Gambling Addiction and Recovery Around The Web… Quit to WIN!

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“Do you or know someone who has a problem with GAMBLING? Is it slowly taking them away from family and friends? DID YOU KNOW THERE IS HELP?”


Many of my friends and visitors know I have been here Advocating about Problem Gambling and Gambling Addiction Recovery for for over 4 years now. Never do I get tired when someone reaches out or emails me seeking information or help for a loved one from this cunning addiction. The only regret I HAVE is feeling I have not helped many more I know are out there suffering and who are sucked into THIS Insane Cycle of this Deadly Addiction. 

And through my years of advocacy work, I have had the honor to many fantastic people in various forms and areas of helping others recover. So I wanted to share a little today from them and let the public know that there IS MUCH HELP and Resources for those who are afflicted with this disease. AND? That IT IS Possible to Recover! If I can make it 10 1/2 years away from “A BET” then I know others can too! Having support and encouragement from family and others is important when we surrender from our addiction and start to reclaim our lives. I’m here to do just THAT!


A Message From My Friends of Know The Odds 

THE HIDDEN ADDICTION

You can smell cigarette smoke in the air and on the clothes of people who frequently smoke. You can smell alcohol on the breath of individuals who frequently drink. Problem gambling doesn’t exhibit these tell-tale signs, and at first, it can be easy to hide. But this addiction can have serious, life-altering consequences.

It can seem as innocent as wasting a few hours on a gaming website, or as serious as a high-stakes poker game. For those affected by problem gambling, both can lead to devastation as bets are placed and debt accrues.

Gambling happens all around us, whether we see it or not. It can happen from the couch, in our schools, our workplaces, restaurants, community centers, casinos and many other locations. Individuals struggling with a gambling disorder have many options to place bets unnoticed, from gambling online from their desks at work to routine visits to the grocery store to purchase scratch-offs.

Often, gambling goes on for months – or longer – before unpaid bills and financial issues surface, indicating a problem to family and loved ones. Friends and family members often struggle with guilt because they did not prevent, notice or stop the addiction before its consequences add up.

Problem gambling affects millions of people – men and women, old and young, employed and unemployed, and people of all ethnicities. In our ebook, “The Hidden Addiction,” we explain why the problem gambling of so many individuals goes unnoticed and discuss many of the demographic segments who suffer in silence. Women, seniors, children, adolescents and armed service members are often overlooked for being at-risk for gambling addiction, but the numbers tell a different story. We explore some of the reasons that individuals develop a gambling addiction, and how they can seek help and recovery.

 

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Now A Message From The Addiction Blog

Trying To Stop Gambling? There Are Many Paths To Recovery!

Help for problem gambling comes in many forms. These can include:

  • Self-help methods
  • Step-based programs like Gambler’s Anonymous
  • Professional counseling including motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral therapy.

In fact, you might need to try a variety of methods to determine which works best for you. If you’re looking to connect with a trained counselor, you can call the NY HOPELINE at 1-877-8-HOPENY or you can visit the KnowTheOdds Support Directory to find help in your local area.

In the meantime, it can be expected that some days your recovery may seem easy, and other days the urge to gamble will seem irresistible. There are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to help avoid gambling situations and provide you with healthy alternatives for spending your time and money and for reacting in times of both stress and celebration. Some tips for getting started and actively quitting gambling follow.

6 Tips To Begin A Recovery From Gambling


1.
 Write a goal statement.

Consider why you decided to quit gambling. Do you want to be healthier? Do you want to spend more time with your family? Do you want to learn how to effectively deal with your emotions, instead of using gambling to escape? Be specific with your goal statement so that you know when you are on the right track to success. When you are writing your goal statement, think about the things you would lose if you continue to gamble, and also the benefits you will gain from quitting. When you are feeling the urge to return to gambling, revisit your goal statement in order to remember why you decided to stop gambling in the first place.

2. Identify your triggers.

Think back to the times you gambled, and ask yourself, “Why/when did I gamble?” Did you gamble in times of stress, or in times of celebration? Was it when you were bored, or when you needed money? Understanding the reasons for your gambling will help you to identify ways to cope with those situations before you encounter them in your recovery.

3. Talk to your friends and family.

Recovery is a time of healing. A time to repair the relationships that have been damaged or lost during your addiction. Talking to your family about your addiction and recovery can be difficult, but it is essential to have a strong system of support throughout your recovery. So, what do you say to your family members? Some topics might include gambling disorder as a disease and explaining to them what you need from them (support, not to enable, etc.). It’s important to remember, if your gambling disorder has damaged relationships, it will take work and time to repair those bonds. Your friends and family may not be ready to talk immediately. Just like you need to spend time and work on your recovery, so do your friends and family.

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4. Take financial responsibility.

Gambling disorder can take a toll on a number of areas in your life (relationships, physical and mental health, employment), but we would be remiss to remember one of the obvious consequences: damage to your financial situation. Your first step is to assess your finances by listing all of the debts you owe and all of your income. After you have a good picture of where you stand, you can start to create a budget for yourself. Dealing with finances is often especially difficult for those in recovery from a gambling disorder.

Your friends and family members might be able to help you stay on track, but remember, the most important thing to your recovery and finances, is that you keep yourself from spending any more money on any form of gambling. A resource you might want to take a look at with your family/friends, is “Personal Financial Strategies for the Loved Ones of Problem Gamblers“.

5. Steer clear of other addictions.

According to the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) of pathological gamblers:

  • 73.2% had an alcohol use disorder
  • 38.1% had a drug use disorder
  • 60.4% had a nicotine dependence

It is crucial that during your recovery from gambling disorder, you deal with any other addictions you have experienced in the past, and you stay clear of any behaviors and/or substances that have the potential to become addictive.

6. Reach out for support.

The road to recovery for gambling disorder is a long, tough road, and you need to prepared to make the best decisions for yourself and your recovery. You’ve made the first, and most important, by committing not to gamble. Your next step is to assess your recovery and to decide what’s best for you.

For More Information On Quitting Gambling

Help is available every step of the way. Visit Know The Odds for facts about gambling disorder, tips to overcome addiction, and contact information for organizations across New York State who can help you overcome your gambling addiction.  As always, the NYS HOPEline is also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, for support and referral services: 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-866-846-7369).

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                   The Addiction Blog

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My Weekend Recovery Guest~Welcome Massachusettes Council on Compulsive Gambling

Welcome Recovery Friends, Seekers, and New Visitors,

I’m very happy and honored to “Welcome” my good recovery friends from: “Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling” as my Weekend Recovery Guest! They truly help many problem compulsive gamblers, a fantastic recovery resource, and have help and information for the gamblers family.
Here is a little about who they are, what they offer, and how they help MANY!

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Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling:

Founded in 1983, the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling is a private, non-profit health agency dedicated to providing leadership to reduce the social, financial, and emotional costs of problem gambling, and to promote a continuum of prevention and intervention strategies including: information and public awareness, community education and professional training, advocacy and referral services for problem gamblers, their loved ones and the greater community. http://www.masscompulsivegambling.org

*Services Offered include:*

Prevention

Information

Education & Training

Advocacy

Referral / Helpline
*Now your most likely wondering, what is Addicted Compulsive Gambling? Even though I share much about this addiction, disease, illness, for my New Visitors, here is a little more info:,
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What is Problem Gambling?

The information on this site comes from recent studies within the problem gambling research field. For further details, please Contact the Council …..
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Virtually anyone – men or women, young or old, from every religion, race and socio-economic background – can be at risk for developing a gambling problem.
Research has estimated that approximately one half of 1%(0.42 to 0.6%) of the U.S. population has experienced pathological gambling in their lifetime, and 0.9 to 2.3% have experienced sub-clinical pathological gambling in their lifetimes. The Mass. Council recognizes that approximately 2-3% of the state’s population has experienced disordered gambling in their lifetimes.
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The most serious form of problem gambling is pathological gambling, the essential feature of which is “persistent and recurrent maladaptive behavior that disrupts personal, family or vocational pursuits.”(American Psychiatric Association – DSM-IV)…..
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Compulsive gambling can result in social, emotional and financial devastation, including loss of relationships, residence, emotional or physical health, and career or educational opportunities.
Some compulsive gamblers commit illegal acts to support their gambling or to pay off gambling-related debts. Some go to prison or are admitted to psychiatric institutions. It is not uncommon to hear about compulsive gamblers who attempt or commit suicide.
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To learn more about the signs of problem gambling , the relationship between problem gambling and substance use or the prevalence of gambling please click the appropriate link.

Each year, the Council holds several regional trainings, as well as an annual conference. For more information, please visit the calendar of events
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*Here are some Facts & Stats from Mass~ Council*

GAMBLING PREVALENCE RATES:

Research has estimated the number of U.S. citizens who gamble as well as the number who experience pathological and sub-clinical pathological gambling.

Gambling rates: Research has estimated that nearly 80% of U.S. population has gambled during his or her lifetime.

Pathological and sub-clinical pathological gambling rates: Research has estimated that approximately one half of 1%(0.42 to 0.6%) of the U.S. population has experienced pathological gambling in their lifetime, and 0.9 to 2.3% have experienced sub-clinical pathological gambling in their lifetimes.

The Mass. Council recognizes that approximately 2-3% of the state’s population has experienced disordered gambling in their lifetimes.

Pathological and problem gambling in Massachusetts: Based on national estimates, between 85,000 and 185,000 Massachusetts residents likely have experienced disordered gambling during their lifetimes.

OTHER DISORDERS WITH PREVALENCE RATES SIMILAR TO DISORDERED GAMBLING:

The 2-3% lifetime prevalence rate estimate of disordered gambling is significant. Research has estimated the lifetime prevalence rates of other equally serious public health disorders. Listed below are some substance use and mental health disorders with rate estimates that are relatively close to the rate estimates of disordered gambling.

  • Opioid use disorder (e.g., oxycontin, morphine): 1.4%7
  • Cocaine use disorder: 2.8%7
  • Amphetamine use disorder (e.g., methamphetamine): 2.0%8
  • Anti-social personality disorder: 3.6%8
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder: 1.6%9
  • Schizophrenic disorders: 0.6%10
  • Anorexia nervosa: 0.6%11
  • Bulimia nervosa: 1.0%11
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    **SO FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MASS COUNCIL ON COMPULSIVE GAMBLING, PLEASE GO BY AND VISIT THEIR WEBSITE FOR ALL CONTACT INFO, EVENTS, SERVICE’S THEY OFFER, AS THEY GO OUT OF THEIR WAY TO HELP THOSE WHO REACH OUT FOR HELP, & HELP THE FAMILIES AS WELL**
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    *AND AS ALWAYS, PLEASE LET THEM KNOW THAT *AUTHOR, CATHERINE TOWNSEND-LYON SENT YOU!
    PLEASE FOLLOW THEM ON TWITTER  @MASSCOUNCILCG
    FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/MACouncil/
    AND GO GIVE A VISIT TO THIER BLOG,
    AND A BIT ABOUT IT:  http://masscouncil.blogspot.com
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    About Me
    My Photo

    Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    Founded in 1983, the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling is a private, non-profit public health agency dedicated to providing leadership to reduce the social, financial, and emotional costs of problem gambling and to promote a continuum of prevention and intervention strategies including: information and public awareness, community education and professional training, advocacy, and help line / referral services for problem gamblers, their loved ones and the greater community.

    *God Bless & Happy Holidays Everyone*
    Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
    “Addicted To Dimes” http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485

     

*Joy2BFree* ~~ *How much JOY Do You Have to B Free of Addiction?*

Good Sunday Morning Recovery Friends!
Today I wanted to tell you about some fantastic recovery websites I’d been asked to be a *Guest Article writer* for.  See, it really doesn’t matter to me where, or who I write for, as so many addictions “Share” many of the same behavioral traits and bad habits  that we learn through our addiction.
When I come across helpful sites to help me in my own recovery, I feel the only way I can sometimes help others is to share these sites, so they may benefit others in there recovery as well. Why keep them a secret when we have had to keep way to MANY secrets in addiction!
Author, Cathy Lyon link ~~ www.Joy2bfree.com  Is a wonderful recovery aid for those in NA, and I just had nominated them for a *SHINE ON AWARD* for all they do here on there site! And this is a “Comment” they sent me in response,
06/15/2013 4:23pm ~~ (ME TO THEM)

“What’s on my mind is that what you do here for others on this site is deserving of MY Nomination of your website for *THE SHINE ON AWARD* for giving So much of yourself to help others in Recovery!” The details are on my New Recovery Blog at:  http://CatherineLyonaddictedtodimes.wordpress.com  *CONGRATS*

Reply:
06/16/2013 9:31am

“We are humbled and honored by this nomination. Our primary purpose must be to carry the message to the addict who still suffers. But the the grace of God there go I and I am so grateful that we do recover. JFT”
Thank you!*********************************************************************************************************

**I think it’s a beautiful response, and very true that we all should carry the message to other addicts who still suffer, and are stuck on the Cycle of addiction! When we have already won the war on addiction in recovery, we have nothing more to lose when we share our testimony with others, or even the World of what it was like. It’s why I wrote my book about it!**

My next site is for the recovering compulsive gamblers. ~~ http://www.sfcghub.com ~ *Safe Harbor Compulsive Gambling Hub* SO, here you will find a Live 24/7 chat room, On-line 12-step meetings, (non-traditional) a posting board to read & post what your feeling and meet other recovering gamblers, a fantastic *Recovery Resources Room* and on there you will see a list for the *Top Compulsive Gambling Recovery Sites* You will find listings of FREE Gambling treatment & therapy be addiction specialists at www.GamblingTherapy.org there’s Relapse Prevention, a whole bunch of information & websites listed here to help you enter, and stay in Recovery! I go and post a lot, as Cathy L. AND, you’ll find my Book link there as well for purchase.

There are SO MANY really good informational websites out there on addiction and recovery, and many are posted here on my blog on my permanent “PAGES” listed as *Recovery Resource Sites* for your quik access. I’m currently working on 2 book projects, one is going to be my follow up book to “Addicted to Dimes,” and will be more on a Lighter & Humorous Note! I’m always doing research for my books, so as I come across new recovery sites I feel will help us in recovery, I will sure add them here, and pass them on to all of you!

*I posed the question in my title of this post~~ “How much JOY do you have 2 B free of YOUR Addiction”??…..For my own answer, I know the *FREEDOM* I enjoy today from being released of Bondage from my addicted gambling is short of a Miracle!!

I say this because at the lowest point in my Life within my addiction, I came out of an addictions/mental crisis center after a 12 day stay, the 1st 4 days on suicide watch, then went to jail to be booked, processed, then released, then all my court dates met, and the day of Reckoning, ~ my Sentencing date… **Jan, 29th 2006** which is my DATE I use for my recovery date. Even though I hadn’t been gambling at that point, I use this date so I NEVER GET Complacent in my recovery. I was sentenced that day to 30 days in jail, to many hours of community service to count, 2yrs probation, and HUGE restitution I’m still paying on.

I was charged with a felony theft, identity theft, and forgery…….THAT was almost the lowest point of my LIFE! I remember hearing the old whispers in my ear of my Mother saying, “see, I told you…your nothing but a Liar and Thief Catherine”……as the judge read off what I was sentenced for my crimes. I made my “Reality” come true, all those years of my parents telling me I was a liar, cheat and a dishonest person, and even though it was Never True, after you have been verbally told something “Negative” year after year, you start to believe it. And as the Judge read my sentence, I thought to myself, “Well mom, there you go, I guess you and dad were right.”…….BUT in my Heart though I knew it wasn’t true.

 

I worked hard, at times 2 jobs at a time to take care of myself, and not have to depend on no one, to PROVE to my parents they were wrong about me. I worked in Banking & Lending 19+yrs, and never stole a PENNY!! BUT, Once gambling addiction got me in BONDAGE??……MY LIFE WAS GONE!!

That was then. Today, I do enjoy the *Recovery Fruits* of my labor of working a Good, Clean, Honest recovery every single day. Being there for others who are still in bondage of gambling addiction is my life today. My Higher Power GRAB the back of my hospital gown, and pulled me back from that edge of complete “Darkness: in which I was half way over, and told me that MY PURPOSE on this Earth had not been FULFILLED YET!……So, here I am today, writing, and spilling out all my *Dirty Little Secrets* to you All.

IS this my true calling?? I don’t know. All I know is it makes my Heart & Soul feel much better when I share what I have learned in my own recovery, and pass it to others, and pray that maybe a person who is at THAT EDGE reads this and knows THEY ARE NOT ALONE………
***Please check out my Recovery Resource Page & Sites for good, sound recovery help****  God Bless you all Today, and everyday!, *Author, Catherine Lyon* *

PS>*MR. ROB SWIHART>>I Nominated your website FOR THE SHINE ON AWARD* But YOUR  SITE won’t let me “Leave a Comment*???? **HAPPY FATHER’S DAY ROB!!**** 🙂