

Miss – In May 1996, Bay St. Louis, Miss., resident James Shamburger, a casino regular, hanged himself with a dog leash.

IL – No one knows why Howard Russell took his life, but authorities found he had taken more than $13,000 in advances on his credit cards during an eight-hour gambling spree on the riverboat.
Sun Times 7/28/97

IL – Since casinos opened in Joliet five years ago, Will County Coroner Patrick O’Neil said he has handled three suicides involving people who had racked up debts on the riverboats. But there are others, he said, such as the Kankakee couple who killed themselves outside O’Neil’s jurisdiction.
Sun Times 7/28/97

IL – 27-year-old Larry ruined his career, maxed out his credit cards and finally killed himself after gambling away his girlfriend’s rent money.
TODAY 8/13/01

IL – A gambler, Robert Jewell, threatened to spray gunfire in an Elgin, Ill., casino, then returned home and shot himself.
Los Angeles Times 6/22/97

IL – Kate, 40, a gambling addict and mother of 2, committed suicide by shooting herself in the head.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch 2/22/95

TAMPA — The night Hillsborough State Attorney Harry walked into a darkened field carrying his gun, he already was mired deep in gambling debt and facing an investigation. He committed suicide.
St. Petersburg Times 11/28/00

AZ – Harrah’s Indian gambling director committed suicide over a jackpot dispute.
The Associated Press 1/21/98

LA – After a night of drinking at a Kenner casino Saturday night, a Ponchatoula man, 21, apparently shot himself to death in his car outside the gambling boat, police said.
Times Picayune 11/8/99

MO – Mother committed suicide after secret, luckless trips to Casino St. Charles.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch 3/3/96

Las Vegas – Pierce was the second prominent actor to take his life in a little more than a year. In March 1999, David Strickland hanged himself at the Oasis Motel, 1731 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Strickland was in the TV series “Suddenly Susan.”
Las Vegas Review-Journal 7/12/00

LAS VEGAS (AP) – A 24-year-old Utah man scaled two security barriers and jumped to his death from the observation deck of the 1,149-foot Stratosphere Tower hotel-casino late Wednesday, police said.
Las Vegas Sun 1/6/00

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The bullets fired by the family man and Alabama Power employee struck three people he’d apparently never met inside the 23-story hotel and casino, and sparked a panic that didn’t end until a dozen other people were injured in the melee. McConnell then shot himself in the head. A casino employee said he had been in the casino before and was upset after losing at the slot machines.
Alabama Live 1/15/01

Las Vegas – They have bank statements showing that Batdorf drained his $17,000 Florida bank account in 11 days. Between August and September he made $600 daily ATM withdrawals as often as three times a day and maxed out his credit cards that put him $72,000 in debt. A pawn shop ticket with his name and thumbprint on it prove he hocked the last of his things, among them the ceramic W.C. Fields and Marx Brothers figurines his mom gave him for Christmas. All activity stopped on his credit cards and bank statements a little over two months later in Las Vegas — about the same time a man’s body matching Batdorf’s description turned up in the desert, dead from a .357-caliber gunshot wound in the head.
Las Vegas SUN 10/31/98

CA – A compulsive gambler shot and killed himself in San Diego. It was at least the second such suicide in that city within the past few months, yet these events are rarely reported and when they are, the connection with gambling is often overlooked.
The Los Angeles Times 6/30/97

Iowa – Where a 19-year-old college dropout, Jason Berg, shot himself to death in June 1994, despairing over a budding gambling habit.
Los Angeles Times 6/22/97

A Long Island teen who had a “death wish” because of a $6,000 World Series gambling debt used a $1.75 toy gun to force cops to shoot and kill him, police said yesterday.
New York Post 11/16/98

Pergament, depressed over $6,000 in gambling debts, got himself shot Friday night by threatening officers with what turned out to be a toy gun, police said. They call it “suicide by co” — and say they’ve seen it before.
The Associated Press 11/17/97

My father, a successful lawyer in Los Angeles, was also a compulsive gambler, and he killed himself in 1976, shortly after one of his many trips to Las Vegas.
WARD M. WINTON St. Paul, Dec. 16, 1997

SALEM, Ore. – A Eugene woman who blames her brother’s suicide on the state lottery’s video poker network filed a lawsuit Tuesday that would constitutionally invalidate the lottery.
The Register-Guard 7/25/01

RI – Hours after Police Chief Thomas Moffatt was found dead Nov. 20, apparently a suicide, in the basement of the police station, four city officials were told of reports that the chief had been borrowing money from subordinates to pay gambling debts.
The Providence Journal 11/30/98

Miss. – After two losing days at the Tunica gambling tables, Ronnie Austin told his wife he was ready to leave. By the time she caught up to him in the Horseshoe Casino parking garage, the Cordova resident was dead from a 9 mm gunshot wound to the chest, an apparent suicide captured on security camera videotape.
The Commercial Appeal 3/17/98

Las Vegas – Tillander became immersed in a gambling habit. While no one knows the extent of Tillander’s debts, his inability to stop gambling left him unwilling to go on. “His finances were getting out of control,” Flatt says. “Gambling is a tough addiction because when you confront someone about it, there is usually very little evidence.” authorities found Tillander’s body in his apartment. He had crafted the cyanide gas concoction, stuck his head in a pup tent and taken in the deadly fumes.
Las Vegas Review-Journal 11/16/98

CT – A bank employee and father with a gambling habit, in desperation, killed himself by hanging after leaving a casino.
The Day Publishing Online 9/9/00

CT – The body of 28-year-old John Diakos was found in a casino parking lot after he committed suicide by ingesting a mixture of drugs and cutting his arms.
The Day Publishing Online 9/9/00

CT – 38-year-old woman of Stamford drowned herself by wading into the Thames River after losing hundreds of dollars at gambling the maximum amount allowed on her credit cards at the casino.
The Day Publishing Online 9/9/00

There have been many more that the news media and newspapers will never share as they think it will give Gambling a bad wrap .. .. ..

PARENTS? YOU Need to read this about your kids and young college bound young adults!

Gambling Is Driving Our Children To Commit Crimes and Suicide

Author & Gambling Recovery Advocate ~ Catherine Townsend-Lyon

An Important Blog Share From My Good Friends At NAMI, Helping Others With Mental Health & Suicide Prevention. . .

Hello Recovery Friends, Blog Friends, and Welcome New Visitors,

SuicidePrevention Pictures
 .
I happen to receive the monthly newsletter from my helpful friends at The National Alliance on Mental Illness. And as many of my friends here know, I battle several mental and emotional disorders myself. And for me the topic of Suicide is a hard subject for me because of my own 2 failed suicides. Yes, I’m blessed and have a heart filled of Gratitude to still be here, but the flip side to this is being able to feel others pain when I read about others and suicide.

To me it is such a senseless loss of precious life. We are all born with such great abilities to soar in life, but sadly the society we live in today can make that an everyday challenge. Even the high stress levels of many jobs can bare to much for some of us. That’s why it’s important to me to start sharing my own mental illness, to be share that part of my life, and to share with others so they don’t feel so alone. And NAMI does a wonderful job at sharing information about how to prevent suicide, as it can be a difficult subject to also talk to your teens about. So I wanted to share this blog article they have on their website. It just may help save lives. . . .

Suicide Prevention: Can We Talk?
By Jacqueline Feldman, M.D., NAMI Associate Medical Director

.

.
Of all the topics in mental health, one of the most difficult to consider is suicide. People contemplating it often do not speak directly of it. Families are surprised, stunned, mortified, angry, and devastated in the face of it. Non-mental health professionals may feel uncomfortable asking about anything related to it.  And mental health professionals feel helpless, as we are terrible at discretely predicting and preventing it. There are tragedies, and there is fear; suicide is at the crossroads when these two meet. . .

As I review scientific articles, and program after program, the despair continues. In spite of more folks talking about it, more people training to identify it, and more programs put in place to prevent it, suicide continues.So what do we know? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., and the third leading cause of death for those aged 15-24. More than 800,000 around the globe die each year; many more attempt it. The figures boggle the mind, and challenge us all: how can we possibly intervene?

Many of us know to watch for warning signs—a history of loss (social support, job, resources, health), prior attempts, family history, recent violence; changing appearance or behavior like plummeting grades or productivity, tearfulness, negativism, social isolation, drugs and alcohol); we’re not so good at communicating our concern or finding help.

Programs like Typical or Troubled from the American Psychiatric Foundation and QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) to name just two of the many that have been developed, frequently focus on training sentinels—folks in a position to observe people at risk—to heighten awareness of those with potential for suicide, and help find relief and support for the person in need. And yet, still we struggle.

On January 9, an article was published in Lancet looking at the results of 3 different kinds of suicide prevention training on over 11,000 students in Europe: QPR, where teachers act as sentinels; ProfScreen, where mental health professionals provide screening, and the Youth Aware of Mental Health Program, which trains the students themselves. This program used “lectures, role-playing, and education about mental health and suicide risk” with students. At 12 months, there was a significant reduction of suicide attempts, and of severe suicidal ideation, compared to the other control groups. It has been suggested that perhaps this program was more effective because it offers interventions “before there are outward signs of risk, and doesn’t stigmatize individual students.” It’s an interesting idea: going to the at-risk population itself, giving them the education, and empowering them to make different choices.

The CDC suggests the key to reducing suicides is to reduce risk and increase resilience. We cannot begin to reduce risk or abolish stigma or enhance resilience if we cannot even talk about the topic. We need a structured national conversation, an engaged public, an engaged media, engaged policy makers, and engaged legislators.

How about a president who starts by mentioning the “dignity and worth of every citizen… (including) Americans with mental illness” in his State of the Union speech? (He did, last week!) How about asking every pediatrician and every primary care doc and every pastor and preacher (heck, place signs in every bus stop, subway, and grocery store for that matter) to educate each family to store firearms locked and unloaded, with ammunition locked separately, if a household member is at high risk for suicide? How about widespread movements to have the public certified in suicide prevention like so many of us are certified in CPR? How about offering NAMI Ending the Silence to every 9th grader to let them know about the warning signs of a mental health condition and what they can do? The list is endless.

“I know we all care. I’m ready to start talking, and doing; how about you?”

.
If you know someone who may need help? Please share this phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline:  1-800-273-8255  24/7 . . .
No Shame. . .  No Labels. . . Not Alone Anymore. . .  God Bless All!

Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author
http://www.amazon.com/Addicted-Dimes-Confessions-Liar-Cheat-ebook/dp/B00CSUJI3A