“Gambling for Seniors by AARP Calls Slots Financially Devastating and Their ‘Electronic crack”…

“Gambling for Seniors by AARP Calls Slots Financially Devastating and Their ‘Electronic crack”…

Since moving here to Arizona from So. Oregon a few years ago, I was shocked to see so many Indian Casinos all over this State. Now I know Oregon and California have casinos every as well, but here? IT IS LIKE Drug Addiction! Being the Indian Casinos are selling “Crack.”

So I happen to come across an article in AARP Money Section, written by John Rosengren is a freelance journalist. It is an eye-opening article on how problem gambling and slots are now affecting our senior population and devastating their “Golden Years” financially.

It is a long write-up but worth the read! so you can read the full article here on AARP Mag.com.

THE CASINO TRAP: “As the gambling industry booms, aggressive marketing targets older patrons.”

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“CASINOS use marketing ploys to target older patrons — and empty their wallets.”

Beauford Burton had enjoyed the occasional poker game in his youth, but in his 60s the slots hooked him. He and his wife, Sharon, started making the 2 1/2-hour drive every Friday from their home in Kings Mountain, N.C., to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, where they won occasionally but lost more frequently. In one year, he lost about $50,000, nearly the equivalent of his annual salary as a manager in a textile company.

They often stayed longer than they’d intended—many times the casino would offer them a free hotel room Saturday night. Burton can’t remember ever paying for a room. He had access to an exclusive bar with free drinks and food, preferred seating in the restaurants and suite upgrades in the hotel. Harrah’s once flew the couple to its casino in Laughlin, Nev., and covered all their expenses—except, of course, what they gambled.

In the end, Burton knew that all of the freebies weren’t really free and that he had paid for them tenfold with his losses. “I have always known you don’t get something for nothing, but I fell for it,” he says. “It’s the good old devil at work.”

Over four years, the slots drained more than $100,000 from Burton’s 401(k). But he kept playing. He cashed in a life insurance policy, took out cash advances on his credit card and gambled away Social Security checks meant to pay utility bills. Finally, in 2008, the gambling habit took his home.

By then, he was playing in a panic, betting up to $15 to $20 a spin, chasing his losses and pursuing the one illusory jackpot that he hoped would save him. “As you start to lose, you think, This is a luck thing, my luck is going to change,” says Burton, now 73. “But the more you go, the more you lose. It ends up in desperation. I can see how people get so deep that it causes them to take their own lives because it gets really, really bad.”

THE RISE OF THE CASINOS:

Of the 101 million visitors to America’s casinos in 2014 (the last year for which information was available), nearly half were age 50 or older, according to data from the gambling industry. In 2014, American casinos reported over $66 billion in gambling revenue, and much of that profit came from these older gamblers.

A 2011 study published in the Journal of Gambling Studies revealed that many older adults viewed the casino as a place where they can socialize and escape from loneliness or grief.

It’s never been easier for them to get to one. Long gone are the days when the twin casino meccas of Las Vegas and Atlantic City, N.J., represented the sole options for American gamblers. Regional casinos have proliferated dramatically since 1988 when the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act legalized casino development on Indian lands. That sparked a loosening of state prohibitions on gambling and a nationwide casino building boom. Today, 1,400 casinos are spread across 40 states. Regional casinos are especially attractive to those who prefer to drive themselves and do not want to have to spend the night. States with large populations of adults over 65, including Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Massachusetts and West Virginia, have all expanded casino gambling in recent years.

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Wynn-Casino-Slots
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ADDICTION EXPERTS SAY IT’S ALARMING:

Older adults are an especially desirable demographic for the gaming industry because they fill the floors during off-peak hours, and casinos market to them aggressively, offering discounts on breakfast and lunch, free drinks, and guarantees to “instantly win up to $1,000 Free Slot Play!” They stage free daytime entertainment such as polka dancing, magic shows and live “Golden Oldies” shows.

The “third of the month club” provides complimentary shuttles from senior centers and retirement housing complexes on the day they receive their Social Security checks. Some casinos stock their bathrooms with adult diapers and disposal receptacles for diabetics’ needles. They provide wheelchairs, walkers and more handicapped parking spots than a hospital. One Nevada casino operated an on-site pharmacy—since closed—where accumulated play credits could cover the standard $25 copay on medications.

The gambling boom—and the aggressive tactics the industry uses to lure older patrons—has alarmed addiction experts. Even casino patrons with no history of problem gambling can develop addictive behavior as they age. According to a 2005 study by David Oslin, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia, 1 in 11 adults over age 65 bet more than they could afford to lose in the previous year. The study suggests that more than 4 million older Americans could have a gambling problem. “That’s a higher rate than we have for most diseases,” he says.

‘SLOTS ARE THE NEW ELECTRONIC CRACK’

Slots are also the most addictive form of casino gambling, with the machines designed to maximize your “time on device” until you’re out of money. A 2001 study by psychiatrist Hans Breiter, then of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, confirmed that the machine’s nickname—”electronic crack”—is an apt one. Using MRI scanners, he found that in subjects playing slots, the brain’s neural circuits fired in a way that was similar to those using cocaine.

Several factors make gamblers particularly susceptible to addiction behavior as they age. Loneliness, social isolation and the loss of a spouse can encourage older people to seek relief in casinos. “For someone older who has been sick in the hospital or who is bored or lonely, that can have a big impact on them,” says clinical gyro psychologist Dennis McNeilly of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

More serious age-related cognitive decline plays a role, too. A 2012 study found that changes in the anatomy and chemistry of brains in dementia patients 65 and up, particularly in the frontal region—which controls executive functioning—”may render older adults particularly vulnerable to the stimulation provided by the slot machine.” Dementia afflicts about 14 percent of the U.S. population over 70 years old, and an estimated half of those (nearly 2 million people) are undiagnosed.

“With both the reward system and impulse controls impaired, that creates the perfect storm for someone to develop problems with gambling,” says Michael Hornberger, a neuroscientist at the University of East Anglia in England. Cognitive issues can cause sufferers to lose their sense of money’s value, and those with dementia often repeat a singular behavior such as pushing the button on a slot machine over and over. “They just keep playing as long as the casino lets them,” Hornberger says.

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FROM SOCIAL GAMBLER TO ADDICT:

Beauford Burton’s experience at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino is typical of such relationships.

In addition to sending birthday cards and weekly mailings with ticket deals to shows and vouchers for free play, the casino assigned a VIP host who called Burton at home to invite him back for various specials. Casino hosts often lavish personal attention on high-rolling older charges, asking about their health, reminding them to take their medicine and eating meals with them.

“The whole premise of a host is to extract as much money from that player as possible,” says ex-host John-Talmage Mathis, who worked as VIP marketing director at the Boomtown Casino in Bossier City, La. “For older people, the host becomes their friend, giving them all the attention they may not be getting from their children or friends.”

Casinos award hosts bonuses based on how much the gambler loses. “The losses of your player,” Mathis says, “are your success.”

As the industry seeks to expand, more women are being enticed into casinos, and more are experiencing problems, according to a study published in the journal Psychiatry.

Many slot machines are now designed specifically for women players, who, like longtime slots addict Melynda Litchfield, sometimes feel bonded with their machines. Litchfield, 56, worked 27 years at a Chicago-area hospital, climbing from staff nurse to administrator with a salary of $100,000.

Yet she couldn’t afford a prom dress for her daughter because she lost so much playing slots at the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Ill., 10 minutes from their home. For Litchfield, the atmosphere was as addicting as the machines themselves. The staff treated her warmly and called her by name. “They gave me so much personal attention and TLC that you get, the false impression these people—who are milking away all of your money—actually care about you,” she says.

The casino also served as a dream world escape, to a place where she did not have to tend to the needs of anyone else.

“I didn’t want to talk to anyone,” says Litchfield, who quit gambling in 2012 and is now a national victim advocate for Stop Predatory Gambling. (A fantastic resource)…

“I just wanted to get lost in my machine.”

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HERE is where I will stop, and again, please visit this link AARP Mag.com for “the rest of the story.” I wanted to stop here because I know exactly what this woman was talking about. It was one of the reasons I got hooked on slots. I just wanted to escape, numb or zone out with a few hours of gambling. As many who know me and have read my memoir, I was escaping from old pain from my childhood when it resurfaced again and I didn’t know how to cope with it all!

DON’T BE FOOLED. Casinos are targeting everyone, not just our Seniors….

 

 

 

 

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“And The Oscar Went To? Relapse Prevention Part 2”

Hello Recovery Friends And Welcome New Friends!

Well, since my name never got called for a “Golden Naked Man Statue,” I suppose we should get to my 2nd part of my post  about “RELAPSE PREVENTION”…..

Now I know many may think, WHY is she doing all this? I’ll tell you why. I shared in my book about “WHY” I started writing again to begin with. It was a newspaper story I read about a woman at an “Indian Casino Hotel.” She had a room there and must have had a very bad Relapse or Slip, because she shot herself with a shotgun in her room. There was a note left, but police only disclosed a part of the note, “and please tell my family I’m sorry, I had relapsed and could not stop my gambling.”
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When I read that, a tear came down my cheek, as I could feel that woman’s pain. I knew exactly how she felt when she pulled that trigger. It’s because I almost was her, and could have been her! So I swore I would do all I could to help others who suffer, and who are stuck on the” INSANE CYCLE” of compulsive addicted gambling. NOT one more person should ever feel that “SUICIDE” is the only “OPTION” to quit your addicted gambling. I’m tired of all the loss of precious LIFE from Suicide from ALL TYPES of ADDICTIONS.
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*WE NEED TO REMEMBER~WE ARE A WORK IN PROGRESS*!!

So get your tool box out and a notepad for PART 2 of Relapse Prevention….
I happen to read an article about Addiction & The Brain. There is a little part that I’ll share here, because it explains how the brain gets involved in the confusion of addicts and addictions….”Courtesy from http://www.azccg.org Which is a fantastic resource for Gambling Addiction help and information, “Arizona Council Of Compulsive Gambling.”
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“Individuals who are more biologically at risk for addiction are likely to have a neurobiological basis for deficits in experiencing pleasure, reward and satisfaction. Additionally, they are more likely to be emotionally unstable and impulsive, or experience either over- or under-arousal. Addictive substances and behaviors act in some ways to “fix” such neurobiological risk factors. However, the addictive “cure” only serves to intensify the problem, by further aggravating the underlying biological problems.
Taken alone, this discussion of addiction in relation to the biology of the brain probably seems disheartening. But the mind is a component of the addiction equation, as well, and next month I’ll discuss tools for reducing our subservience to the brain’s neurotransmitter systems.

However, it is important to recognize that medication helps the brain to function. While this may aid an individual to better utilize the mind, medication does not necessarily “heal” the mind or, by itself, stop addictive behavior. Ideally, the mind will be used to make healthy choices, not choosing to seek escape, euphoria, or relief via the quick fix of our  addiction.  However, we can change the chemistry of our brains through activities such as relaxation, prayer, meditation, eating mindfully, exercising and such. When you take a few minutes to breathe deeply and slowly, your brain chemistry automatically changes, your brain waves change.
One example is, when a compulsive gambler is gambling she or he changes the brain in the same way, since many gamblers report that gambling relaxes them. While this may seem true on the surface, gambling and other addictive behaviors only provide the illusion of providing this type of relief. If we took a brain image of someone who was gambling and compared it to someone who was meditating, we would have vastly different pictures.”…..
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*This to me was fascinating. The brain is very complex, and I know a few of my mental disorders are a direct effect from my brain being over used or not enough chemicals in other area’s of my brain. And Yes, medication does help me, A LOT. So, now we have learned a little about the addicted brain, and my last post we talked about FEELINGS, and making a plan to prevent Relapse, and to USE the “Skills & Tools” we learn to cope with “urges, triggers, and everyday life. Here is the next area you need to explore to help keep you safe, and part of your relapse plan,*
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IN EARLY RECOVERY YOU NEED TO:~ (Use the list of 37 Warning Signs in Part 1)
Here a just a few… 

1. Apprehension about well being.
2. Denial
3. Adamant commitment to stop gambling.
4. Compulsive behavior
5. Compulsive attempts to impose abstinence on others.
6. Defensiveness
7. Impulsive behavior.
8. Loneliness
9. Tunnel vision.
10. Minor depression
11. Loss of constructive planning.
12. Plans begin to fail.
13. Idle day dreaming & wishful thinking

WE need to recognize any of the above symptoms, then you need to take action. Make a list of coping skills you can use when you experience a symptom that is common for you. This will happen. You will have problems in recovery. Your task is to take affirmative action at he earliest possible moment. Remember, a symptom is a danger signal. You are in trouble. Make a list on what you are going to do. Are you going to call your sponsor, go to a meeting, call your counselor, call someone in G.A.
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Now detail several plans of action.

Plan 1._______________________________________________________
Plan 2._______________________________________________________
Plan 3._______________________________________________________
Plan 4._______________________________________________________
Plan 5._______________________________________________________
You need to check each warning symptom daily in your personal inventory. Also you need to have other people check you daily. You will not always pick up the symptoms yourself. You may be denying the problem again. Your spouse, sponsor, or fellow G.A. member can warn you when he or she feels you may be in trouble. Listen to these people. If they tell you they sense a problem, take action. You may need professional help in working the problem through. Don’t hesitate in calling and asking for help. Anything is better than relapsing. If you overreact to a warning sign you are not going to be in trouble, but if you under-react you may be headed for real trouble. Compulsive gambling is a deadly disease. Your life could be at stake.
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The High Risk Situations
It’s been found that relapse is more likely to occur in certain situations. These situations can trigger relapse. They found that people relapsed when they couldn’t cope with life situations except by returning to their addictive behaviors.
Your job is to develop coping skills for dealing with each high-risk situation.
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NEGATIVE EMOITIONS:
Thirty-five percent of the people who relapse do so when feeling a negative feeling that they can’t cope with. Most felt angry or frustrated, but some felt anxious, bored, lonely or depressed. Almost any negative feeling can lead to relapse if you don’t learn how to cope with the emotion. Feelings motivate you to take action. You must act to solve any problem.
Circle any of the following feelings that seem to lead you to gamble.
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*THIS WAS A BIG AREA FOR ME! EMOTIONS SOMETIMES GOT THE BEST OF ME, Disappointments, Arguments with Co-workers, Spouse, Family, Stress from work, WE NEED TO REMEMBER WE HAVE NO CONTROL OVER….People, Places, or Things……Or our Gambling Addiction!!*
1. Loneliness
2. Anger
3. Rejection
4. Emptiness
5. Annoyed
6. Sad
7. Exasperated
8. Betrayed
9. Cheated
10. Frustrated
11. Envious
12. Exhausted
13. Bored
14. Anxious
15. Ashamed
16. Bitter
17. Burdened
18. Foolish
19. Jealous
20. Left out

21. Selfish
22. Testy
23..Weak
24. Sorry
25. Greedy
26. Aggravated
27. Expansive
28. Miserable
29. Unloved
30. Worried
31. Scared
32. Spiteful
33. Tearful
34. Helpless
35. Neglected
36. Grief
37. Confused
38. Crushed
39. Discontented
40. Aggravated………………….
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Develop A Plan To Deal With Negative Emotions:
These are just a few of the feeling words. Add more if you need to. Develop coping skills for dealing with each feeling that makes you vulnerable to relapse. Exactly what are you going to do when you have this feeling? Detail your SPECIFIC plan of action. Some options are: Talk to my sponsor; call a friend in the program; go to a meeting; ect.. For each feeling, develop a specific plan of action.
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Feeling._____________________________
Plan1.______________________________
Plan2.______________________________
Plan 3.______________________________
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Feeling._____________________________
Plan1.______________________________
Plan2.______________________________
Plan3.______________________________
etc, ect,……
Continue to fill out these feeling forms until you have all the feelings that give you trouble and you have coping skills for dealing with each feeling.
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Social Pressure:
Twenty percent of people relapse in a social situation. Social pressure can be direct, where someone directly encourages you to gamble, or it can be indirect, as in a social situation where people are gambling. Both of these situations can trigger intense craving, and this can lead to relapse. For example, over sixty percent of alcoholics relapse in a bar.
Certain friends are more likely to encourage you to gamble. These people don’t want to hurt you. They may want you to relax, and have a good time. They want their old friend back. They don’t understand the nature of your disease. Perhaps they are compulsive gamblers themselves and are in denial.
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HIGH RISK FRIENDS: Make a list of friends who might encourage you to gamble.
Make a list of friends who might encourage you to gamble.
1._______________________________
2._______________________________
3._______________________________
4._______________________________
What are you going to do when they suggest that you gamble? What are you going to say? Set up a group of G.A. where the whole group encourages you to gamble. Consider carefully how you are feeling when they are encouraging you. Listen to what you say. Have them help you develop appropriate ways to say no.
High-risk Social Situations
Certain social situations will trigger craving. These are the situations where you have gambled in the past. Certain bars or restaurants, a particular part of town, certain music, athletic events, parties, weddings, family get together. All of these situations can trigger intense cravings.
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Make a list of five social situations where you will be vulnerable to relapse.

1.______________________________________________
2.______________________________________________
3.______________________________________________
4.______________________________________________
5.______________________________________________
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In early recovery, you will need to avoid these situations and friends. To put yourself in a high-risk situation is asking for trouble. If you have to attend a function where there will be gambling, take someone with you who is in the program. Go with someone who will support you in recovery. Make sure that you have a way home. You do not have to stay and torture yourself. You can leave if you feel uncomfortable. Avoid all situations where your recovery feels shaky.
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INTERPERSONAL CONFLICTS:

Sixteen percent of people relapse when in conflict with some other person. They have a problem with someone, and they have no idea how to cope with the problem. The stress of the problem builds, and leads to gambling. This conflict usually happens with someone you are closely involved with: wife, husband children, parents, siblings, friends, boss, ect..
You can have a serious problem with anyone, even strangers, so you must have a plan for dealing with interpersonal conflict. You will develop specific skills that will help you communicate, even when you are under stress.
You need to learn and repeatedly practice the following interpersonal skills.
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*These Below are VERY Important*….
1. Tell the truth all the time.
2. Share how you feel.
3. Ask for what you want.
4. Find some truth in what other people are saying.
5. Be willing to compromise.
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If you can stay in the conflict and work it out, that’s great. But if you can’t, you have to leave the situation and get help. You may have to go for a walk, a run or a drive. You might need to cool down. You must stop the conflict. You can’t continue to try to deal with a situation that you feel is too much for you. Don’t feel bad about this. Interpersonal relationships are the hardest challenges we face. Carry a card with you that list people you can contact. You may want to call your sponsor, minister, counselor, fellow G.A. member, friend, family member, doctor, or anyone else that may support you.
In an interpersonal conflict you will fear abandonment. You need to get accurate and reassure yourself that you have many people who still care about you. Remember that your Higher Power cares about you. God created you and loves you perfectly. Remember the other people in life that love you. This is one of the main reasons for talking to someone else.
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When they listen to you, they give you the feeling that you are loved.
If you still feel afraid or angry, get with someone you trust and stay with that person until you feel safe. Do not struggle out there all by yourself! Every member of G.A. will understand how you are feeling. We have all had these kinds of problems. We have all felt lost, helpless, hopeless, and angry.

Make an emergency card that includes all the people you call if you are having difficulty. Write their phone numbers down and carry this card with you at all times. Show this card to your sponsor. Practice asking someone for help in treatment once each day. Write the situation down and show it to another member. Get into the habit of asking for help. Call someone everyday just to stay in touch and keep the lines of communications open. Get use to it. Don’t wait to ask for help at the last-minute, this makes asking more difficult.
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*I do have to confess that this part of the relapse process seems a little SCARY, but I have DONE all of this over and over to keep myself safe when I first started my recovery. AND IT WORKS! The more you work your plan you WILL BE successful in your recovery. It’s hard to imagine having to SET boundaries with certain friends, but honestly if these so-called friends do NOT support your HEALTHY CHOICE’S to Support your recovery? then are they really a true friend? I don’t think so. So as hard as it maybe, and I had to do it myself, there were a few friends I had to stop being friends with because they did not support me in recovery. TRUST ME, you WILL make awesome, caring, and true friends in your recovery! This next section of the relapse guide and section is interesting*….|
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POSITIVE FEELINGS:
Of all the times you gambled to celebrate. That has gotten to be such a habit that when something good happens, you will immediately think about gambling. You need to be ready when you feel like a winner. This may be at a wedding, birth, promotion, or any event where you feel good. How are you going to celebrate without gambling? Make a celebration plan. You may have to take someone with you to celebrate, particularly in early recovery.

Positive feelings can also work when you are by yourself. A beautiful spring day can be enough to get you thinking about gambling. You need an action plan for when these thoughts pass through your mind. You must immediately get accurate and get real. In recovery we are committed to reality. Don’t sit there and imagine how wonderful you would feel if you gambled. Tell yourself the truth. Think about the pain that gambling has caused you. If you toy with positive feelings, you will ultimately gamble.
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Circle the positive feelings that make you vulnerable to relapse. *Yes, you CAN relapse over excited, happy, Lets Celebrate our good fortune with a few hours of addicted gambling*
1. Affection
2. Bold
3. Brave
4. Calm
5. Capable
6. Boisterous
7. Confident
8. Delightful
9. Desire
10. Enchanted
11. Joy
12. Free
13. Glad
14. Glee
15. Happy
16. Honored
17. Horny
18. Infatuated
19. Inspired
20. Kinky
21. Lazy
22. Loving
23. Peaceful
24. Pleasant
25. Pleased
26. Sexy
27. Wonderful
28. Cool
29. Relaxed
30. Reverent
31. Silly
32. Vivacious
33. Adequate
34. Efficient
35. Successful
36. Accomplished
37. Hopeful
38. Orgasmic
39. Elated
40. Merry
41. Ecstatic
42. Upbeat
43. Splendid
44. Yearning
45. Bliss
46. Excited
47. Exhilarated
48. Proud
49. Aroused
50. Festive
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A Plan To Cope With Positive Feeling:

These are the feelings that may make you Vulnerable to relapse. You must be careful when you are feeling good. Make a action plan For dealing with each positive emotion that makes you vulnerable to gambling.
Feeling ________________________________________
Plan 1. ______________________________
Plan 2. ______________________________
Plan 3. ______________________________
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Feeling ________________________________________
Plan 1. ______________________________
Plan 2. ______________________________
Plan 3._______________________________
etc, etc,
Continue this planning until you develop an approach for each of the positive feeling that make you vulnerable.
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*OK FOLKS……This next statement is VERY TRUE!! In my very early recovery, I kept thinking I could still gamble like A NORMAL PERSON, what ever normal is, and I’d get a few months in thinking, “Man, maybe I can gamble. I know I can control what I’m doing, or how much I spend.” Well, it’s like doing the same thing over and over expecting a Different Result each time, but all I got was more money wasted, more time gone, and got more and more depressed, more Guilt & Shame for what I lost, and closer and closer to the Edge of Suicide!!*
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TEST PERSONAL CONTROL:

Five percent of the people relapse to test if they can gamble again. They fool themselves into thinking that they may be able to do so normally. This time they will only use a little. This time they will be able to control themselves. People who fool themselves this way are in for big trouble. From the first bet, most people are in full-blown relapse within thirty days.

Testing personal control begins with inaccurate thinking. It takes you back to Step One. You need to think accurately. You are powerless over gambling. If you use, you will lose. It’s as simple as that. You are physiologically, psychologically, and socially addicted to gambling. The cells of your body won’t suddenly change, no matter how long you are clean. You are gambling dependent in your cells. This will never change.
*AS GA TEACHS US….DON’T TEMPT or TEST YOURSELF, Stay out of “Risky” places!*
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HOW TO SEE THROUGH THE TEMPTATIONS:
You need to look at how the illness part of yourself will try and convince you & your thoughts that you are not a problem gambler. The illness will flash on the screen of your consciousness all the good things that gambling did for you. Make a list of these things. In the first column, mark early gambling, Write down some of the good things you were getting out of gambling. Why were you gambling? What good came out of it? Did it make you feel social, smart, pretty, intelligent, brave, popular, desirable, relaxed, sexy? Did it help you sleep? Did it make you feel confident? Did it help you forget problems? Make a long list. These are the good things you were getting when you first started gambling.
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Early gambling                    ~                   Late gambling
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1.______________________ 1.______________________
2.______________________ 2.______________________
3.______________________ 3.______________________
4.______________________ 4.______________________
5.______________________ 5.______________________
6.______________________ 6.______________________
7.______________________ 7.______________________
8.______________________ 8.______________________
9.______________________ 9.______________________
10._____________________ 10._____________________
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Now go back and place in the second column, marked late gambling, how you were doing in that area once you became dependent? How are you doing in that area right before you came into the program? Did you still feel social, or did you feel alone? Did you still feel intelligent, or did you feel stupid? You will find that a great change has taken place. The very things that you were gambling for in the early gambling, you get the opposite of in the late gambling. If you were gambling to be more popular, you felt more isolated and alone. If you were gambling to feel brave, you were feeling more afraid. If you were gambling to feel smart, you felt stupid. This is a major characteristic of compulsive gambling.

Take a long look at both these list and think about how the illness is going to try to work inside your thinking. The addicted part of yourself will present to you all the good things you got in early gambling. This is how the disease will encourage you to gamble. You must see through the first use of negative consequences that are dead ahead.
Look at the second list. You must be able to see the misery that is coming if you gamble. For most people who relapse there are only a few days of controlled gambling, at he most, before lost of control sets in. There are usually only a few days or hours before all the bad stuff begins to click back into place. Relapse is terrible. It is the most intense misery that you can imagine.
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And Finally, WHAT is a lapse & relapse?
A lapse is the first bet. This is the first step before a full-blown relapse. A relapse is continuing to gamble until the full biological, psychological, and social disease is present. All of the complex biological, psychological, and social components of the disease become evident very quickly. For now lets call a lapse a slip even though G.A. does not use the word slip….
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*So this concludes our PART 2 of *Relapse Prevention Plans. Part 3 will be easy cake, as the guide goes over Behavior chain, slips, and coping with triggers, and options. Then you can put it all together for your own “Daily Prevention Plan for Relapse”!
Mine saved me many times! I still keep it in the back of my mind as a mental FEELING check off list each day. Another helpful thing to do is to start a “Journal or Recovery Diary” as it seems more real when you see all you have been through within your gambling addiction, when it is ON PAPER in black and white. It can really put things in perspective.
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And hey, you never know, you just may be able to use those journals later down the road to write your own book about your story. Of course at the time I had no idea my journals would be part of my current book. I’m currently writing 2 more books, and one is the follow-up to my first, “Addicted To Dimes” (Confessions of a liar and a Cheat)  http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485
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God and my recovery has given me so many blessings these last 7 years in my own life. I became a published author for the 1st time, thanks to all my “Fundraising 2012 & 2013 “Donors, and allowed me to meet many “Wonderful People” in recovery, other recovery writers, bloggers and authors, and many recovery professionals and organizations, and councilors. I have also been blessed to meet many NEW Friends. My recovery is what gave me my “PASSION” for writing back! So in my 2nd book, I am writing “All Things Recovery. What others can do, like the relapse plan you all are learning, and SO much more about recovery from addicted compulsive gambling. And explored & researched the “Why’s” and reasons men gamble differently then women. Part 3 will be posted in a few days. AND DON’T forget to SHARE your thoughts in the Comments!
I hope part 2 has helped many, and make sure you practice! Because we truly are “All A Work In Progress” in Recovery!
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God Bless All!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon