Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Question About: Gambling Addiction

I've recently been asked to do some research into the kinds of help on offer for people who suffer from a gambling addiction, what kind of help is available for their families etc, and what kind of help people feel they need both as addicts and as the family / support network surrounding them.

From what I've read as many is 1 in 50 people have a gambling addiction, and it affects people of all ages and cultures. The increase in people with internet access at home and on mobile devises means that a whole world of gambling opportunities has opened up and more and more people are falling victim to it.

I personally have no issue with gambling. It's not something I do other than an occasional lottery ticket or even rarer raffle ticket (yes, apparently that's gambling too). My grandfather was a
bookie and he always said that the only one to win from gambling was him. And he never placed a bet! I took that as sound advice and never found much interest in it. But it's around me all the time. My husband plays the lottery, by step-father likes to put a "flutter" on the Grand National. I have any number of friends who place the odd bet on a sports event, or play bingo, or poker. Just as I have friends and family members who drink, or smoke. All addictive things, but we assume that no one has a "problem".

1 in 50 people do. 

There's a good chance someone I know personally DOES have a problem, but hasn't shared it.

When I've been looking at the kinds of help on offer I was surprised by the range, from groups like Gamblers Anonymous which are non-professional and non-profit, to counselling and 24 hr phone support, right the way through to residential care at The Priory.

So, my question is: If you had a problem with gambling, what help would you seek? Would you want your loved ones involved in that help and, if so, to what extent? Would you prefer a non-professional support group over trained councillors, or would a residential stay be the greatest benefit?

I would love to see answers, hypothetical or from real experience. Discussion is welcomed. If you don't want to answer publicly then you can email me in confidence at mummawalker@gmail.com

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