Breaking Through Stigma and Raising Awareness About Problem Gambling To Those Who Gamble? Ground Breaking.


In no way shape or form am I endorsing or encouraging others to gamble. But for those who can for the right reasons of a few hours of fun and entertainment, and share Responsible Gambling and my story when you don’t? That to me is progress! We know gambling will never be banned or prohibited, that wouldn’t be fair to those who can for enjoyment. Having a direct source to share my story on a gambling watch dog site is Ground Breaking…

~Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon


A few weeks ago I had been approached with an invitation to be interviewed by an overseas company that is a gambling watch dog for gamblers of all types to keep them safe. They have a blacklist of venues who may use bad practices when it comes to online gambling options at all types of casinos.

Now, I know many who come to visit here may be maintaining recovery like myself, so I won’t mention the site by name. They wanted to do a interview as they are revamping their website and they are hosting new pages of resources and raising awareness about problem gambling and patrons to practice responsible gambling.

At first I thought? Hell No! I would NOT be willing to be on a site like this where people come to look for the best places to gamble. Because I thought it would be like endorsing GAMBLING! Then, I went and explored the website and seen that “The National Council On Problem Gambling” is listed as a resource and I do a lot of networking with them and am a member as an advocate.

So I thought, what an amazing way to reach people who may need help and these resources and be able to help them before they get way to deep into full blown addicted gambling?

In no way shape or form am I endorsing or encouraging others to gamble. But for those who can for the right reasons of a few hours of fun and entertainment, and share Responsible Gambling and my story when you don’t? That to me is progress! We know gambling will never be banned or prohibited, that wouldn’t be fair to those who can for enjoyment. Having a direct source to share my story on a gambling watch dog site is Ground Breaking…


It would be right at the source and where the people are who may need to hear MY STORY, Raise Awareness, and help Shatter Stigma by letting them no there is NO SHAME reaching out for help if gambling begins to interrupt any areas of their daily lives.

So I wanted to share the interview questions they asked of me and how I answered them. This really is an awesome opportunity and a ground breaking idea to also help break the stigma of those who may or do have a gambling problem know that it’s OK to reach out for help! ~Catherine


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No Shame In Asking For HELP


INTERVIEW WITH A RECOVERING GAMBLER ~ Champion of Awareness


When did you first start gambling? What got you into it?

Answer:
I had always enjoyed gambling with my girlfriends as we would go to Reno or the Indian Casino a couple of times a year and never had a problem. It used to be a fun thing to do for an hour or so with friends. Have lunch at the deli and play a little.

I don’t come from a family background or parents who were gamblers. For me, it began around age 30 when I noticed I began gambling a little more than an average person. Now, with 14+years of being bet free and maintaining my recovery, it started after a life event, when my brother-in-law passed away in 1992.

At the same time, I was living in the Oregon, (USA) and they had introduced video poker machines, later in the 2000s they slot style games to the machines. But when my brother-in-law passed away, I began to notice I was gambling more. By 1996, gambling became a problem and I was going more and more often. See, some of the reasons I used gambling was for an escape or trying to cope with the grief.

On top of this, I experienced childhood sexual trauma and abuse. When that pain came back and the grief of loss, I started gambling more. Those roots and underlying issues are why I used gambling to numb out. Sadly, once you lose control over your gambling and get sucked into the “cycle,” you can never gamble normally again. My gambling became a full-blown addiction.

One area stood out to me. Having a lot of access can bring gambling excess. I could walk across the street and gamble, or walk a block or two and gamble. Not only did we have Indian Casinos not too far, but the lottery video machines where in all our restaurants, deli’s, bars, and taverns. Very accessible.


Did you ever gamble online? What kind of sites?

Answer:
Believe it or not, at that time, I never gambled online. First, because we did not have internet at that time. Second, I was lover of all the lights, bells, and noises of a casino or playing the lottery sponsored machines. Even today, the online casinos really don’t cross my mind. I will be honest and transparent and share I have been to Casino.org and tried your free play games to see what is new for research for my advocacy work to stay updated on the trends, but I don’t play or buy anything! I don’t even play Facebook games. Even though there are games like trivia or scrabble type games, still, I avoid them.


Which games did you play most?

Answer:
When I did play back then be it at a casino or the lottery machines, I mostly played the slots or video poker.
I loved slots that had fun bonus rounds like video poker called “Flush Fever” …But most times I’d play slots.


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Speaking at an addiction and recovery awareness event
at the Arizona State Capitol.



When did you notice it was becoming a problem? What were the signs?

Answer:
Again, I have to say it started in 1992, but really ramped up and crossed the line into full-blown gambling addiction around 1998. I had begun gambling more, higher betting, playing more money until I attempted suicide and my first addiction Crisis Center stay an began treatment for addicted gambling in November of 2002.

That is how bad my problem gambling became. It was a slow progressive climb to where I ended up a statistic of 1 in 5 addicted gamblers will try suicide. Looking back now, some of the warning signs were gambling for longer periods of time, lie about why I was gone so long. Stop doing things I enjoyed, missing family get togethers, call in sick to work if I was winning, ignored medical or dental appointments, work, began having money problems and arguments over money with my husband, etc.


How did gambling negatively affect you? E.g. financially, in relationships

Answer:
Some of the above and eventually when you have no money to gamble with? I began selling or pawning things of value, took out credit cards and payday loans my husband had no idea about. Dug us in a huge financial hole and lost my friendships with most of my friends. Would argue with co-workers, lost jobs over my gambling until it became NOT gambling with money any longer, I was gambling with my life and had two failed suicide attempts. Those were just some of the negative impacts I had from my gambling addiction. It was a never ending battle if I won or lost. When you lose control, when you win? You think you will win all the time. When you lose? You go back out and chase the money you lost. It become a sick “cycle” you can’t seem to get out of.


What did you do to overcome your addiction?

Answer:
I did ANY and EVERYTHING I could get my hands on to recover!

After my second failed suicide attempt in Jan. 2006, I started gambling treatment, again, and in the Addiction Crisis Center again and I guess you can call it a “do-over”… I finally surrendered to the fact that I can never gamble again like regular people who don’t have a problem. I had lost all control over my gambling to the point that it almost cost me my life. See, it is NOT about the money lost or won, it became life or death for me.

Here I was again, I began in-patient treatment for 30-days and transitioned into out-patient for the next 6-months, attended Gamblers Anonymous for many years as a source of support, treatment therapy, worked with an addiction specialist for a year to help me process and overcome the childhood trauma I endured, learn the process of forgiving and making my amends where needed. And began to slowly work through my financial inventory and slowly paying all my debts. I attend “Celebrate Recovery “virtually.

In 2010 to 2011, I wrote my memoirs to see everything gambling addiction had taken from me and my family and was published in book form in 2013 by “The Kodel Empire Publishing group.” In it I share the Why and How I became a gambling addict. It’s titled “Addicted to Dimes: Confessions of a Lair and a Cheat” available in paperback and e-book formats on Amazon and Barnes & Noble online bookstores.


What advice do you have for someone else who may be struggling?

Answer:
First, don’t wait to get help or suffer in silence like I did for many years from problem gambling. There
is help available in all states in the USA and in many countries around the world. There is no shame in reaching out for confidential help. If you’re not sure where to look for help, I founded and run my website called “Bet Free Recovery Now (Dot Com)” and have a page of resources of places I trust and have advocated alongside the work they do and the treatment services offered to those with a gambling problem or a full-blown gambling addiction.

No matter what type or your preference of gambling problem you may have, be it online gambling, casinos, lottery, bingo etc., there are many options for treatment and help to gain your life back. I need to be real and honest about gambling triggers, cravings, and urges to gamble, they will only subside when you refrain from gambling, and you’ll learn the skills and tools to help you refrain from gambling when you chose to get help.

realistically gambling of all types will never be banned or prohibited, and in some world countries, gambling is still illegal. And in the USA, there are still some states that sports betting online gambling is also illegal. Banning gambling would not be fair to those who can do it with no problems what so ever.

However, the public needs to be aware of the dangers and pitfalls and if or when it becomes a problem within there lives.


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Advocate/Author Catherine Lyon


New Book Release That Proves Gambling Addiction Does Not Discriminate Who It Claims. A Memoir/Biography Written by Former UK Soccer Star (footballer) & Fan Favorite, Tony Kelly…

New Book Release That Proves Gambling Addiction Does Not Discriminate Who It Claims. A Memoir/Biography Written by Former UK Soccer Star (footballer) & Fan Favorite, Tony Kelly…


FIRST and FOREMOST about Tony Kelly?

He is a grateful recovering gambling addict.

As Tony shared in his first book titled, “I invite the public, family, and friends into my secret hell of despair, depression, racism, stardom, a look at gambling addiction, and my self-destruction” I feel it was a possible way to share his addiction and try making amends to those he may have hurt through his addiction.

Today, Tony is so much more than his past addiction. He is a living MIRACLE that recovery is possible and it can work. But you need to be willing to QUIT to WIN! Recovering addicts know full well that our PAST doesn’t define who we are today while doing the hard work within recovery to gain our lives back from this cunning addiction, disorder, and disease. I have had the pleasure of knowing this man for several years when his first book released titled “Red Card: The Soccer Star Who Lost It All To Gambling.”

That book really moved me to know that being honest, transparent, and in having the audacity to share ones story of addiction like Tony had in that book, it made me want to know more and we connected through social media and have been BUDDIES ever since. Now I am being of “Recovery Service” and helping share his new book just released on Amazon online in both the UK and USA.

He has turned his life around and now is the Founder and Acting CEO/Director of his organization he started in 2015 called “RED CARD Gambling Support Project, LTD a non-profit in London, England that has resources of one on one therapy through the consulting side and also has prevention and awareness events like workshops, speaking at schools and much more here>>>> https://kellysredcardconsultancy.co.uk/.


Here is more about Tony and his new book just released at the end of April 2021…


Coventry ex-footballer Tony Kelly tells of gambling addiction - CoventryLive
Author and Advocate Tony Kelly


RED CARD GAMBLING SUPPORT PROJECT is all about promoting gambling awareness/prevention/education in our COMMUNITIES. We now know how serious gambling addiction is in the UK and how the numbers of addicts are increasing day by day, so we intend to work with all mental health/substance abuse/social impact projects in order to make a difference.


“I am from Coventry, but now reside in London. I suffered from gambling addiction in my 9-year pro soccer career and lost everything. I had to write my story in the hopes it will help others get help for this evil cunning addiction. My story is sad, tragic yet uplifting as it shows you can come out the other side.”

Founder & Director of Red Card ~Tony Kelly



Tony’s New Book Release a Memoir

ABOUT THE BOOK

Former professional soccer star (footballer) Tony Kelly lost it all, but he stands today as someone who is unbreakable!

Having lost his wealth, his house, and eventually, his partner, Tony, refused to be broken and fought back. Through years of pain and suffering, somehow, Tony managed to turn his life around in a positive way, and his journey from disaster to redemption and triumph is nothing short of amazing.

Tony has literally been to hell and back, but through family and friend’s support, professional help, his renewed faith, and sheer courage, he is now in a position to help others, and that is something he could never have envisaged six years ago. A tragic yet uplifting and inspiring tale of one man’s journey through gambling addiction.

It’s a must-read for those who feel lost, broken, and without hope, as Tony’s story is testimony that all is not lost and that this is a bet you can win!


An image posted by the author.
Tony Kelly Former Soccer Star in the UK



Who Is Tony Kelly Today?

Best-selling author Tony Kelly is a former professional (footballer) soccer star who played for six teams within his nine-year career. He is also a recovering gambling addict. In his first book, Tony wrote and shared this story, “Red Card: The Soccer Star Who Lost It All To Gambling,” in 2013. He now released his much anticipated second book titled “Red Card: A Bet You Can Win!” in April 2021 and is available on Amazon Kindle, Amazon Books, Barnes & Noble, and other fine online book stores in both the UK and USA. 

Tony was crazy about (UK Football) soccer from the age of seven. At sixteen, he was the youngest player ever on the first team at Bristol City, UK. In his twenties, Tony turned professional and went on to play for clubs such as Stoke City, Cardiff City, Leyton Orient, and Bury in the second and third divisions of the Soccer (Football) League. He also enjoyed a spell playing for a team in Sweden. 

His soccer career was cut short and ruined by a gambling addiction. He continued to gamble addictively and lost jobs, the rest of his soccer career, his partner, and his financial wealth he worked hard to gain.

An image posted by the author.
Tony is a Speaker and Prevention Advocate Throughout London


Today, Tony is the Founder and Managing Director of ‘Red Card Gambling Consultancy and Gambling Support Project’ (Non-Profit) in 2015 and has been sharing prevention of problem gambling and addiction with individual one on one therapy, awareness, prevention, educational workshops, visiting and speaking at schools, and much more in and around London, UK.

Tony has helped and worked with the UK Gambling Commission in an advisory role on regulations. A tireless advocate of recovery, Tonys’ work has grown to become well-respected within the gambling harm reduction and prevention sector throughout the United Kingdom. His work has been endorsed both by the UK media and the UK parliament. 

As a recovering addict, his wish for the book release is to help to continue to raise awareness and educate the public about this crippling gambling disorder. Born Nyrere Anthony Kelly in England, Tony resides in London; his books are his journey of ‘Redemption and Recovery’ as he is living proof that this is a Bet You Can Win!

His Book Is Now Released Amazon UK and USA!

Amazon USA https://www.amazon.com/Red-Card-Tony-Kelly/dp/1528970578/
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Red-Card-Bet-You-Can/dp/1528970578/
Barnes & Noble USA https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/red-card-tony-kelly/1139205459;jsessionid


Connected and Follow Tony Kelly On His Social Media
WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagramGoodreadsLinkedin.

Tony on BookLife https://booklife.com/profile/tony-kelly-author-85171


Happy Easter Recovery Friends & Warriors. Topics of Recovery Ramblings on a Special Day. Learning My God-Given Purpose In Life Through Life Lessons…


He died for our sins so we can have eternal life with Him. Have you accepted His free Gift of salvation? He loves you unconditionally… Have a Blessed Easter!

~Lydia Brady Grimes
✝️


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I have been sharing and writing for over 14+years as a form of advocacy but also as a healing process to share my past of how far I have come within my recovery journey thus far. And through my redemption of my HP (God), he continues to have me grow and overcome challenges too. It’s a view into a life and journey from a cunning disease and what addicted gambling looks like. There is the GOOD, the BAD, and the very UGLY when deep in our addictions.


Today, I enjoy sharing all the GOOD and within the present, in the moment, and have built a new beautiful life with my amazing husband who, BTW, stuck with me all these years of CHAOS. I think he would agree that the past 14+years have been the best thus far! I have the blessings and honor of helping others, being of recovery service, speaking about the pitfalls of problem gambling, and I am proof recovery works.


I enjoy sharing my experiences, strength, and HOPE to others so they know they are not alone with addicted gambling problems and they can recover. It wasn’t always this way. Even though my past doesn’t define who I am, those years were rough and heart-breaking when I look back to this past addicted woman I was.


Many who have never been touched by any addictions or lived with an addict may not comprehend how much chaos and devastation that goes on with an addict and the people around them become caught in the cross hairs. It’s why we share are stories of addiction and what it takes to recover. It can be tools to help those reaching out for help.


When it comes to my side of the family, I had not hurt anyone when I was gambling addict. I lived in a different state at the time. And we had many beautiful memories of the years when my family came to visit us, we made sure we did lots of fun things and take my parents to many places in Oregon and have experiences they other wise may never had. And healing I have learned that full healing will most likely take a lifetime for me. That is the roots and the issues that sometimes I feel I still have more work to do around the old pain and hurt.

And it is why I hold firm to my faith and belief in GOD.

See, my father recently passed away on Jan. 29th, 2021, of COVID, which was the same day I made 14th-years celebrating my recovery. He lived in Southern California in the home I was raised and where horrible memories of my past childhood still lay. When I first began my recovery journey, I wasn’t ready to dive into my past childhood trauma, abuse, and haunting memories. Most this began and resurfaced when I turned 30, I lost my brother-in-law to cancer. He was the real brother I never had, and I would tell him everything.


After Mike’s passing, it took me a few years to get over his death with a lot of therapy to even begin to process it. Shortly after, is when all the haunting pain and memories flooded back. I had to learn to process them and forgive and lay those haunting memories away. It was some of the roots and underlying issues of how I got sucked into gambling addiction. I was using gambling as a coping skill, an escape, and numbing the pain of my childhood trauma and abuse until I finally could not stuff away any longer.


Then in 2003, my mom passed away. By then, I had about nine months of recovery when I began writing and journaling. The next few years were pretty rough. We seem to think our parents will always be with us. Still, more painful memories, and I was not ready to share that part of my past. Now that my mom and dad have passed on, here I go again; it has again begun to surface slightly. Even when I started to write my book all of 2010 into early 2011 to see all that gambling addiction had taken from me, was when I began a deep dive into all the sexual trauma and abuse I’d endured.


One of the many amazing things about truly working through my childhood was the act of taking every single thought and terrible memory that held me captive; I began to watch Christ redeem them, helping me face them, and feel them. Without making excuses. Without placing or taking the blame. Finally, today the abuse and abuser no longer linger in the darkest parts of your mind controlling or tainting the memories. That is how God works in your life!


So, now with the passing of my dad, even though we had not spoken in almost 15-years, I was able to still forgive him for it, accept and respect his choice. It still stung, but I have the comfort of knowing God and (my mom) has told him the truth about all that I went through as a little girl, was telling the truth, and that if he knew? I’m pretty sure he would have protected me. He would have understood the WHY I also sought his unconditional love and validation. I have the comfort of knowing he is now with our father above and at peace with my mom.


I will continue to live and build a beautiful and amazing life within my recovery!


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ME and my HUBBY, Tom xoxo

March is Problem Gambling Awareness. Sharing Stats, Facts, & The Warning Signs. What is Problem Gambling Any way?

March is Problem Gambling Awareness. Sharing Stats, Facts, & The Warning Signs. What is Problem Gambling Any way?


The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and other sources note the following statistics. 15 percent of Americans gamble at least once per week. Approximately two to three percent of Americans meet the criteria for problem gambling. That’s around 6 million adults and about a half million teens.

Courtesy of The National Council on Problem Gambling




The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and other sources note the following statistics.

  • • 15 percent of Americans gamble at least once per week.
  • • Approximately two to three percent of Americans meet the criteria for problem gambling. That’s around 6 million adults and about a half million teens.
  • • Youth risk developing a gambling problem at a rate of about two to three times that of adults, and approximately 6 percent of college students in America have a gambling problem.
  • • About 40 percent of people with a gambling problem started gambling before the age of 17.
  • • Nevada has the highest prevalence of problem gambling in the country, at about 6.4 percent.

Effects of Problem Gambling

  • • There are an array of harmful effects arising from problem gambling, including:
  • • NCPG notes the annual cost associated with gambling (crime, addiction, and bankruptcy) is $17 billion.
  • • Approximately 76 percent of problem gamblers are likely to have a major depressive disorder, according to the NCPG.
  • • The NPCG also says children of problem gamblers are at higher risk for a number of behaviors including problem gambling, tobacco use, and drug use.
  • • Oregon Problem Gambling Resource states that about 10 to 17 percent of children of problem gamblers and about 25 to 50 percent of spouses of problem gamblers have been abused.
  • • Georgia State University (GSU) estimates that about 50 percent of problem gamblers commit crimes, and about 2/3 of those crimes were directly related to the gambling.
  • • GSU also notes that 73 percent of people who are incarcerated are identified as problem gamblers.
  • • An Australian study found that one in five suicidal patients had a gambling problem.



WHAT IS PROBLEM GAMBLING?

Gambling addiction—also known as pathological gambling, compulsive gambling or gambling disorder—is an impulse-control disorder. If you’re a compulsive gambler, you can’t control the impulse to gamble, even when it has negative consequences for you or your loved ones. You’ll gamble whether you’re up or down, broke or flush, happy or depressed, and you’ll keep gambling regardless of the consequences—even when you know that the odds are against you or you can’t afford to lose.

Of course, you can also have a gambling problem without being totally out of control. Problem gambling is any gambling behavior that disrupts your life. If you’re preoccupied with gambling, spending more and more time and money on it, chasing losses, or gambling despite serious consequences in your life, you have a gambling problem.

A gambling addiction or problem is often associated with other behavior or mood disorders. Many problem gamblers also suffer with substance abuse issues, unmanaged ADHD, stress, depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. To overcome your gambling problems, you’ll also need to address these and any other underlying causes as well.
The first step is to separate the myths from the facts and what are the implications?

The Mayo Clinic identifies the following risk factors for developing a gambling problem.

  • • Behavior or mood disorders
  • • Age – the problem develops more frequently in young people
  • • Family influence – whether parents and other close adults were gamblers
  • • Personality characteristics such as high level of being competitive, or easily bored

Further, Problem Gambling Prevention identifies certain risk factors in teens, including:

  • • Being male
  • • Living in a single-parent household
  • • Having a below-median household income
  • • Early initiation – starting before 8th grade
  • • Playing sports at school
  • • Experiencing problems at home
  • • Having low-self esteem and self-worth





Courtesy of http://risehelp.info/online-gambling/ The Rise Center Shares;

Online gambling casinos earned $29.3 billion in 2010, an increase of 12 percent. Morgan-Stanley projects that online gaming in the United States will be worth $9.3 billion by 2020. Currently, some states allow online gaming, including Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware.

COLLEGE STUDENTS AND ONLINE GAMBLING

The fastest growing segment of the population involved in online gambling are college students. A University of Connecticut study showed:

  • • 23 percent of college students had gambled online
  • • 6.3 percent did so weekly
  • • In the group that gambled frequently online, 61 percent were pathological gamblers.
  • • In comparison, only 5 percent of non-internet gamblers were considered to have a gambling problem.

Another report on online gambling noted that the easy accessibility and frequency of play of online gambling present a significant risk of problem gambling.

OTHER INTERNET GAMBLING STATISTICS

Other statistics about online problem gambling include:

  • • A 2013 Australian survey showed 30 percent of online gamblers were at risk of problem gambling. Only 15 percent of offline gamblers risked developing a problem.
  • • BBC reports a rise in problem gambling in the 18 to 35 year old demographic in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
  • • Another report links smartphone gaming to an increase in problem gambling.



    You can RISE above gambling and other addictions! 

Some of the life’s greatest milestones are threatened by problem gambling and other addictive behaviors. Addiction affects not only the addicted person, but the entire family and can cause a tremendous amount of wreckage and problems in all areas of life for everyone in the family.

RISE believes in the power of family recovery, and is passionate about providing help for both the individual and the family members. We aim to provide compassionate quality treatment for you and your loved ones on the journey to recovery and healing. Recovery starts with you. Rise has great resouces too!

Here are just of few of the resources that can STOP GAMBLING Your Life Away!


Gamblers Anonymous www.gamblersanonymous.org

National Council on Problem Gambling www.ncpgambling.org

Arizona Council on Problem Gambling https://problemgambling.az.gov/arizona-council-compulsive-gambling

Gam-Anon  (For Family/Friends of gambler) www.gam-anon.org

National Suicide Prevention Hotline https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Nevada Al-Anon (For Family/Friends Alcoholic) wwwnevadaal-anon.org

Al-Anon www.al-anon.org

Alcoholics Anonymous www.aa.org

Narcotics Anonymous www.na.org

Nar-Anon (Family/Friends) www.nar-anon.org

Game Quitters-Video Gaming Addictions http://gamequitters.com

Nevada Council on Problem Gambling www.nevadacouncil.org

Nevada Gamblers Helpline 1-800-522-4700

National Problem Gambling Helpline Text 800-522-4700

National Problem Gambling Helpline chat www.ncpgambling.org/ch

Vogue Recovery Center www.voguerecoverycenter.com


In Case Of An Emergency Always Call 911 First.


Press Release: The National Council on Problem Gambling Announces; “March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month.” I Support & Share All They Do In March 2021. . .

Hello Recovery Warriors and Friends,

Every year in March, I share the helpful resources of my #1 resource and organization I support, The National Council on Problem Gambling. They have helped many become “BET-FREE” and begin to help families heal from the devastation of gambling addiction and problems gambling causes. It will be my 8th year doing so on my blog here and I know the resources they provide are there for anyone who has a gambling problem.

This year the spotlight is on “March Madness and the time of year when we see an increase in problem gambling and more demand for the council’s services.” Since the pandemic started, I have also seen “Online Gambling” explode with mandates of mask-wearing and social distancing, with many casinos and gambling venues still closed or limited capacity. The latest stat says online gambling has gone up almost 41% since the Coronavirus hit last year. And, parents, keep in mind this can include your teens and young adults. 

One area is sports betting on college basketball games all March long. So I wanted to share some of the National Council’s declarations and permit me each year about their March campaign and how you can get help for a loved one if you think they may have a problem with gambling. Never underestimate this addiction. It requires no substance and it doesn’t discrimanate who it tries to take next. 1 in 5 will try suicide like I did. Parents, when you have “The Talk” with their kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, please include problem gambling. . .

Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon


Sharing Resources of The National
Council on Problem Gambling


03.01.21
By: JOHN NORTON

Awareness Plus Action Needed as Sports Betting Explodes

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month


Washington, DC – The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) designates March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM). March Madness, the annual NCAA basketball tournament that sees over $8 billion wagered on its games, is the backdrop that NCPG and its partners across the country leverage to help raise awareness and create action for those suffering from gambling problems.

With the campaign now in its nineteenth year, contacts to the National Problem Gambling Helpline typically spike during March. When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that states could allow sports betting, the proverbial floodgates opened. As we go to press, sports betting is now legal and operational in 20 states plus the District of Columbia, with many more considering it – an unprecedented expansion of gambling in the U.S. Unfortunately, services to mitigate the inevitable increase in harms associated with gambling have not kept pace.

“March Madness is a time of year when we see an increase in gambling and more demand for our services,” said Keith Whyte, Executive Director of NCPG. “Too many people still don’t recognize they are exhibiting signs of this addictive behavior and are unaware of the help that is available to them.”




The PGAM grassroots campaign brings together a wide range of stakeholders, among them public health organizations, advocacy groups including NCPG state affiliates, and even gambling operators. NCPG provides a special web page to give information on local state activities and events – participants may share them via a link on our main webpage: https://www.ncpgambling.org/programs-resources/programs/pgam/

Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM) is designed to achieve two goals:

  • To increase public awareness of problem gambling; and
  • To encourage healthcare providers to screen clients for gambling problems.

On NCPG’s PGAM webpage visitors are provided with materials and special graphics in the PGAM Toolkit, which can be used without charge by any organization that wants to hold advocacy and awareness activities this March. Each year, hundreds of organizations do. The social media hashtags for this initiative are #AwarenessPlusAction and #PGAM2021.

NCPG also collaborates with Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) on Gambling Disorder Screening Day, which occurs on March 9, 2021. CHA, a nonprofit health organization headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, hosts the international event that has been held annually on the second Tuesday in March since 2014. It is designed to encourage health care providers to screen for gambling problems in the same way they do for alcohol and drug use disorder or domestic abuse, and to provide the tools to recognize gambling disorder for both the public and health care providers. All too often, this disorder leads to financial, emotional, social, occupational and physical harms, yet many cases go undetected due to the limited availability of accessible assessments to identify this problem. The Screening Day addresses the issue and provides tools to identify gambling-related problems as early as possible.

Whyte said, “Problem gambling is certainly not confined to sports betting. We want anyone who may have a problem with any form of gambling to know that they don’t have to suffer in silence.” NCPG’s National Helpline, which is the only helpline for gambling that works in all 50 states, is tollfree, confidential, available 24/7, and offers translation services in 178 languages. It receives no federal funding and is supported only by NCPG’s members and donors.

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Please Gamble Responsibly!



About the National Council on Problem Gambling

Based in Washington DC, the National Council on Problem Gambling is the only national nonprofit organization that seeks to minimize the economic and social costs associated with gambling addiction. If you or someone you know may have a gambling problem, contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline, which offers hope and help without stigma or shame. Call or text 1-800-522-4700 or visit www.ncpgambling.org/chat. Help is available 24/7 – it is free and confidential.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2021

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Bet Free Recovery Now-Holiday Series. Story #8, My Voice & Story of Gambling Addiction & Recovery as Featured In #ADIVAMagazine Fall/Winter 2020…

Bet Free Recovery Now-Holiday Series. Story #8, My Voice & Story of Gambling Addiction & Recovery as Featured In #ADIVAMagazine Fall/Winter 2020…


It is not every day you are invited and featured in a national and international womens magazine, this is what happened to me recently. I am not only honored but humbled to share my story and voice to other women around the world who just might be suffering in silence from addicted gambling like I was 14-years ago and had no clue how to STOP… The rest of that story I am about to share, the same article that is currently being read now in ADIVA Magazine –issue #3 for our Fall/Winter 2020.

You may check it out and learn all about on Facebook here:
https://www.facebook.com/StellaDamasusOfficial/videos/adiva-magazine/385566179159699/
I want to thank Stella Damasus for the invite and I have received amazing feedback and some emails too! When we share HOPE and our experiences with others? THAT is what helps me going forward in my recovery. I may never know who it may impact or “touch” but even if it is only one person? It worth IT!

~Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Gambling Recovery Advocate


ADIVA MAGAZINE ~ Issue #3 Winter 2020



My Addiction Required No Substances…


My name is Catherine Townsend-Lyon, and I’m a recovering gambling addict…


My addiction didn’t require any substances—no pill, needles, liquids, or smoke
Yet, every one in five gambling addicts will try suicide from it as I had tried, twice. I will celebrate my 13th-year, maintaining recovery come Jan. 2020. When most people talk about addiction, they often focus on substance abuse. In truth, there are people addicted to behaviors and habits that can cause just as much damage to their lives as drugs or alcohol.


“Catherine Townsend-Lyon understands this all too well. For years, she was addicted to gambling and what she calls “a silent addiction.”

ADIVA Magazine Feature


Catherine shares her story of how she freed herself from this crippling addiction and how she uses this experience to help others get on the path to recovery, even when all hope seems lost. From an addiction that is now the #1 addiction taking lives by suicide…

My disease is called addicted gambling, a silent addiction.

 “How did a good girl go bad? By crossing a fine line from a “once in a while gambler to a full-blown addicted one.”  Well, I began gambling with money. In the end, I was gambling with my life.

This addiction is progressive in nature, so I began pawning or selling valuables. Finally, I ended up committing a crime because the money ran out. Toward the end and before treatment, I began to abuse alcohol as just gambling alone wasn’t “doing it for me,” as I was stuck in a cunning sick cycle. I was sick, broke, broken, spiritually lost. Then, hopelessness and darkness took over.


As statistics now show, more then 2.9% of our population are problem gamblers, and one in every five addicted gambler’s attempting suicide as I did, twice, these numbers will continue to rise as the expansion of for-profit gambling options, including online legalized online internet gambling like sports betting in many states, just as state lotteries are expanding. It seems gambling is just about everywhere from my experiences. 

So, it is no wonder I became addicted to it. I became one of the 1 in 5 who tried suicide while still residing in Southern Oregon for over 26+years and where my gambling addiction journey began. I, too, had two failed suicide attempts before I knew there was help available. 

I was gambling two to four times a day playing the Oregon lottery video poker/slot machines introduced in the early 90s. By 1998, the Oregon Lottery had licensed more than 9,000 video gambling machines in some 1,800 outlets, and I got hooked! Gambling on slot and poker machines has now become the second-biggest revenue raiser for the Oregon government, behind income taxes. 

My recovery journey started in 2002 after my first suicide attempt. But again, in April 2006, I woke up in a hospital for a second time due to another failed suicide attempt and again admitted into an addiction and mental health crisis center for another 30-day stay. The problem wasn’t that I gambled again and relapsed; it was due to not taking my psych medications for my mental health. I thought I didn’t need nor want to take them any longer and thinking I could be normal like everyone else around me, but as you read my story, you’ll see that didn’t work out too well. 

Hell, being normal is a bit overrated (Lol).

No excuses as we faced a few severe financial crises simultaneously as I stopped taking my medications for my mental health. My husband and I had worked through all of our savings; I panicked and chose to steal from someone. What a mess! They pressed charges, I was arrested, went through the court process, and was sentenced to many community service hours, two years of probation, and paid restitution that I am still paying on today. If I don’t? I will most likely die a felon.
 

My Point and Wisdom From an Older Diva 

You have to do all the recovery work in all areas that include your finances (financial inventory). I had not done the work in this area and necessary for a steady recovery. Even though I was not gambling, my financial and legal troubles told me I still needed to work and maybe with a gambling addiction specialist. After my problems occurred, I did choose to work with a specialist for over a year while I went through the legal mess I created. 

Why am I sharing?

Our recovery stories and experiences are powerful tools to help others and to give them hope! Even after my second suicide attempt and crisis center stay from the hospital, I learned I did not have a well-rounded recovery plan and had a lot more work to do. I also knew that God, my higher power, had bigger plans for me, a purpose for me that involves helping those reaching out for recovery from the cunning illness of addicted compulsive gambling.

After I was released from the crisis center in 2006, I began working with a gambling addiction specialist and got my mental health under control; I began to see the enormous stigma around those who maintain recovery and those who may have a mental illness. And since I am a dual-diagnosed person, this can make obtaining recovery a bit more work, as I discovered. The habits, behaviors, and diseased thinking we use within our addiction needed more correcting. 

Working with the specialist was eye-opening. He made me revisit and helped me break down ‘the cycle’ of addiction, and we also worked with tools and skills for dealing with financial problems that may arise while maintaining recovery. I found a relapse prevention workbook that helped and was a game-changer for me. Although I never did relapse into gambling, this workbook had helped me develop a plan for any financial or life event crisis that may arise during my recovery journey. 

Another tool was journaling each day. I’ve enjoyed writing at a young age and kept a journal, but my specialist showed me how to relieve stress and learn more from my journaling. I later used my writings to write my book, a memoir titled ‘Addicted To Dimes: Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.’ It is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many fine book stores and online. It is written in memoir form and is not how to recover, but the Why and the roots to how I became addicted to this cunning addiction…
https://www.amazon.com/Addicted-Dimes-Confessions-Liar-Cheat-ebook/dp/B00CSUJI3A/

Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a LIAR & a CHEAT) Kindle Edition
Memoir By Catherine Townsend-Lyon
Author, Advocate, Columnist


I didn’t start writing and journaling for a book; that was all God’s intervention and came later on. Writing down my story and experiences in notebooks for a year toward the end of 2010 was a very healing process for me. I shared in the book my gambling addiction, my past childhood abuse, and sexual trauma, and what it is like living with mental illness. 


I needed to see on paper and in between the lines what gambling addiction had taken from me”…


Today I never dreamed I would be a published author and recovery advocate. That began my recovery advocacy of writing for many publications like formerly InRecovery magazine, now a columnist for “Keys To Recovery” newspaper, recovery blogging, many radio shows, podcasts, and speaking. These are only a few of my recovery blessings I have received within my path thus far. By writing my book and sharing it with the world, I hope to shatter the stigma around gambling addiction, those maintaining recovery, and those with mental and emotional health challenges. 


2019 Addiction & Recovery Speaking
Event AZ State Capitol

I have also, recently began to share my voice and story as one who also suffered childhood sexual abuse and trauma with others as well. Why? Because I learned these are the underlying issues and roots that had me turn to addiction came from that pain from my to overcome it and not use gambling to escape, cope, or hide from all those haunting memories. 

Through my book, I have chosen not to be anonymous. I want others to know how devastating compulsive gambling addiction is and how easily one can become addicted. It truly is a real silent disease and illness that requires no substances, is just as destructive as any other addiction, and still #1 in claiming lives by suicide than any other addiction. Through my advocacy work, I help others be informed and educated as I raise awareness and prove the impacts problem gambling has on your communities’ as it shatters families. The expansion of casinos, state lottery, and online gambling contributes to more accessibility as it now is touching our youth. 

I’m often asked what I do to keep my long-term recovery. Work a steady recovery that encompasses mind, body, spirit, finances, and personal inventory. There are many ways and choices to recover, including inpatient or outpatient treatment, 12-Step meetings, addiction specialists, and more. Anything and everything you can find? Just do it. Only one option may not be enough to reach success in long-term recovery. 

Today it is my recovery duty to share hope to those reaching out to recover and need support. I continue my advocacy work as an article writer and columnist for ‘Keys To Recovery newspaper’ out of Southern California. I run and write a blog called https://BetFreeRecoveryNow.wordpress.com  and share my experiences and recovery throughout media and social media. Have done so on in many publications, podcasts, radio shows, and in a global ADIVA Mag.



My husband Tom and I just celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary as we live outside Phoenix, Arizona.
We live a quiet life with our three kitty fur babies.
Soon, I will celebrate my 14th year maintaining recovery on Jan. 29th, 2021… It has been a long road to get to where I am today.
The rest our/my amazing life has been GOD GIVEN and I am blessed and humbled with a life that has been beyond a one I could have ever hoped for in so many ways.


I have gained wisdom, have learned life lessons, and the best part? I get to help others who may still be suffering in silence like I had for many year’s from gambling and into recovery. Everyone deserves a second chance as I did when God showed my my real true purpose in life.


“The cruelest lies are often told in silence”… ~Robert Louis Stevenson

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” … ~Maya Angelou


My Loving Husband, Tom Lyon


Havng Fun Rasng $$ 4 Big Jim Foundation!
Addiction Awareness Speaking Event Phoenix, AZ!



ME & My Buddy Former NFL Pro
Randy Grimes of Tampa Bay Bucs.



GOD IS GOOD!

Bet Free Recovery Now: Christmas Series Sharing Real Voices, Stories, & Struggles With Problem Gambling Anonymously… #7 of The Series.

Bet Free Recovery Now: Christmas Series Sharing Real Voices, Stories, & Struggles With Problem Gambling Anonymously… #7 of The Series.


Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends and Visitors…

When I first entered treatment and began my journey to healing? The first few things I learned right away? We never give up, never give in, and yes, I had many struggles staying on my path of recovery with a few slips here and there. I do know how difficult it can be beginning early recovery.

We are expected to change, be open to change, and begin the hard work of reclaiming our lives back from a cunning and insidious addiction. That requires much work to be done. See, next month I will be maintaining recovery for 14-years, and I can tell you two things…

It won’t always be hard, and your life will become not just better, it will become AMAZING! It will become a blessing, fulfilled, happy, and peaceful, much better than you could imagine or dream of. That, I can promise you.

This is why I got permission to share many other stories and real struggles and the determination many have who made it within recovery, and some who are figuring it out. See, we always need to know where we came from, never become complacent.

It is why I make many visits to gambling addiction websites and read what people share and hope to give constructive advice that will hopefully help those who search for that successful place within recovery. There several sites that offer Chat rooms and Posting Wall to interact and engage like minded folks recovering from gambling addiction. One is called Safe Harbor http://www.sfcghub.com/cgsf1.html and they offer meetings, chat, and much more. Also, GamTalk https://www.gamtalk.org/groups/community/ who offers an active forum, chats, and a community posting wall too.

Both offer exceptional Recovery Resources and can be found on each front page of their websites. And you can do so on both being anonymous. Here are some anonymous voices of those recovering or beginning the journey. Yes, we are “works in progress”… ~Catherine Lyon, Advocate


* * * * * * *



GAMBLERS VOICES RECOVERING:

Gambler:
“I am understanding alot and feeling some hope by reading these posts…
I am a gambler…
I must stop…
I want to stop…

But then I decide to continue…Why, why asked myself!
Why do you do this??
Why do you sink yourself hopelessly into this addiction”…


Someone Replied:
“We have all had false starts so do not lose heart, like a smoker it is rare to stop smoking at the first attempt but the important thing is to keep the goal of stopping in mind. Do not be too hard on yourself for lapsing, just say to yourself, ok next time I will succeed. For me it took time and education (and Gamcare Counselling), the more I learned about the gambling industry the more it’s appeal diminished.”

Once something loses it’s appeal the easier it is to let go of it. I don’t like words like ‘addiction’ and ‘illness’ as I think this encourages ‘victim’ mode. We are not victims we have choices but we need to retrain our brains so that we can change the choices that we make. For me learning about the gambling industry online did a few things, it occupied my time instead of gambling, it opened my eyes to what a well constructed industry it is with one sole purpose TO RELIEVE YOU OF ALL OF YOUR MONEY, it changed my perception of what gambling actually had to offer.

A good example is smokers, why is it that some stop with relative ease whilst others will have withdrawal symptoms for years (and more likely start again). It is all to do with our approach and perception, if we anticipate difficulties we will have difficulties, if we can re-educate our brains to really accept the damage we are doing then smoking becomes something that no longer appeals and is no longer desired. For me the approach with gambling was the same as the smoker, make your new hobby educating yourself as to the construction of an industry that has one sole purpose TO RELIEVE YOU OF ALL OF YOUR MONEY.

I actually found it all quite interesting, quite an education and the more I learned the more pointless gambling became. For me there was no epithany moment, no praying to a god or a higher power hoping for that lightbulb moment when my life would change it was a methodical deconstruction through gaining knowledge. I do recommend counselling with Gamcare, they will not judge you but they do help you find your own answers within yourself. I can only speak for myself but I am not unique and if this method helped me then it might help you. I hope it does.”


A GAMBLER:
Gamcare (https://www.gamcare.org.uk/ counselling helped me to take responsibility and own my habit without being judgemental. I am a very logical person in every aspect of my life, with the exception of gambling. I soon realised that when I gambled (online slots, one in particular) that winning was not actually the goal, playing was the goal. If I won it merely served as more playing time.

This made me realise that gambling was a way to lose myself for a few hours, ignore the responsibilty of being an adult. There were times when I would win early on and it was futile to stay on so I would stop, I would then feel agitated and unfulfilled. I read somewhere that the first time you have a decent win that the adrenalin rush to the brain is so great that the brain puts up a barrier to protect itself, same as a fuse works in a plug. Once that barrier goes up the intensity of the win is never equalled again, yet still we try to acheive it.

It’s the same reason that an adrenalin junkie increases the danger of their extreme sport pursuits. I think that the slots are very much geared around transporting us to our childhood with their cartoon characters, bright colours and music, back to a time of being carefree and irresponsible. The more logic I can apply to what I do the less appealing gambling is. Are brains are capable of many things and continues to learn througout our lives, it is our job to grasp that opportunity to learn how to control our illogical urges. I removed guilt and shame from my agenda and decided to own my problem instead of seeing myself as a victim with an ‘illness’.

I can only speak for myself and from my own experiences and my logic may not apply to all but so long as you are dealing with your problem then you are on the right track, I just hope that my logic strikes a chord with some of you and helps you as it has helped me. There is no wrong way to stop but if we share our experiences then maybe we can all help each other”…
They also have resouces and blog: https://www.gamcare.org.uk/news-and-blog/blog/


A GAMBLER:
“Here’s to a new day, making a decision to turn my will over to my higher power. Doing my best to stay connected to Him. Hoping to turn this ship around. Great advice everyone, especially on researching the cunningness of the Casino.

They know what they are doing. They make millions and billions doing it. Let’s stop giving them our money!
They are rigged and we won’t catch our losses. Time to bury that chapter!”

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A GAMBLER:
“I told my husband about my addiction and now he hates me and says he doubts everything about our relationship!!”


SOME REPLIES: “Normal reaction. Hurt people hurt people.”

“I can relate CJ. It is going to take time for me to get my husband to trust me again. I have lied to him so many times. I am very manipulative. I don’t like the person I am right now. I definitely want to change. I also want to be able to tell the truth again, nothing but the truth.”

“He doesn’t hate you, he’s shocked and hopefully when he has had time to process the information he will be supportive. I find gambling the most misunderstood of addictions, it seems to carry the most blame because non addicts associate gambling as playing or having fun. I found counselling with Gamcare very helpful. They do not judge you but help you to understand yourself.”

A GAMBLER:
“I feel so ashamed and feel like I have let my family down. I am just disgusted with myself. I have wasted so much money that could have been put towards something other then wasting it”…


SOME REPLIES: “Hi did you read my post?” — “No, I am new here.”

“I feel as you do but if we are just posting and reading everyones sorrows, how is this going to help us? Are we to do self-interflection and draw for the post that we are not alone? What about the next urge to gamble? I need something more tangible, more intervention with human conversation”…

“D” I understand the need for a plan. I find myself being scared and sometimes encourages me by reading but you’re right, we need more of an action plan.”


MY REPLY WAS:
“I was given an awesome Relapse Prevention Guide years ago when I began my recovery path and I have it listed on my gambling recovery blog for anyone who needs it. You can copy and paste where ever you need. It truly helped me make and KEEP a relapse plan and did help me get out of the loop of relapses. Especially helps during the holiday season when we may have more stress or life events.

Here is the link to the page: https://betfreerecoverynow.wordpress.com/gambling-relapse-prevention-guide-to-survive-life-events-that-works/

Reading and learning from others experiences can be tools to know we are not alone, we all have similar struggles from this cunning addiction, and you have the action and choices that can also be your solution… Like we learn, “keep doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different result”? Never happens with this disease.”


A GAMBLER:
“Today I made a payment plan. This feels like a good step as I work at being steady and not rushing through.. Slow progress is still progress. Better than continuing to dig a bigger financial hole. Today has been a good gamble free day!”

REPLY:
“Well done! Recovery is about progress not perfection.
Keep it up ODAAT (One Day At A Time)…


LASTLY, A GAMBLER:
“Good morning! I am looking forward to talking with you as I work the twelve steps and start the recovery process. I recently admitted I am powerless over gambling and my life has become unmanageable. I don’t like the feeling of being hyjacked when it comes to gambling but that will always be the case. I want to abstain. I do believe my only hope lies with surrendering to my higher power. I will seek my higher power today.”


REPLIES:
WELL DONE! The first 3 Steps of the Gamblers Anonymous Program
1) We admitted we were powerless over gambling – that our lives had become unmanageable.
2) Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to a normal way of thinking and living.
3) Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of this Power of our own understanding.
“K”


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A Recovering Gamblers Poem of Hope

Fellow gambler, take my hand; 
I’m your friend, I understand. 
I’ve known your guilt, your shame, remorse; 
I’ve borne the burden of your cross. 
I found a friend who offered ease; 
He suffered, too, with this disease. 
Although he had no magic cure, 
He showed how we could endure. 
We walked together side by side; 
We spoke of things we had to hide. 
We told of sleepless nights and debts, 
Of broken homes and lies and threats. 
And so my weary gambler friend, 
Please take this hand that I extend. 
Take one more chance on something new, 
Another gambler helping you.




Bet Free Recovery Now: Holiday Series. Real Voices & Real Stories of Gambling Recovery. Bernie’s Story…

Bet Free Recovery Now: Holiday Series. Real Voices & Real Stories of Gambling Recovery. Bernie’s Story…


It dosen’t matter the preference or choice of staying in action with gambling like slots, poker, lotto or scratch tickets …It is about learning to interrupt “The Cycle” and use the tools and skills we learn in our choice and path to recover from gambling addiction.

Advocate, Catherine Lyon



BERNIE’S STORY

I’m Bernie and I am a recovering Compulsive Gambler. My Last bet was November 21, 2007.

I grew up on a farm not too far from what is now known as Soaring Eagle Casino. I was not attracted to casinos because to me they were represented by a pole barn. The reason I say that, is because growing up that is what Soaring Eagle was. It wasn’t until much later that it became the place it is now. I found myself being a bit of a loner when I was really young but that only goes to the way I felt.

It wasn’t until High School in the fall of 1979 that I was introduced to what would become my chosen form of gambling (scratch-off tickets). Back then, it was just one now and then with friends from school. I went to a Christian High school a half hour away from where I lived, so the first 2 years I lived with a family in another town during the week. But most of this has little to do with the active part of my addiction.

I was however exposed to functional alcoholism during this time. When I started driving I started smoking and on occasion buying scratch-offs. The smoking became a problem when I was diagnosed with clergies and lost interest due to how it was affecting my breathing, but the gambling was still just a ‘once in a while’ activity.

While in college I met and married my first wife. It was at this time that I saw my first look at what a compulsive gambler looked like. My mother-in-law had a room filled with losing tickets of every sort and was always getting them. I swore at that moment that I would never be like that. She was a nice person most of the time, but the things I saw with her gambling was not very pleasant. Over the years, I would begin to gravitate toward doing exactly what I said I would never do.

My marriage became a stress point for me. We had two sons and I was still getting my degree several years into the marriage. We argued more and more as I went from low paying job to low paying job. By the time 2000 rolled around, I had had a good job with the state, but it was not enough because we were both driving insane distances for work. I left there due to failing a training process, to try and get closer to home and returned to lower paying jobs. I tried to start a business or two and failed to ‘make enough’. This led me to wanting to stay away from home more.

With me working at convenience store and as a direct care worker, I was able to do that but needed to ‘kill time’ to avoid her (my wife). My addiction became worse and gave me a way to stay away during times we were both awake and home more. I’d get home after she had gone to sleep and she would be off to work by the time I woke up. Gambling had become an escape from the problem.




In 2007, my world began to come apart! My mom died and later I would almost lose my job as a result of someone stealing from my till. That resulted in a big argument and fighting to get my job back. Then would come my suicidal feelings (they had always been under the surface but this brought them out in spades). I ended up spending time in an adult psychiatric hospital for 10 days which gave my then wife time to discover just how bad my gambling had become.

This led to more fights and after several years of arguing came the separation. Then came divorce and the realization that all these years I had actually had Asthma and Sleep Apnea. Ultimately the divorce made recovery better for me and in 2013 I remarried a wonderful woman who has been my rock.

Back to 2007, November 21, 2007 to be exact. I went to my first Gamblers Anonymous meeting that night and after it I bought what would be my last scratch-off ticket. That action sent me into tears as I realized I had a problem. It was $1 but it was after hearing stories of people who went to prison and experienced losing everything. How could I buy a ticket after that?

Since that time, I have focused on using my background to help others who are in recovery. It took some time to get my feet under me and deal with my addiction, but once that began I was writing and even speaking about the addiction. That is how I got to where I am today and doing what I do today.

My background is as a Bachelors Level Social Worker with the following added pieces: I started out studying to be a Lutheran Minister, focused on knowing my faith. I studied informally, as well as formally, many world religions. I studied to be a teacher for a short time. I studied Psychology (which became my minor). As I started recovery, I studied everything I could to understand addiction and combined what I learned with every experience and educational aspect of my life.

That said, I am disabled because of health issues today, but I still push forward with writing and creating materials. My first 3 years of recovery were my hardest as I continued to sell my addiction to others while figuring out how to stay clean in this environment.

Today, I am living proof that we can stop our addicted gambling and be successful maintaining long-term recovery and why I continue to SHARE HOPE, so others with a problem will reach out for help like I did. You don’t have to suffer in silence.

Please reach out to Gamblers Anonymous here http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/content/about-us and find a meeting in your area. It is a great place to start …Bernie.


* * * * * * *

Why Hope Is the Key to Successful Recovery | The Recovery Village Ridgefield

Bet Free Recovery Now Holiday Series: Real Stories & Voices of Problem Gambling. Our Featured Resource is GAMTALK. Gambling Help During The Holiday’s ~Meet Lisa & Story…#2

Bet Free Recovery Now Holiday Series: Real Stories & Voices of Problem Gambling. Our Featured Resource is GAMTALK. Gambling Help During The Holiday’s ~Meet Lisa & Story…#2



Hello, my name is Lisa and I am a recovering compulsive gambler. 


A little bit about my background. My mother passed away when I was 8 years old. It turned my whole world upside down in an instant. I was separated from my family and was sent to live with my father whom I did not know, down in Georgia. I went to live at a children’s home when I was 11.


Looking back it was the best thing that could have happened to me. Went through routine teenager stuff for the most part. Met my now ex-husband and we were married for 26 years. I have twin boys who will soon be 30 and a beautiful granddaughter. I should mention here that my ex was in the military, we moved around a lot and I raised our boys mostly on my own. I have always relied on myself to handle things, not always the best decision. I never learned to ask for help or truly trust anyone.


When my ex got ready for retirement we finally moved back home to Washington, who says you can never go home again? It was a very difficult transition. Funny when I think of it now, how when I lived here before, I had the most traumatic experience of my life when my mom died, now back home I had to deal with the second most traumatic experience, my kids going through some very trying stuff (law breaking/possible prison) and a divorce that was a long time coming.


I couldn’t deal with it at all and I went off the deep end and down the dark rabbit hole which is known to a lot of us as the casino. My kids were off on their own, my ex was living the high life, I had disposable income and low self-esteem and nowhere to go, no place safe, no way to stop all the screaming, crying voices in my head. I had been to the casino socially and it was no big deal, had dinner, would play $20 and I could call it good. At least for a while.


My gambling career lasted for about 6 years. I knew things where changing about half way in and couldn’t stop myself. It was a place to go any time of day or night, didn’t matter what I looked like, I could smoke all I wanted and no one to bother me. It was my safe place, what a joke that turned out to be. Then I turned the corner and lied to my son, of course by then I was lying to everyone about where I was and what I was doing and no one ever understood why I never had any money. I was a closet gambler, no one knew.

SOBER HOLIDAYS*



I finally started writing bad checks and covered my last one with my son’s money by telling him I needed it to cover one from the grocery store and I was getting paid the next day. He loaned me the money and I did pay it back the next day but that was it for me, I couldn’t do this to my child, for me, I had crossed some line. Of course, there is more to my story, but to go forward …


I finally broke down and went to a local GA group in town. Whew, what a monumental life changing experience. I went to meetings, I got a sponsor, began to work the steps and eventually I found peace. I could look myself in the eye, I had goals. I had money again and was eventually able to buy my first home all by myself. I stayed bet free for 3-years until about a month ago. That is what has prompted me to share my story, my relapse. Working Step 4 all over again. I would never recommend a relapse but for me, it was the best thing that has ever happened to me. During my 3-years bet free, I always had this “what if” thing hanging over my head. Asking myself, what would it be like, could I gamble socially, am I really and truly a compulsive gambler…


I think subconsciously I planned it all along and now that it is over and done with I am good. All questions answered. YES, I am a compulsive gambler without a doubt. I started right where I left off. So how did I get to that point and what did I do about it. Well first off, I had quit going to my GA meetings. For several reasons, the group is small and became toxic, it became harder and harder to put principals before personalities. It was no longer a safe place for me to go.


So, I resigned my chairing and treasury positions and quit. Are there other meetings yes, but I was burned out. Now to back up a bit, I live in my little house which I absolutely love. Nothing special, but it’s all mine and I now share it with 2 of my younger brothers whom I have gotten reunited with over the years after having moved back home. For the most part it is working out wonderfully, but mind you I did not grow up with siblings. I did not grow up learning the art of conflict or arguing. I avoid confrontation on all fronts. Be invisible, keep your head down and keep going, I should note here that I have changed that way of thinking in a big way thanks to what I have learned in GA.


So long story short, had a huge argument with my brother that lasted for weeks, my home was no longer my emotionally safe place. I avoided it as much as I could. I knew I was about to go off the edge. I had many options, I could have called someone, could have looked for this website (GamTalk), could have gone to one of the other meetings, I knew exactly what I was doing and did it anyway. I wanted to, I am a risk taker, I wanted the questions answered, truth is, I already knew the answer.


So off to the casino I went. I purposefully went out of town so as to hopefully not be seen by anyone I knew. Sneaky behavior…I lied about where I was…old habits coming back never skipping a beat. So off I went ready and excited… I won, left with money and all the way home I kept telling myself it can’t end this way, so I went back the next day fully intent on losing it all. I did and then some, per usually gamblers behavior.

I did enough damage to hurt but not wipe me out. It’s a control thing and I fully recognize how I had subconsciously planned for this. What surprised me the most is how I have handled the relapse. First thing I did was to beat myself up on the long drive home, but I got home early and it was still day light, normally after a loss I would crawl in bed for days, even miss work.


Las Vegas Sign Glass Ornament | Pottery Barn | Manualidades, Las vegas




Instead I put in my earphones started listening to gamblers stories and went for a 2 hour walk. I spent the next two days outside, hiking and driving through some of our beautiful state parks, totally outside the box of a normal day in my life. I wrote in my journal. I wrote my gratitude list, I prayed, I chatted a bit on this site. I feel relieved. I feel peace. I am renewed and ready to continue my recovery. I know that in GA I have to start over but I am not letting 9 hours of my relapse time to wipe out over a 1000 days of recovery. At least that is where my mind is at and I have had the best weeks in my life since.


I had to cleared the air with my brother and my home is my safe place again and I will never give that up again. I believe and completely trust my higher power. The nagging questions in the back of my mind are answered and put to rest. I have bounced back financially. I have left out a lot of details, but the bulk of it is now written, step 4, part of it anyway, sharing with you is step 5 for me. Thank you for being here, I intend to continue here as part of my ongoing recovery. This is just one more chapter in the book of my life, it had its twists and turns, but it’s not the end by far… Bless you!


* * * * *


This story is courtesy of a great place to be for those trying to stay in or maintain recovery from problem or addicted gambling. A resource called GAMTALK and free to JOIN: https://www.gamtalk.org/join/
They have several resources and you can chat with like minded people in the Chat Forum or The Community Wall and is run by the Founder, Dr. Richard Wood and they support all things GA. (Gamblers Anonymous) and more.

Please, stop by there GAMTALK’s website and see for yourself how helpful it is or if you know anyone with a gambling problem. They are sponsored by many who care about those who may become addicted to gambling… ~Advocate, Catherine Lyon



GamTalk


Dr. Wood has published numerous gambling related articles, presented his findings at conferences and seminars around the world, and undertaken many responsible gaming consultations for both the gaming industry and regulatory sectors. His research focuses on both the individual causes of problem gambling, as well as the structural characteristics of games that can influence the gambling behaviour of vulnerable players.

Specialties: Designing effective responsible gambling strategies. Examining the structural and situational characteristics of game design and gaming environments to minimise any negative consequences for ‘vulnerable’ players.

Understanding the psychology of gaming in order to promote healthy gaming attitudes and behaviours, investigating problem gambling and evaluating treatment and intervention programs.

He provides online support for people with gambling issues on GAMTALK.
He resides in Ontario, Canada

Christmas Season is Here With a Pandemic. Things We Can Do For a Safe Stay-At-Home Recovery Holiday…

Christmas Season is Here With a Pandemic. Things We Can Do For a Safe Stay-At-Home Recovery Holiday…


What a whirlwind of a recovery year we all have had, RIGHT?

As a person maintaining recovery and an advocate, it has been an a wild and bumpy ride to say least. I many people looking recovery resources and mentoring than ever before while this pandemic continues to rage and continue to spread like wild fire.

I don’t know about you, but many things have occurred in my recovery journey this year that I couldn’t catch my breath. With Thanksgiving come and gone, the Christmas season is upon us, an odd year for sure; I am sure ready for a New Year! How do you live your recovery lifestyle amidst all the crazy going on since early 2020? I thought I’d share some of mine and make a point that no matter what life may throw at us?

We just never give up our recovery.

Has it been a challenging year since COVID turned our recovery path upside down? Well, yes. But I, for one, kept my long-term recovery path through it all. How do you ask? It wasn’t easy! It started with some personal and business pitfalls around the end of March. My literary marketing business took a hit as one by one, I lost all my author clients as they got furloughed from their jobs. It wasn’t about the little extra income I made. It was thinking, now, what will I do with all my time?


3 Tips To Navigate The Holidays When You Are In Recovery — ELEMENTS OF  RECOVERY



With authors having no money to market and promote their books. Nothing was selling as people focused on where the rent money, bill money or new jobs would come from, and just as recovery and everything else began to shift to online only. Then? It was an election year on top of that! And if you are a person who is on social media like I have to be when my business was running, it got really politically ugly and I had never seen America become so divided.

So, with the pandemic still spreading and medical experts telling us to STAY HOME, I actually had time to make Thanksgiving dinner with a nice turkey meal even though it was my birthday on Thanksgiving day. And as GOD is always taking care of us, I was blessed with gifts and even had a birthday cake my husband had special ordered for me.

Again, recovery has been rough since we can’t do meetings or groups in person. And tougher for me as a recovery advocate unable to speak, raise awareness and NO recovery awareness live in-person events.
So, here are some things I have been doing to keep my recovery path moving forward, keeping it intact, and continue to share my voice and help others know that Recovery is Possible.


Read – Journal – Watch – Listen!

Since having more time, I have been writing and journaling like never before. It includes my recovery writing like for my column in “Keys to Recovery” newspaper and I was invited to write an article for a global magazine called ADIVA Magazine for their column “Her Story” for the Fall/Winter issue. Very exciting! I was honored to be part of the ADIVA Family.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is downloadadiva-1.png
Article and Recovery in ADIVA Mag “Her Story”



Here are some things you can do at home through the holiday season to enhance your recovery.

Journaling is an amazing tool for processing “old pain” and healing. Another area is reworking your 12-Steps. Did you know when you continue to work your steps? You can go back to them at an earlier time and see what areas you need more growth, but you can see how far you have come. This helps to build your self-esteem and self-worth needed to move forward, maintaining your recovery.

Reading is a tool we can use to stay educated and learn by reading many addiction and recovery books. Audiobooks and e-books have become most popular since the pandemic. You can listen to a great book while doing work or cleaning at the same time. I have also been watching and listening to lots of podcasts and radio shows. I’ve even been a guest on several this year as an advocate. Visit my Book Suggested reads while you are here or visit this Amazon link and see all the amazing books on addiction/recovery to read! https://www.amazon.com/Recovery-Health-Mind-Body-Books/b?ie=UTF8&node=4716

All of these activities can enhance our recovery during the holiday season.


Listening & Watching: Since most of as us have already shifted to online everything for recovery, like GA, AA, NA meetings, recovery groups, FB Live Celebrate Recovery, worship, and more. It is also important to continue being supported within your recovery by friends and family.

There are many free apps and platforms we can use to do so. Skype, What’s App, FB Messenger, Zoom, and watch FB Live events & visit recovery groups and many more. But never discount the good ole PHONE. Check-in with friends, your sponsor, and let them know how your doing. Watching and doing Podcasts shows is agreat way to share your voice and story of recovery! I have been a guest on several this year.


Last? Dive into the Christmas season by making your living space in your home Merry and Christmasey with decorations, lights, and maybe a little tree. Even though we can’t be all together this Christmas, you can still enjoy the season within your own home. Put on a mask and walk the neighborhood to see all the festive light displays or even drive to them in your car. It will also help the winter or seasonal blues and be healthy for our mental and emostional well-being.

So, yes, we still find ourselves with this pandemic during our recovery holiday season, and again, spreading. Listening to health professionals and those experts in your state or country you live in and to stay healthy and safe is part of our life, our recovery journey, and while keeping our recovery intact.

You Got This!



It’s called having life-balance! Besides, the good news is the vaccines are coming, and so is a “Fresh Happy New Year for a “Do-Over!” I know 2021 is going to bring us all life and recovery renewal, peace, and serenity. Next year, we will have so much to celebrate and have gratitude for knowing we all made it through.

Those of us maintaining recovery know we never give up!

Recovery Advocate, Catherine Lyon


Bet Free Recovery Now Holiday Series: Sharing Stories, Voices, & Hope From Gambling During The Christmas Season. Meet Christine & Story #1…


Courtesy of Northstar Alliance
https://www.northstarpg.org/


Christine’s Story

When I was asked to share my story, I didn’t hesitate. I think it’s so important for people to see that everyday, regular people can have a gambling addiction. And by telling my story I hope I can help others and reduce the shame of compulsive gambling.

~Christine


Looking back on it, I guess it’s not surprising that I developed a gambling problem. I had a risk-taking personality and was exposed to various forms of gambling as early as age 9. My father was a bookie and sold football tickets. I’d spend my allowance and purchase tickets from him.

I became insanely addicted to gambling in my early twenties. I was working at a charity bingo hall when the casinos opened in the ’80s, and a lot of us would go to the casinos after work.

For many years, Black Jack was my game of choice. Then one night in the mid ’90s, I had a dream that I put $20 in a slot machine and won a huge jackpot. Shortly after that dream, I went to the casino, put $20 in the slot machine and won $15,000. Not to long after, I crossed the line into addicted gambling thinking I would win bog each time I went!

From that point on, I switched almost exclusively to slot machines. It was a bigger, faster win, and I liked that I could isolate myself more. With cards, I had to communicate with others. I liked the solitutde of being alone and not have to be social with others when playing my slots.

Within six months after the big win, I realized I bit off more than I could chew. I had given back all the money, and more. I kept chasing that feeling of the huge win. See, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, the disease keeps you gambling until every penny is gone.

I soon became secretive about my gambling. I lied about losing and I lied about playing. I gambled any chance I could. I was feverishly stuck within the “cycle” of this disease of addiction.

In 2004, I started a business that quickly had financial success. I had so much money that I thought I’d never run out. But eventually I couldn’t even come up with postage to ship a package. I started selling stolen goods to cover my losses and eventually ended up in prison on a mail fraud charge.


4,785 Woman Arrested Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock



After prison, I was released to a halfway house, where I stayed for six weeks before I had to move out. I had nothing but a car. I’d lost a beautiful home, a great marriage, and had never previously wanted for anything. But I was angry, and the first thing I did was drive straight to Mystic Lake Casino.

Less than nine months later, I was back in prison for violating probation by gambling at casinos. I was sentenced to 15 months in a higher security prison. But this time it was different.

Something clicked the day I was shackled off to jail and I had a spiritual shift. I decided that I would never gamble again, no matter what. I evaluated the choices I made and why I did what I did. Once I was released, I took responsibility for my own actions and worked hard to get back on my feet. I took a job at a restaurant and am now the manager.

My life is so much better and calmer now. I meditate every morning and am very involved in GA meetings. I listen to others and share my story whenever I can. I receive so much respect from other people and have enormous respect for others. I am very available to my family and my friends, some of whom have gone through recovery with me.

It means a lot to me to be very honest about this disease and what it’s done to me. A lot of things about gambling made me feel like the scum of the earth. It was much worse than anything I felt as an alcohol and drug addict.

I focus on my recovery at every opportunity. I hope to make a difference to others who similarly never expected they would go through the horrible things we do as gambling addicts. I urge and advocate to others now. Don’t let addicted gambling steal your life...
~Christine



Please visit my friends of the Northstar Alliance on Probleming Gambling for Help, Hope, and Resources! https://www.northstarpg.org/online-gambling-resources/


* * * * *


Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance


The Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance (NPGA), the Minnesota affiliate to the National Council on Problem Gambling, is a non-profit, gambling-neutral organization dedicated to improving the lives of Minnesotans affected by problem gambling. NPGA is a coalition of individuals and organizations sharing the belief that problem gambling is a serious public health problem that is both treatable and preventable.

We work to raise public awareness about problem gambling and the stigma that’s often associated with it. We advocate for funding for treatment programs and provide professional training for those who work with problem gamblers. The collective impact of our efforts help individuals, their families and their communities deal with the devastating effects of problem gambling.

As a private 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, NPGA is funded by membership fees, financial and in-kind donations, and state and private grants. A considerable portion of our funding comes from the state of Minnesota and from major corporate sponsorships from the Minnesota Lottery, Canterbury Park, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

Mission Statement

The Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by problem gambling through advocacy, education, training and research.

We achieve this by:

  • Bringing together those with a professional or personal interest in problem gambling.
  • Providing complete, accurate and unbiased information.
  • Advocating for public policies that assist problem gamblers and their families.
  • Raising public awareness of problem gambling.
  • Identifying those whose professions might bring them in contact with problem gamblers and their families, and educating those professionals on appropriate interventions.
  • Advocating for, conducting, and disseminating research that furthers our understanding of problem gambling.
  • Developing, delivering and supporting programs to prevent problem gambling.
Core Values

We work toward our vision by upholding these core values:

Neutrality – As an affiliate of the National Council on Problem Gambling, we are neither for nor against legalized gambling.

Accuracy – We strive to ensure that all information we provide is accurate and complete.

Compassion – We recognize that problem gambling does not result from moral failings and that those with a gambling problem are not inherently bad people.

Inclusion – We believe that the interests of those affected by problem gambling are best served by inclusion of a wide range of interests. These interests include,but are not limited to, those in recovery, family members, treatment professionals, the gambling industry, those having professional contacts with problem gamblers, and those in other helping professions.


Relapse Prevention is Vital as The Holidays Approach. My Special Guest Post is Gambling Addiction & Recovery Expert, ‘Rev. Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin Ph.D’…

Relapse Prevention is Vital as The Holidays Approach.      My Special Guest Post is Gambling Addiction & Recovery Expert, ‘Rev. Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin Ph.D’…



With the holiday season fast approaching and still living in uncertain times, it is more vital now then ever to have a Relapse Prevention plan ready. This is why I am very honored to have a Special Recovery Guest and dear friend of mine who has also been my close friend for several years and we have been through “thick and thin” together. He has become like a brother I never had.

He is not only a talented in-depth addiction and recovery writer, fellow author, and loud advocate, but he has been a mentor and one of my #1 supporters of my recovery from addicted gambling.

Yes, I am talking about Rev. Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin Ph.D…

I invited him as my special guest to help us with Gambling Awareness and some Expert Advice for this unusual holiday season. He has done so and all about Relapse Prevention!

Now, Kevin is in the process of revamping his website! I will invite you all to NOT hesitate by visiting his Amazon Author Bio Page and grab many of his best-selling award-winning books! Kevin has helped many from addiction and stopped the suffering for addicts and helped many families heal together. There are many to choose from when it is time to gain life and no longer a path of darkness.

All of Kevin’s books can assist and will enhance to uplift you in your recovery journey, help parents help an addict, and gives the skills and tools within each book that work. So I present this helpful and educational article that Kevin was kind enough to write and share with us today. I am sure it will give hope to those who may feel there is no HOPE… Recovery is always possible!

~Catherine Lyon, Author, and Advocate.


How To Handle Roadblocks & Challenges or Even After a Relapse On Your Road  To Recovery… | Bet Free Recovery Happens Now. Sharing Gambling Recovery,  Hope, & Supporting Others.


Relapse Prevention is Key to Long-Term Recovery from Gambling (Ludomania)


Problem gambling, or ludomania,
is an urge to continuously gamble despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop. Problem gambling often is defined by whether harm is experienced by the gambler or others, rather than by the gambler’s behavior. Severe problem gambling may be diagnosed as clinical pathological gambling if the gambler meets certain criteria.

Pathological gambling is a common disorder that is associated with both social and family costs. “Pathological gambling” is the most severe form of problem gambling and has been recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as a disease since 1980. Gaming or gambling is supposed to be for fun, for entertainment.

Teenagers are 3 to 4 times more likely to become problem gamblers than adults. 90% of High School students have gambled at least once in the last year. In the USA ages 14-21, 2.1% struggle with Problem Gambling, another 6.5% are at risk. Every year, 2% -3%, 2M U.S. adults are estimated to meet the criteria for disordered gambling and another 4-6M individual are problem gamblers at risk for serious addiction consequences. Men make up 2/3 majority of Problem Gamblers.

Relapse ‘s definition, to fall or slip back into a former state or practice. Relapse certainly can happen to those who are in recovery from substance abuse and (Problem Gambling) process addictions; however, it should not be expected, only a possibility. Many individuals recover without ever knowing the first physical relapse in their entire lifetime of sobriety. Most have emotional and mental relapses at certain times, and some do have physical relapses as well.


Relapse Prevention:: Long-Term Sobriety by [Rev. Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin]
Kevin Coughlin’s Best-Selling Book!


There are three different types of relapse:
Emotional Relapse
Mental Relapse
Physical Relapse


Remember that relapse is a process, Behavior Changes: Hanging around slippery people, places, and things. Arguing and acting out. No serenity, not demonstrating spirituality. Attitude Changes: Different priorities, meetings, and recovery not as important as they were. Changes in Feelings or Moods: Resentments, anger, boredom, not satisfied with anything, not grateful. Changes in Thoughts: Thinking that you may be able to use safely now. Not living a life of balance and not taking care of self can all lead to relapse.

“Don’t stay too long in the shame-filled grounds of relapse. Fertile soil awaits your return and your recovering.” – Holli Kenley


Major changes in the structure of life, such as divorce, losing a job, moving, having a child, death, a serious injury, a relationship change, things that are a major structural change or life events can lead to relapse.

When faced with tough times five tips that can help anyone avoid relapse are as follows:

1. Continue to work your program of recovery. The vehicle that promotes change. Draw close to whatever program or modality that got you sober in the first place. Call other sober friends in your support network and be honest about what is going on in your life. Don’t be afraid to pick up the 500lb. phone!

2. Utilize anger management skills. Dealing with problems right when they arise. Resentments are the number one offender; we can’t afford them. Don’t let the sun go down on a problem. Use anger management and problem-solving skills to work things out without letting emotions get the best of you. You don’t always have to be right, don’t always have to be in control, and don’t have to be perfect.

3. Beware of self-centeredness. Work on your spirituality. Don’t be selfish! Those who fail to grow spiritually will relapse. The one thing that we must do is maintain our spiritual conditions; that means we must continue to grow spiritually; we must go where we are spiritually fed.

4. Stay in the day and don’t project! ‘One day at a time is great wisdom’! All we should worry about is today, tomorrow will take care of itself, so don’t worry. There is a God, and you’re not it!

5. Stay grateful! We must maintain an attitude of gratitude, if we forget all of the gifts that we have been freely given in recovery, then we are headed for trouble! If we forget the bottom or event or circumstance that led us into a life of sobriety then we are also in trouble, we must as they say, “Keep it green!” I have never seen a grateful person relapse!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is gambling.jpg



These Tips Will Help Anyone Who Walks in the Sunlight of the Spirit Stay There...


If you walk in the shadows and dark places, then surely that’s where your heart will end up. The only way to have real long-term, lasting, quality sobriety is to continue to grow in recovery, and that means maintaining our spirituality on a daily basis, continuing to be spiritually fed daily growing in experience and wisdom and helping others. You can’t live on yesterday’s manna!

Stress and anxiety have always been triggers for substance abusers and regular people to learn hope to cope with on a daily basis. Drugs and alcohol had been “the solution” for them in the past; now they must disengage from such behaviors and find genuine coping mechanisms that last. Gambling abusers also need to be offered alternative ways to find a solution through a twelve-step approach, non-twelve-step approach, harm reduction, medication management, holistic programs, faith-based programs, and other approaches. Individuals must learn healthy ways to cope with stress without the use of drugs or alcohol, utilizing these new-found tools as a solution to stress will lead to lasting sobriety. Those who don’t suffer from substance abuse will also need coping skills for life on their own terms being BET FREE.

Stress Coping Skills Key to Lasting Recovery
Developing strong stress and anxiety management skills and techniques are paramount to long-term sobriety, a balanced and healthy life. These skills can help those in recovery to avoid relapse and sustain lasting recovery. Research utilizing lab animals has shown that stress can precipitate relapses with addiction to certain chemicals.

PTSD & Chronic Stress
Chronic drug usage may alter brain pathways affecting the user’s response to stress; this can make them more susceptible to relapse. Those who suffer from PTSD and individuals who have been exposed to chronic stress may be more likely to relapse; this makes stress management skills all the more important.

Stress Leading to Relapse!
Significant changes in jobs, relationships, moving, finances, health, and other structural changes that those in recovery are likely to deal with cause stress and anxiety. This is a normal part of life for everyone. For the substance abuser, it’s okay to try to escape from the pressure. They must be careful not to transfer addictions from drugs to gambling, sex, or some other addiction. Medical specialists from the National Institute on Drug Abuse believe that the leading reason for relapse back into substance abuse is stress.

Some Individuals Need Mental Health Help
Healthy lifestyle changes are the best way to manage stress; some individuals will need to seek out help from mental health professionals as part of those changes. The Mental Health Professional will work with the Professional Coach to help the client reach their goals and solutions.

Some changes that people have found helpful:

Deep Breathing
Meditation and Yoga
Prayer
Proper Diet
Balance and Boundaries
Time management
Taking care of Yourself Better
Identifying Stressors
Talking Things Out
Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
Exercise
Low-Stress Activities

Positive People are the Winners!
In recovery and in life it is essential to connect with the right people, “stick with the winners” as they say. Those in early recovery need to be around individuals and groups that they can learn solutions from, recovery role models so to speak.

It’s also important for those in early recovery to find an attitude of gratitude; it’s easy to become angry and negative from the very beginning. Gratitude raises balance, awareness, and the spirit in a way that the person will begin to see things about life in a new way, like seeing life with a new pair of glasses!

Talking with Others
Learning to tell on yourself in early recovery is one of the hardest but most beneficial skills. Talk things out with other sober people, give them a piece of your burden and suddenly your burden becomes light. Running, walking, lifting weights, writing poetry, journaling, drawing, being creative, move a muscle change and thought is a great way to get out of your head when stressed. My journal below can help!


My Monthly Journal Book: A Roadmap to Life by Dr. Kevin T ...

Avoid Relapse by Journaling to Coping with Stress
All people need to learn to cope with stress in recovery; it’s essential to avoid relapse and maintain sanity and balance. Utilizing just a few of the tools and techniques can work for anyone if they want them to work. Sometimes just a deep breath works!

Professional Coaches Have the Goods!
Professional coaches have skill sets, tools, and core competencies that they utilize to help their clients change their lives for the better. They utilize specific action planning, powerful questioning, active listening, and many other skills and techniques to get the results needed to move forward toward the solution needed to achieve the client’s goals. Stress and anxiety aren’t good for anyone no matter their walk-in life.

Triggers that Can Jeopardize Your Sobriety
When most people hear the word trigger, they think of the noun or the trigger of a gun; the verb trigger means to cause (an event or situation) to happen or exist. People who suffer from substance abuse and process addictions usually have triggers in their lives that are unique to their circumstances, past traumas, events, memories, losses, shame, guilt, anger, anxiety, etc.

A recovering person’s triggers are set in motion through one or more of the five senses: smell, sound, touch, sight, and taste. Make no mistake about it; although we are talking about the verb, triggers can be as dangerous as the trigger on a gun!

Triggers of the Emotional Variety
Triggers can jeopardize your sobriety if they are not recognized and dealt with in early recovery. What triggers a relapse? Certainly, the reasons for relapse can be different for individuals; however, there are some commonalities such as fear, anxiety, stress, and depression. There are several other emotions that can also lead to relapse.

Triggers from People, Places, and Things
Certain people, places, and things can trigger a relapse if they remind the person of their addiction. In some cases, all three of these may have to be removed from the individual’s life if they expose the person to a significant risk of relapse.

An example of a place, an alcoholic would not want to go to dinner in a bar that they drank at every day, where their old drinking buddies would be, and their favorite chair. In that case, all three areas of triggers would be involved.

Relapse is an Opportunity Not an Expectation
There are triggers that can jeopardize your sobriety; however, with a little instruction, the whole situation can be turned into a positive. In early recovery, the person should be made aware of what triggers are and have help to identify their patterns of addiction and relapse…

Relapse is an opportunity to learn what a person’s triggers are so that they can be identified by the substance abuser and prevent the next relapse. Some say that relapse is an expected part of recovery, that’s a mistake! Relapse is always a possibility in recovery; however, it shouldn’t be expected, when we teach people that, we set them up to fail.

Balance is Key
Balance is a key part of the recovery process, learning what we can do and cannot do and live in sobriety. Education, awareness, and prevention will assist the newcomers in recovery to understand the process of what genuine recovery means, avoiding all of the pitfalls that triggers may lead to on a daily basis by recognizing them and not allowing them to have power in your life of recovery. 

Yes, triggers can jeopardize your sobriety, the good news is through education and awareness, you can prevent triggers from ever having power in your life. By taking the time to identify triggers and understand them, you can avoid situations that may have led you to relapse because of triggers in the past. You have empowered yourself and taken the power away from the triggers, great job!

Recovery is a lifelong process.
We all make mistakes along the way, that’s alright, as long as we learn from them.

Pathological Gambling is a terrible disease that is becoming more and more of a problem in the United States. More teens are gambling than ever before in our history, more older Americans are becoming problem gamblers as well.

Don’t gamble your life away, bet on you, your family, and God!

May you have a wonderful journey as you walk in the sunlight of the spirit! ©2020 Rev. Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin Ph.D.


The Official Gambling Addiction Christian Recovery Coaches Workbook by [Coughlin Ph.D., Rev. Dr. Kevin T.]
This and all books by Kevin Coughlin Available on Amazon




ABOUT THE AUTHOR & ADDICTION EXPERT

Rev. Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin Provincial Superintendent, Ph.D.,
DCC, DDVA, DLC, DD, NCIP, NCAMP, IMAC,
International- Best-Selling Author and Award-Winning Poet has dedicated his life to helping others. Through Education, Awareness, and Prevention Rev. Coughlin has helped thousands of individuals who were afflicted with the disease of addiction, their families, and loved ones.

He has trained hundreds of professionals in the addiction recovery industry and in the professional coaching arena. He has decades of life experience, education, work-related experience; however, perhaps the most valuable information that Rev. Dr. Coughlin possesses that sits atop of his incredible resume is wisdom.

Reverend Dr. Coughlin is the Founder of The Professional’s International Institute of Higher Learning Online and Phase Two Christian Coaching, LLC. He was a Founder and Board Member of New Beginning Ministry, Inc., a non-profit, twelve-step residential addiction recovery program for adults, he served for two decades. Rev. Coughlin has helped thousands of individuals and their families to change their lives over the past twenty-plus years.

He is an Addiction Expert, Award-Winning Poet, an International-Best-Selling author, his books, journals, and manuals are used in the United States and other Countries by professionals, individuals, and facilities. With over 44+ published works, the author resides in PA.


CONNECT with Kevin Coughlin on Social Media!

Rev. Kevin T Coughlin on AMAZON BOOKS
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Rev Kev Network – LinkedIn
FACEBOOK -REV KEV Author

Rev Dr Kevin T Coughlin PhD, Beach Lake PA
All Kevin’s Book Available in E-book & Paperback
Amazon and Barnes & Noble Online

I Continue To Support My Friend & Founder, Ronda Hatefi of ‘Oregonians for Gambling Awareness’ As Sept. 29th, 2020 is Oregon’s “Problem Gamblers Awareness Day”. . .

I Continue To Support My Friend & Founder, Ronda Hatefi of ‘Oregonians for Gambling Awareness’ As Sept. 29th, 2020 is Oregon’s “Problem Gamblers Awareness Day”. . .

July of 1995 changed our lives forever.

My 28 year old brother Bobby could no longer handle the addiction of gambling. 


He chose to take his own life after his calls for help failed.
~Ronda Hafemann-Hatefi

In Memoriam ~ Bobby Hafemann


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I have always been a firm believer that God brings people in our lives for a reason and a purpose. This is how I feel about my dear friend Ronda Hafemann-Hatefi. I have been blessed since the day we met, while I was still living in Southern Oregon as Ronda still resides in Oregon.

Just as her ‘Facebook Introduction reads about her, “I am a Wife, Momma, Grammy, Auntie, Friend, and advocate. And I believe GOD is good all the time.

That tells you a lot about who she is and what’s most important to her. Ronda and I have been advocating about problem gambling recovery together for many years, a while after my book released and my recovery journey was transforming into several year’s.

Ronda became an advocate for one fundamental reason. But I will share her written words as to WHY …I was lucky enough to survive both my suicide attempts, and I am always aware that many do not. Here is a little more about who my dear friend, Ronda Hatefi is and how and why she advocates to share help and hope to those with Gambling Problems …

Image may contain: 9 people, people smiling, people standing, outdoor and nature



Ronda Hatefi founded Oregonians for Gambling Awareness Organization in 1995.  Chair of Lane County Problem Gambling Advisory Committee since 2003, and member of Lane County Mental Health Promotions Board, (formally called Suicide Prevention Committee) for 10 years.   

Ronda has petitioned and received a signed proclamation by the Governor of Oregon every year since 1997, declaring September 29th, 2020 as Problem Gamblers Awareness Day. She had the first recognized day for problem gambling in the United States which laid the ground work for a National Problem Gamblers Awareness Week in March. 

Ronda has received a Champion in Volunteer award from Lane County, Oregon and a Leadership and Dedication for Problem Gambling Awareness award from Oregon Health Authority.


Honoring Bobby & Sharing Hope From Problem Gambling


P.G.A.D.
O.G.A.O.

P.G.A.D is Problem Gamblers Awareness Day, which is September 29th, in honor of Bobby’s birthday. Ronda has petitioned and received a signed proclamation by the Governor of Oregon every year since 1997. This was the first recognized day for Problem Gambling in the United States, and helped to create National Problem Gamblers Awareness Week in March each year.


OREGON GAMBLING HOTLINE:
1 – 877 – 695 – 4648
1 – 877 – MY – LIMIT

The National Problem Gambling Helpline
1-800-522-4700.
National Helpline is confidential and available 24 hours a day.


THE STORY – THE BEGINNING


My Mom was happily married to my Dad for 54 years, they had 5 children, and 10 grandchildren. Bob had a big circle of support around him. 

We have learned now how we could have better supported him, by educating ourselves. We thought that by making him realize what he was doing, or by helping him find a new “hobby” that he would be okay.

What we didn’t understand is that his illness did not allow him to feel or see the support we offered.  It was not as simple as, “find a new hobby.”

He was a good person, with good values, morals, great strength, and he was very intelligent. 
He was also a very compulsive person. He did everything with 110% effort. He was a one friend person, video games captivated him, he played to win, he worked so hard at every job, he wanted to be the best. When he gambled it was no different. 


He first gambled when he was 18, he won $500 on a scratch ticket.  He liked the idea of quick and easy money.  He gambled from there on a little bit here and a little bit there.  He played the Oregon Megabucks and scratch tickets mostly for the next few years. But in 1991, the Oregon Lottery video poker was introduced and quickly took over his life.

After playing video poker, within the four short years, he changed from being a very conscientious person who always paid his bills, had money in his pocket, and many nice things. He then became someone who had to borrow money from anyone who would give it to him. He pawned his valuables, kipped bills, and started writing bad checks. He was so ashamed and angry with himself for getting into this position.

Bobby didn’t want to hear what we all would tell him repeatedly that he withdrew from the family all together. He stopped coming to the family gatherings, birthdays, and holidays. He felt that he didn’t want to be there if he couldn’t buy gifts to give.

He went to our Mom on Mother’s Day 1995, and he told her that he didn’t understand what was wrong. He had called the Oregon Gambling Hotline for help and, the State said to him that what he was doing was entertainment, but for Bobby, it wasn’t fun anymore. He wasn’t eating, couldn’t sleep, and was angry all the time. He knew that he needed help, but didn’t know where to turn. Our Mom made some phone calls and got him started in counseling in June.

Unfortunately, it was unsuccessful. The State of Oregon had pulled all the gambling treatment offerings at that time, saying that it was contradicting to call it entertainment when you may become addicted. Bobby’s gambling treatment counselor diagnosed him as depressed, not knowing how to council a gambling addict. She prescribed Prozac, told him to get back into hobbies and the things he used to enjoy, and released him after just a few visits. They prescribed meds for his depression, but not being monitored. We found out later that he quit taking them early on.

THEN?

The Phone Call …

On July 22nd, 1995, we got the call that my Dad and two nephews had found our Bobby dead. It is a day of so much emotion for me. I started my morning so excited to go to Portland to surprise Bob at his company picnic. The excitement turned to sheer terror when the phone rang. Our brother EJ asked to talk to my husband; I knew right then that Bobby was gone. I am not sure why I knew that because I had no idea he had thought about ending his life.

I do not remember getting ready to go or the ride to Milwaukie, OR. What I do remember is seeing my parents waiting for us in their driveway. The looks on their faces will be with me forever. My Mom was so angry when Bobby (Hafemann) died; she wrote his obituary listing his death as suicide, thanks to the Oregon Lottery …

Bobby Hafemann

########

If Ronda’s story of her beloved brother Bobby has touched you, resonates with you?

I urge you to visit her website to read “the rest of the story” here: https://www.ogao.org/the-story/ …I also kindly ask if you would either or both re-blogg this post or link on your WP site or share using my social media share buttons through your social media? In unity we may raise more awareness together and reach someone’s loved one who has a gambling problem.

Please, don’t wait to give them HOPE and get them HELP or even talk to them about it.


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Since Bobby’s passing, Ronda has worked hard to keep Bobby’s memory alive. She does it by bringing action, change, and solutions to problem gambling while raising awareness about this cunning disease and addiction and suicide awareness as it took her brother. And just like myself and Bobby, 1 in 5 will try suicide.

It is why gambling addiction is claiming more lives by suicide than any other addiction. It’s why I would appreciate you visiting Ronda’s website and see how you can help with a possible Donation, help share her message of Hope and in Memorium of Bobby and many others.

Let’s help those still suffering in silence from problem gambling by giving them an ear to listen, and let them know they can recover! Bobby Hafemann’s birthday is September 29th, 2020


###########

More Articles About Bobby Hafemann & Connect With Her on FB
https://www.facebook.com/OGAOrg/

https://mailtribune.com/business/family-believes-gambling-led-to-suicide

https://www.oregonpgs.org/92908-problem-gamblers-awareness-day/

https://betfreerecoverynow.wordpress.com/2016/09/06/coming-the-end-of-sept-the-2nd-annual-national-week-of-action-to-stop-predatory-gambling-and-ronda-hatefi/amp/


 

How To Handle Roadblocks & Challenges or Even After a Relapse On Your Road To Recovery…

Recovery Quotes & Addiction Quotes - iRecover

……
When we begin our recovery path, there might be times we feel like we can’t move past those speed bumps or the hurdles during this journey. I would search for the answers to why I’d feel stuck and think, how do I move forward?

Why do I get a stretch of abstinence and then relapse?

What if I’m not strong enough not to cave in to cravings, urges, and triggers?

What can I do not to RELAPSE?

These are excellent questions and concerns we all have to face while maintaining our recovery journey. Some can be quick fixes, or some may mean you have more work to do within your recovery path. See, recovery is not only a life long process, and it does come to us in phases. Our redemption from gambling addiction is ever-evolving as we grow and gain the wisdom to know we can not control our gambling.

So we explore all have the options to choose how we begin to live our lives in a healthy way and away from gambling addiction or any addiction really.

……

115 Recovery & Addiction Quotes for Daily Inspiration & Positive ...

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First, I would remind everyone I have an excellent Relapse Prevention Guide here everyone can copy and paste this little workbook Relapse Prevention Guide…

Next is doing the “work” that is asked of you while you begin to learn the tools and the skills that will save your life. Next is being diligent in using all the tools you learn. It’s Not complicated. But, still, many can struggle as they begin the journey. We have choices to pick from to start our path of recovery. It may be a 12-Step Program, Faith-Based Program, or something altogether different. You may want an in-patient treatment center program or an outpatient treatment program that offers therapy or counseling, whatever you feel is right and comfortable for you even though moving away from addiction is uncomfortable.

I advocate much throughout social media. I see many disagreements going on within groups and others wanting to force how they chose how to recover and what works for them onto others who may just be looking for help or support within recovery. I’ve read on Facebook the never-ending battles play out of those who only chose a 12-Step Program all by itself, and it got them clean, sober, or gamble free.

I would be suspect of this and not fair of those to force their choices on others. What others disagree on is,  what long-term recovery is, and how many years you need to have to use this term. Loads of different disagreements and that is not what maintaining recovery and doing our work is all about. And for those in early recovery, seeing others get “Called Out” can also be a source of relapse to see such discord.

……
Relapse | Psychology Today

My feelings are and just my OWN OPINIONS. Look, as long as you have the desire to stop gambling, knowing it is making your life unmanageable? It should be your choice alone or with your family of what works and is comfortable for you. Now, you have now chosen your treatment path. You’ll begin to realize and come to terms with the recovery work you’ll need to do in the first few years of this journey.

You’ll start to learn and gain the skills and tools required to interrupt the “cycle” of addiction, which is an essential part of this process. Becoming educated and informed about this disease while digging deeper into acknowledging the roots and underlying issues that had you turn to addicted gambling for a few hours of solace, or trying to not feel anything for a few hours.

As I started my recovery work and therapy, it became clear to me it was the pain from my childhood trauma and sexual abuse as some of those roots and why I was gambling and looking for relief from the old haunting pain and hurtful memories. Let me end with a little Facebook experiment I did a few weeks ago with a newer recovery blog post I wrote and shared on my FB recovery page.

I then did a FB Boosted Post advertising to direct FB users to my recovery blog to read this new post. I targeted the ad to the states of Oregon, California, Florida, and here in Arizona.

Here is how it performed and told me there are many problem gamblers out there still needing help and HOPE.

The post was seen and reached:
3,564  FB users
Engagement and Clicks: 231  FB Users
42.7% were Women of Age 45+
57.3% were Men of Age 55+

I was pretty shocked at these results, and the ad ran for only three days. It sure tells me I got a lot more advocacy work to do and to share hope and resources with those who have a gambling problem … ~Catherine

Some Solid Advice Instead of Gambling Your Money Away …

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Gambling-Quotes-Double-Money

Ryan Hampton of Recovery Advocacy Project Needs Our Help With Answers To Their Poll. Share Your Voice & Opinions!

Ryan Hampton of Recovery Advocacy Project Needs Our Help With Answers To Their Poll. Share Your Voice & Opinions!

WELCOME RECOVERY POSSE & Friends,

Thank you for visiting today and I hope you will give a few minutes of your time.

My amazing recovery friend and advocate, Ryan Hampton is at it again making sure addiction, recovery, and mental health issues are on the ballot this coming general election.

Isn’t time we make sure these important issues and topics make it to Washington, D.C., to be heard for changes to be made?
I do too!
Here is a way everyone “touched” by addiction and mental health challenges can have their voices heard by taking this POLL.
How do voters feel about addiction and recovery in politics?

Here are all the details and just “Click Here”… All poll responses will be anonymous. Please click here to participate.

Thanks, Recovery Warriors! 
Advocate, Catherine Lyon 😺🦁✝💞💞

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mail

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Dear Catherine,

We need your help. The Recovery Advocacy Project is conducting a poll to share with policymakers and elected officials–and your participation will help us make the case for increased services for addiction and mental health recovery support.
All poll responses will be anonymous. Please click here to participate.

Do you think addiction and mental health recovery has been a key issue for the candidates running in Arizona?

We’re asking voters like you to take this quick online poll to share their thoughts on this topic ahead of the upcoming elections. We can’t wait to share the results with you and our policymakers–but we need your help by participating today!

There are only a few days left to complete this poll. Take a look at the questions and submit your thoughts here.

Thank you for your support.

#########

Now that election day is in 97 days. It’s critical that we keep addiction and mental health recovery front-and-center for all candidates. And there are several ways you can help!

This past weekend, we were out canvassing and educating voters with the Recovery Advocacy Project—focusing on addiction and mental health recovery as issues that must be priorities for candidates and elected officials. The Recovery Advocacy Project (RAP) is a network of people and organizations across the country advocating for addiction recovery policies.

RAP is committed to giving people in recovery, family members, and supporters of recovery the grassroots organizing tools to think and act locally. RAP is working to build a visible and effective constituency in demand of the community and public policy based solutions in response to America’s long-standing addiction crisis. You can learn more and get involved in your state this election cycle by going here

This past Friday, I published a blog in Medium outlining many of the challenges our community faces with the dueling COVID-19 public health crisis. Massive budget cuts to addiction health services in several states risk 27 million American lives.

Now is the time for our community to stand up, get involved, and make our voices heard!

And lastly, there are only a few days left to register and join advocates and families from across the country via Zoom from August 18-20th for Mobilize Recovery. While the official application deadline has passed, we have a few open slots left for digital participation.

Mobilize Recovery will be a great start for any person desiring to learn more about how they can get involved to make an impact in their local community this election. Please add your name here today if you’re able to join us. Registration is free but requires a commitment to attend and participate for all 3 days of the online event.

Thanks, Catherine for all you do for our community!
All The Best,
Ryan Hampton

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Sharing Some Facts, Stats, and Personal Experiences. Problem Gambling 101. No Substances Required For This Addiction.

Sharing Some Facts, Stats, and Personal Experiences. Problem Gambling 101. No Substances Required For This Addiction.

 

If there is one thing I know inside and out?

It’s problem and addicted gambling on an intimate level and how this progressive disease is baffling and the building into a full-blown addiction. How it becomes a slow shift from being a once-in-a-while gambler to obsessive out-of-control addict! And how it got me years ago when having lots of time on my hands. While my husband was working out of town a lot. Being bored after work not wanting to go home to an empty house. It then became my only fun and excitement in life at that time back in late 1996. As it really ramped up all of 1997 and beyond.

It then progressed from there and my life wouldn’t be the same as it got “UGLY” for many years. All that can be read within my first book. That was the purpose of having my journals printed in book form and became a memoir titled; “Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and Cheat.” It isn’t how to recovery from this addiction, it is the WHY and HOW of being a gambling addict.

After two times through a county health gambling treatment program, two failed suicide attempts, living with undiagnosed mental health disorders for years, finally properly diagnosed and  finally on the road maintaining recovery is when I learned some of the “ROOTS” and underlying issues to my addiction. Toward the end and about 7 months before treatment, lead me to abuse alcohol because addicted gambling alone was becoming, “Not Enough.”

Being informed, educated, and knowledgable about this illness was, for me, important since I now advocate about this disease that cost me way more than money wasted. I tell my sponsees it almost took my life, twice.  Now does that sound like gambling is just all about FUN, Games, and Entertainment? Not to those who become addicted.

So, courtesy of Wikipedia and “Gamblers Anonymous Site” — and in order for those to understand this disease who have NO experienced it or have not been “touched” by any addiction? I ask…

…..

What Is Addiction?

Addiction is when the body or mind badly wants or needs something in order to work right. (Cravings, Urges, and Triggers)…When you suffer addiction to something it is called being addicted or being an addict. People can be addicted to drugs, gambling, smoking, alcohol, coffee, , porn, and many other things.

When somebody is addicted to something, they can become sick if they do not get the thing they are addicted to. But taking more of the thing they are addicted to can also hurt their health. Some people who are addicts need to go to a doctor, hospital, or treatment to cure the addiction, so they no longer crave (want or need) …

……..

What Is Problem Gambling or Addicted Gambling?

Problem gambling is an urge to gamble continuously despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop. Problem gambling is often defined by whether harm is experienced by the gambler or others, rather than by the gambler’s behavior.

Severe problem gambling may be diagnosed as clinical pathological gambling if the gambler meets certain criteria. Pathological gambling is a common disorder that is associated with both social and family costs.

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26151960-gambling-addiction-concepts-word-cloud-illustration-word-collage-concept
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Other Names Ludomania, gambling addiction, compulsive gambling

 

A DSM-5 has re-classified the condition as an addictive disorder, with sufferers exhibiting many similarities to those who have substance addictions. The term gambling addiction has long been used in the recovery movement.[1] Pathological gambling was long considered by the American Psychiatric Association to be an impulse control disorder rather than an addiction.
However, data suggest a closer relationship between pathological gambling and substance use disorders than exists between PG and obsessive-compulsive disorder, largely because the behaviors in problem gambling and most primary substance use disorders (i.e. those not resulting from a desire to “self-medication” for another condition such as depression) seek to activate the brain’s reward mechanisms while the behaviors characterizing obsessive-compulsive disorder are prompted by overactive and misplaced signals from the brain’s fear mechanisms.

Problem gambling is an addictive behavior with a high comorbidity with alcohol problems. A common feature shared by people who suffer from gambling addiction is impulsivity. (Mine so happened to be for Escaping or Coping with old childhood trauma).


Signs and symptoms

In order to be diagnosed, an individual must have at least four of the following symptoms in a 12-month period:

  • Needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement
    ….
  • Is restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling
    ….
  • Has made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling
    …..
  • Is often preoccupied with gambling (e.g., having persistent thoughts of reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble)
    ……
  • Often gambles when feeling distressed (e.g., helpless, guilty, anxious, depressed)
    …..
  • After losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even (“chasing” one’s losses)
    …..
  • Lies to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling
    ……
  • Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, education or career opportunity because of gambling
    …….
  • Relies on others to provide money to relieve desperate financial situations caused by gambling

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I experienced all of the above from my gambling addiction and continued to get even MORE SEVERE! Did I use household money to gamble? YES. Did I gamble my paycheck in a few hours? YES. Did I steal and lie to get money to gamble? YES… AND MORE. It is a cunning sick addiction and disease.

THEN CAME? Suicide attempts!

,,,,,,,
Suicide is a permanent solution to what is a temporary problem ...

……..
Suicide Rates

The gambler who does not receive treatment for pathological gambling when in his or her desperation phase may contemplate SUICIDE. Problem gambling is often associated with increased Suicidal Ideation and attempts compared to the general population. 1 in 5 will try suicide. Early-onset of problem gambling increases the lifetime risk of suicide. However, gambling-related suicide attempts are usually made by older people with problem gambling.

A 2010 Australian hospital study found that 17% of suicidal patients admitted to the Alfred Hospital’s emergency department were problem gamblers. In the United States, a report by the National Council on Problem Gambling showed approximately one in five pathological gamblers attempt suicide.

The council also said that suicide rates among pathological gamblers were higher than any other addictive disorder.  2.6% of people living in the United States are now problem gamblers. According to the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, evidence indicates that pathological gambling is an addiction similar to chemical addiction.


Studies have compared pathological gamblers to substance addicts, concluding that addicted gamblers display more physical symptoms during withdrawal. A myth needing known. Addicted gamblers DO go through a Detox and Withdrawal period. Deficiencies in serotonin might also contribute to compulsive behavior, including a gambling addiction.

 

Lastly, the Pathological Part of this ADDICTION:

Several psychological mechanisms are thought to be implicated in the development and maintenance of problem gambling.

First, reward processing seems to be less sensitive to problem gamblers.
Second, some individuals use problem gambling as an escape from the problems in their lives.

Third, personality factors play a role, such as narcissism, risk-seeking, sensation-seeking, and impulsivity.

Fourth, problem gamblers suffer from a number of cognitive biases, including the illusion of control, unrealistic optimism, overconfidence and the gambler’s fallacy, which is (the incorrect belief that a series of random events tends to self-correct so that the absolute frequencies of each of various outcomes balance each other out).

Fifth, problem gamblers represent a chronic state of a behavioral spin process, a gambling spin, as described by the criminal spin theory…

If you want more in-depth information about gambling addiction there is more informative information at Wikipedia here: about problem and addicted gambling.

~Advocate/Author, Catherine Lyon

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Gambling-Quotes-Double-Money

Part-Two of P W Robinson’s Emailed Letters to The City of Oxnard. Sharing His Voice and Concerns of Less Homeless Services, Unsafe and Unhealthy Encampments. The Paradise Project Could Be An Answer …Real Advocacy.

Part-Two of P W Robinson’s Emailed Letters to The City of Oxnard. Sharing His Voice and Concerns of Less Homeless Services, Unsafe and Unhealthy Encampments. The Paradise Project Could Be An Answer …Real Advocacy.

 

 

 

In part one I shared an email written by my friend Peter Robinson. In regards to a meeting that was taking place with several officials of the City of Oxnard, CA., Peter wanted to write and share his voice and concerns about the many continuing problems he thinks need to addressed in Oxnard and within Ventura County for the people who need proper living and services like food, showers, and more.

You may also recall I had written some articles earlier this year about this same area in California from another person who was claiming to be an “Advocate for the Homeless” and forcing those he felt were responsible for the homeless to help them and be “Accountable” to do so.

That was then. I write “then” because he and and I are no longer connected or in contact. When you read Peter’s (PW) personal experiences and interactions in this “Part Two Letter,” P W shares why many us who tried to help Mr. Martinez, by being caring, kind, and mentoring him.

The problem I had is ‘you can’t HELP SOMEONE Who Is Not willing to help themselves’ and when you cling to motives of doing things for your own validation and it all being really about how one looks to others which seems important to him. Look, there is no “I” in the words “TEAM or Self-Sabotage”…I did and will always wish him the best.

And, yes, Mr. Martinez was the person who introduced me to Peter (P W ) Robinson and Peter and I speak often. Peter’s ideas and thinking outside the box are a ‘breath of fresh air’ when it comes to helping those with no place to live, the services they need, and knows why first-hand. Because he currently lives in a shelter at Mercy House in Oxnard…  ~Catherine

…..


(Peter’s Residence at Mercy House – Oxnard Navigation Center)

 

Peter shared with me ‘who’ is (P W) Robinson

Here is his (P W) words describing who he is and how he wants to help!

I am a 60-year-old white male, legally disabled with/from Bipolar and ADHD, becomes despondent, finally seeks in-patient help, finds new meds, reconnects with God Almighty, is cured of trauma and re-launched …Then suddenly I became homeless.

I’ve dedicated my time to learning all the theories and methodologies around the issue, met and interacted with the homeless–from the streets of Las Vegas to a V.C. in a homeless shelter under quarantine during this pandemic, and has written extensively about the experience for two years.

Now building the Paradise Project in order to help cure and end homelessness in the USA…   ~P W Robinson

OrmondBeachProjectMap

 

Recent legislations vs. the homeless By Peter Robinson

I’ve read the minutes from the Autumn 2019 council vote, and can report that each City Council member used a specific compound phrase before voting, ‘purely punitive’. Not just punitive. ‘Purely’, or ‘only’, or ‘just’…punitive…is what they all said before voting for increased harassment.

In your own, very specific words, we’re being punished for not having a home. And as long as the public bathrooms remain locked in Oxnard–18 months and counting–any printed complaints of outdoor bodily functions are moot, dishonest, and just plain evil.

The Advocate Concept

Now would be a great time for everyone to understand the opposing opinions and methodologies on combating homelessness, as well as to establish a working definition of the word ‘advocate’ going forward.

noun

/ˈadvəkət/

a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy. “he was an untiring advocate of economic reform”

Similar:
champion
upholder
supporter
backer
promoter
proponent
exponent
protector
patron
spokesman for
spokeswoman for
spokesperson for
speaker for
campaigner for
fighter for
battler for
crusader for
missionary
reformer
pioneer
pleader
apostle
apologist
booster
plugger
critic
Opposite:


“I’m P. W. Robinson. I’m an advocate for the homeless. I write and tirelessly advocate for those who have nothing”…

Paul W. & Mr. Martinez, Advocates?, my experiences and their ways can each be defined in many different ways, but ‘advocates for the homeless’, they are certainly not. Paul, at least, doesn’t pitch himself that way, but Lang does.  Not only am I homeless and immersed in this world, but I’ve also studied the issues, both locally and at the national level. I’ve immersed myself in the study of homeless shelter theory, and have personally experienced and witnessed the day to day operations of several shelters.

Additionally, my previous work experience includes decades of leadership in the areas of business building and start-ups, as well as the staffing, training, motivating, and managing of human capital. “Everything I’ve learned–both before and since I became homeless–has taught me that there are no lost causes in the pool of human beings.

“With love, we rise and continue to rise. Without love, we wither and eventually die.” 

I think everyone alive should read the email exchanges I recently had with Paul W, one of the local go-to homeless policy-shapers. It wasn’t private, and it should be read by anyone hoping to learn more about our topics, and how each side presents itself. They carries trauma, I don’t. He has made his work about hurting people he doesn’t understand the first thing about.

What should also be read are my exchanges with Mr. Martinez, an individual I reached out to work with until I realized that he is not for us at all, and in fact  seems to hates the homeless with a seething rage that seems to know no limits. His ‘advocacy’ for the less fortunate is purely a media creation, and he’s known for performing in front of the press on field trips, to establish his false narrative. But always two sides to receptions.

……
Homeless Human Man - Free photo on Pixabay

 

He seems to dedicate himself to diminishing the resources and life experience of local homeless folks. He remains in constant “Anger and Resentment” and all others remain his victims of choice. Many homeless folks around here are physically terrified of him because they know him. He was a thug before he ever hit the streets, some kind of monster while out here, and remains traumatized and raging against his victims of choice.

See if you can find ‘terrorizing’ listed among the above actions of an advocate. He’s just another resentful guy who hates the less fortunate, pretty run of the mill around here. Did you know that at the shelter people routinely stop and laugh at us after hitting us with their cars? Stigma is still real and only here, I’m pretty sure. He has promised me many, many times, to “get the shelter closed down”, both in maniacal, screaming voice calls and messages, and childlike, ALL CAPS emails and texts.

Recently Mr. martinez told me he ‘saved’ a rape victim on the condition that he’d get press coverage for doing it, which he did, helped her get into this shelter I live in at Mercy House, then relentlessly harassed her after her admittance, to the point that she refused his calls, so he kept calling me.

Pin on More Of The Word

 

She was trying to heal, get some peace and some rest, but I could never get him to understand that. He wanted her to coordinate her story with him, for reasons that are his alone. How sick is that? “As always–always, with no exceptions–it’s only about Lang.” Just as it is with his laughable, fake-journalist alter-ego ‘Jeff Anderson’, he is as transparent as any demon I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen plenty.

Maybe you all enable him to say and do whatever he wants–and never be accountable for any of it–because he says what you want to hear about us. Or maybe there’s money in it. Who knows? It’s odd, to be sure. If Lang would like to dispute any portion of my assessment of either him or our relationship, I stand ready with dozens of written and screamed pieces of evidence.

There will come a time, probably pretty soon, when he is dragged out into the open and exposed. He knows I love him, and I hope he finds some kind of peace in his life. I’d have ignored him if he didn’t laugh so hard when he makes these threats against my family.

What’s most important right now?

This time, these moments, each day, right now, July 2020…

Anyone with eyes can see that this game is coming to a conclusion: it’s the end-game, if not end times. The war is fully engaged, and good and evil are openly taking sides. God Almighty and His Angels vs.the little guy and his little demons. A mismatch as always, but it’s never easy. It isn’t supposed to be. The teams we’re each playing for are clearly revealed in our words and actions each day.

Listen to your heart–the largest part of you will always be pure love, as all of us were made. The very best thing that each of us can do every day is love. Love everybody. Tell them you love them if you can, show them if you can’t say it. Tell a homeless person, who never hears it.

“The ‘highest homeless death rate in the nation’ is a real thing, meticulously researched, and leads to only one conclusion: hate kills. I swear, I thought I’d uncover a serial killer–which would have been a far preferable conclusion to what is clear now: hate alone can kill.”

I’ve recently demonstrated my commitment to healing by standing down during the recent protests, rather than presenting all the local cop abuse of the homeless to the gathering mob. I did that because I live here, and will live here in V.C., and I intend to live in the most loving and compassionate community on the face of the planet. It might take a minute or two.

The hatred directed at anyone right now simply helps the devil do his work. Dumping hundreds of homeless on the streets here will allow you to set unprecedented death rates, records that may never be broken. So, there’s that.

Please continue to show support to the Mercy House projects as we work toward better, more innovative, and compassionate solutions to this societal burden.

The 24hr/low-barrier concept is essential, make no mistake, but isn’t flawless. Mercy House will continue to grow its services as the environment dictates. building and can always be refined. Let me know if you would like my contribution of any kind, including generating positive P.R. pieces, grant proposals, and the like. I will happily engage in discussions about the issues at any time, in any venue.

More than that, let’s form an alliance, some combination of private donors, and allocated city funds. I will be fundraising as soon as I‘m released from quarantine. Let’s join together as friends and allies. We have only 1600 here, we can, quite literally, end that. I’ll bet we can get a parcel of land somewhere if we purchase it.

The Paradise Project will be a 30-day in-patient, 24 persons to a wing, a locked-down program aimed at restoring the homeless to functioning members of society, so they can stand on their own and resume their lives. It’s healing first, then housing at the end, and is not only cost-effective in operation, but it will also quickly produce positive cash flow.

It’ll be a reality series that demonstrates actual ‘miracles’ in real-time, human beings rising from the depths of hopelessness. It will also recognize and celebrate the healers and their healing arts, each of whom will be healers of Ventura County.

We’ll have superstars rising from day one, exerting their influence in their fields. It’ll be based out of Ventura County, and will be recognized internationally for its healing properties.

It’s also, to be sure, an upcoming financial opportunity for those initial investors in the Paradise communities. I’ll never ask for an interest-free loan or any kind of small donations for the healing Project, it funds another way, but the communities themselves represent an investment opportunity with limited risk.

None of the TDC projects are non-profit–we pay for our initiatives ourselves by merchandising and selling access, we turn our profit into the growth of other charitable projects. We’re our own biggest donor, self-perpetuating, synergistic. It’s the business of charity.  I’ll probably have to bring this project before the public all by myself, due to local press hostility, and am prepared to do so in a variety of ways.

In the end, we’ll be judged on the quality of our mercy, and how we treated the least fortunate among us. As always, everyone will receive their just reward.

My message will always be love, only love. 
Peter (P. W.) Robinson

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Homeless People File Class-Action Lawsuit Against the City of San ...

 

Don’t Human Beings Deserve Much Better Than This?

 

 

Don’t Relapse Now During This Pandemic and Unrest Happening Around Us. Recovery Guest Featured Article…

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I had just received my digital magazine from one of the most informative recovery reads I enjoy and learn so much from called The Fix. When I saw this headline, I said to myself this one needs to be shared out. So, here I am sharing it with all of my recovery posses.

I am sharing it since we seem to be in this pandemic of COVID-19 and I feel, for a long while and we who maintain recovery from any addiction besides gambling don’t “DO” isolation very well. We need to have human contact and be with others. We crave that comradery with other like-minded folks who are also maintaining recovery so we know we are not alone and feel supported. So let’s read what The Fix says about NOT Relapsing Now.  ~Catherine Lyon, Advocate

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Don’t Relapse Now

By John Teufel 05/27/20

Time has stopped, life has paused, why can’t sobriety pause too?

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Make Your Own DIY Crochet Mask Covers | 8News

 

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Reader, I will make a deal with you. I will talk to you like an adult and say some uncomfortable things. I won’t be your sponsor and I won’t throw the Big Book at your face. But in exchange, you need to promise me you’ll read this to the end. No skips, no tag outs, no skimmy skims. Okay? Okay, great.

I understand the urge to relapse right now.
I’m feeling it too.

A lot of us have severely diminished responsibilities – my work has nearly dried up. I hate the Zoom meetings, which feel like impersonal shadow plays where I have to stare at my new fat face. All our other distractions that can’t be done from the couch have been canceled.

My normie friends are mixing up quarantinis before the 5 o’clock news starts. Most importantly, we are all being treated to a daily blast of death, inequity, and press conferences where a poorly tanned moron tells us to shoot up with bleach. It is so much. It is a daily mental weight that is difficult to bear even on the best days.

“If you are saying to yourself, maybe I can’t hold out on this, maybe I am going to break, that is a sane response. It is, in some ways, a rational response. Time has stopped, life has paused, why can’t sobriety pause too? If you are saying to yourself, maybe I can’t hold out on this, maybe I am going to break, that is a sane response.

It is, in some ways, a rational response. Time has paused, life has paused, why can’t sobriety pause too? The other day I found myself telling a friend that I won’t be jobless, locked down, without the beach (my favorite distraction), and sober. In full Scarlett O’Hara mode, I declared, “Sorry, but I won’t do it!” It felt good to say, the way forbidden things sometimes do. Total, unapologetic narcissism has its pleasures.”

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How to stay safe if going to park or beach during Covid-19 pandemic

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I could probably get away with it, too. I could probably go on a few-days bender and maybe my boyfriend would figure it out (he is sharp but that is the diseased thinking!),  and no one else would. I could even keep my day count! Why not?!? This is the sort of self-dealing I’ve been doing. I am so good at it. I am the Clarence Darrow of fucking my own shit up.

But it is wrong. I know it’s wrong. If you are having similar thoughts, you probably know they are wrong too. Even now, with life halted and pain and injustice ascendant, there are reasons both practical and metaphysical that it is crucial for you and me to keep our sober time. Even if every word we ever heard at an AA meeting was false, even if the Big Book itself is a decades-long scam to sell us on religion.

Practically, you are going to regret it. You know you are! Sorry, but you do. You are going to be annoyed, at the very least, that you need to restart your day count, which yes, you eventually will be forced to do because you won’t be able to lie to your support network for that long. Whatever bender you have in mind is going to come to an end, in what will feel like the blink of an eye, and all you’ll have left is regret and likely, a terrible headache or worse. You also, of course, might take it too far and die.

If things get really bad, as they very well may, people are going to know what you did and that is going to suck for you. Your family and friends are already extremely stressed out right now (just like you!) – the last thing they need is to hear that you relapsed, in your tiny apartment in some faraway city, and no one can travel to you to make sure you get it together. Your mom is going to cry.

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For COVID-19 Patients, Breathing Easier Could Be as Simple as ...

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On that note, if you need hospital care because you overdose or can’t stop, great, you are taxing an already overtaxed healthcare system and exposing yourself to COVID-19 at the same time. From a million different standpoints, any decision to relapse right now is selfish, even if it feels like the only person being punished is you.

Okay, who cares, right? I hear that. When I was first trying to get sober and in a relapse cycle, other people’s problems were some theoretical concern that was a not-close second to my immediate ego gratification. I did not give a shit, and honestly, I didn’t care much if I died, either. What worked for me, though, was spite – not giving my enemies the pleasure of seeing me fall.

Spite could be helpful right now.

Picture Donald Trump, in all his 300 pounds of dense mass, standing over you as you take that first drink. “I was always right,” he says without laughing, as he never laughs, “You’re weak. Libs like you, weak, lazy.” Do you want Donald Trump to think he’s better than you? He doesn’t care! He even doesn’t wear a mask!

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Trump hits out at China and Democrats at latest rally | Financial ...

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Students Trump Arizona rally Phoenix Stock Photos (Exclusive ...

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Trump Border Visit, Phoenix Rally | Arizona Daily Independent(MASKS??? ZERO In Arizona)

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How about the maskless crowds at his rallies who are just begging states to let them kill themselves, and each other? Should these yahoos and sociopaths be allowed to feel morally superior to you? Or picture a little closer to home. Do you want your douchebag ex to hear that you fucked up again? No, you do not.

The time we’ve all spent cooped up indoors losing our gourds has been an achievement that can be measured in days and lives saved. We’ve been doing this for well over thirty days now. In New York and elsewhere, we’ve flattened the curve but not in many other states like Arizona.  Your sobriety is the same.

It’s not some fungible commodity that can be lent out and borrowed back at will – it has a character in itself composed in part of a temporal element. Your sobriety after you relapse is not the same as your sobriety before. When you give it up, you give up the effort, sacrifice, things you can never get back. That might not feel important now, but it will feel devastating later.

Look, I am not Mr. Lockdown. I eat loaves of bread as a snack. I stay up most nights until 5 AM and I sleep till 11. I bleached my hair. I play Nintendo Switch and try to get one or two productive hours into a day. My sheets smell like farts. All of this is fine! You do what it takes to make it to the next day. The people doing pilates every morning, learning a second language, making OnlyFans, whatever – they are fine, too.

And it’s even fine to hate them!

“One day at a time” is a relentless cliché in sobriety circles. But right now, it feels appropriate, as all of the stupid sayings eventually do. The world is a miserable place, maybe always, definitely right now. Don’t add to the misery by giving in to the demons you fought so hard to keep at bay.

Be strong, stay home, save lives, stay sober. Good luck.

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Alcohol addiction: “I walked out of rehab and into a pandemic” - Vox

Special Guest Recovery Article By Sober Recovery Magazine …5 Key Components to Long-Term Recovery Success.

I welcome Sober Recovery back again with I feel is an important article share about moving into long-term recovery success and what it takes to achieve it. Written by By Toshia Humphries … I agree with Toshia and some of what I had to accomplish in order to reach my 13+years maintaining long-term recovery from gambling addiction and living with mental health challenges. But when you feel that freedom and peace?

It is worth the work you put into the journeyCatherine Lyon, Advocate

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Short-term success in recovery is rather straightforward.

It requires getting and staying sober for a short amount of time. Truthfully, this is something many active addicts are able to do. In fact, it’s one reason many refuse to refer to themselves as addicts; because they believe they can quit at any time, and they’ve usually successfully tested that hypothesis.

However, being able to quit for short periods of time doesn’t determine whether a person is or is not an addict any more than temporarily not having chest pains determines whether or not heart disease is present. Quitting isn’t the hard part—it’s staying sober and getting what is called real recovery that takes effort.

In other words, staying sober is just the tip of the iceberg. Real recovery is about dealing with the physical, spiritual, emotional, and/or psychological disconnect within the whole person, rather than just the resulting disease of addiction. As such, there are necessary components to employ and maintain in an effort to last in your new path.

Here are the 5 key components to help you achieve long-term success in recovery.

1. Accountability

Taking responsibility for your own actions and lack thereof is key to a successful recovery. It’s not just about making amends for obvious grievances. It is a realization of the responsibility we have to others, ourselves, and the Universe. Additionally, it is the opposite of living in ego; the ruler of active addiction.

2. Integrity

Having integrity is an integral part of recovery. With active addiction, lying, manipulation, and rationalizing negative behavior or thought-processes is rampant. To employ honesty, sincerity, and ethics (with others and yourself) is to align with recovery rather than relapse.

3. Life Skills

Acquiring life skills is essential for a successful recovery. A vast majority (if not all) life skills are inherently void during active addiction. Therefore, it is necessary to know how to be fully self-sufficient in recovery. Moreover, it is necessary to learn more than mere living skills but gain life skills; tools that assist you in thriving rather than merely surviving. So, learning healthy coping, communication, boundaries, etc. is key.

4. Personal Growth/Healing

Seeking personal growth and healing is most vital with regard to long-term success in recovery. Staying sober and avoiding relapse is much easier when you begin to deal with the underlying issues and triggers. Healing yourself holistically is the difference between simple sobriety and real recovery.

Because there is often a defensive response to the latter statement, consider this analogy: when a Type 2 diabetic gets their sugars under control by way of insulin but continues to eat poorly and fails to exercise, health issues will continue to arise and manifest in other diseases. So, even though the symptoms of the disease (diabetes) appear to be under control, the lifestyle isn’t. And, even more, the dysfunctional reasoning behind the lack of self-care is still very active and detrimental.

Addiction works the same way, as it too is a disease. And, if the underlying issues and holistic lifestyle changes are not made, real recovery is not achieved. Overall health issues will continue to pop up and manifest in other forms of dysfunction; something real recovery prevents.

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5. Spirituality

Because we are not merely human beings having a spiritual experience but spiritual beings having a human one, we must incorporate spirituality as a daily practice to keep ourselves holistically well. We cannot leave out any part of our being when addressing any disconnectedness that fed or damage incurred in active addiction. As such, seeking and maintaining a spiritual practice is necessary to avoid relapse and experience not only success in recovery but a sense of awakening and evolving to a new you.

Applying these five keys to success in recovery not only works to prevent relapse but aids in building a strong sense of character and being while evolving your soul and moving you onto the next part of your life’s journey.

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We’re With You from Start to Recovery

SoberRecovery is the leading online referral source for those seeking the best rehab facility centers. SoberRecovery is an unbiased resource not owned or operated by any treatment facility.

Why We’re Different:

  • We’re not subscribed to any one way of recovery.
  • We’re home to the largest online community that’s seeking addiction treatment resources.
  • We DO NOT engage in “Patient Brokering”: i.e. selling patient information to treatment facilities.
  • We’re a part of every stage of addiction recovery.

We’re with you from the start of your journey and through your recovery.

Featuring a directory of rehab centers across the globe, celebrity interviews, current news topics, advice from addiction experts, and a thriving online forum community of 175,000+ members, we’re encompassing every aspect of the recovery journey for our subscribers. VISIT Sober Recovery Today!

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Do You Have Still a Victim Mentality? You May Still Be Harboring Resentments, Anger, & Denial. Change Your Attitude is Part of Doing Your Recovery Work …

For those who begin their recovery journey, one thing is clear. If we don’t learn to “let go” of the “Victim Mentality” while doing our inside recovery work? It may keep getting in your way to grow within recovery. 

To keep moving forward within your recovery journey, we begin learning to let things go, begin to set boundaries, be open to accepting the fact that we can’t go back and adjust or change what has already happened while deep into our addiction.  It is easy to recognize the victim mentality in our friends or family, but it is hard to recognize it in ourselves.  When we feel powerless in our situations, we try to place the blame on something else to protect ourselves.

Even those who seem healthy and well-adjusted can be suffering silently with a victim mentality. Having a victim mentality can prevent us from growing as we don’t learn from our experiences, rather we separate ourselves from them and point fingers.

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Effects of Psychological and Emotional Manipulation | Peaks Recovery

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It also can hold us hostage and keep us from changing our situations, because we fail to recognize that we have the power to change our situations.  The victim mentality is very seductive; it offers affirmation, sympathy, a comfortable and quiet lifestyle, and removes responsibility from our lives.  However, it doesn’t offer peace, power, or progression.  So how do you know if you have a victim mentality? 

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Take the time to carefully consider the questions below.

When something goes wrong, do you blame someone else?

Are you still angry about something someone did to you in your past?

Do you feel powerless to change your life?

Do you believe that things will never change for you?

Do you feel unhappy?

Can you blame your unhappiness on others in your life?

Do you feel that if someone else changed something, then you would be happy?

Do you have a hard time forgiving others, including yourself?

Do you believe that your future holds mostly pain and sorrow? 

Are you afraid to take risks?

Do you frequently find excuses for your lifestyle (age, size, sex, education, background, etc.)?

Do you review your failures, mistakes, and shortcomings often?

Are you frustrated when friends offer you suggestions for how you can change?

Do you often begin phrases with “I cant..” or “I’m not got at…”

Are you thinking of someone else as you read these questions?

If you answered yes to 8 or more of these questions, you may be trapped in a victim mentality.

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Pin by Robyn on Quotes, Poems and LOL | Victim quotes, Victim ...

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HERE ARE WAYS TO BREAK FREE OF BEING A VICTIM

Recognize Where You Are

Most people who are trapped in a victim mentality do not even realize that they are.  They often turn to people who take advantage of them because they do not think they have a choice.  You need to recognize that the common denominator in your circumstances is you.  Only you have the ability to change your life, and you need to allow yourself to change.  Take the time to decide that you can let go of your victim mentality.  Stop thinking about how you have been wronged and start thinking about how you can move forward.  

Forgive

C.R. Strahan said “Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his crime. It has everything to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim–letting go of the pain and transforming oneself from victim to survivor.”

Forgiveness is not excusing or forgetting what happened, it is giving yourself the tools and ability to move forward.  Forgiveness is giving yourself permission to be ok even after you have experienced terrible suffering.  The person who has wronged you doesn’t even need to say sorry in order for you to forgive them, as forgiveness is not for them, but for you.  It is ok if forgiveness does not come immediately.
It takes time.  Be patient with yourself; emotional wounds take far longer to heal than physical ones.  For more help on learning to forgive, check out this blog.

Take Ownership and Responsibility

One of the key indicators of a person with a victim mentality is that they constantly blame everyone around them when things go wrong.  You need to take responsibility for your life. Stop blaming others and making excuses.  Start finding opportunities for growth.  You are in control of your life.  Instead of saying “I have to” or “I need to” (blaming situations for your actions) start saying “I’m choosing to”.  

Be Grateful and Serve

Be grateful for your circumstances, as someone always does have it worse.  There is always an opportunity to be found even in the hardest of trials and instead of asking “Why?” ask “What can I learn from this?”

Then, turn your focus outwards and find someone that you can help.  Volunteer in a soup kitchen, volunteer at an animal shelter, or simply write a heartfelt note to a friend.  Your life will feel more fulfilling and valuable and you also build self-worth. Then dedicate your time being of recovery service to others.  It makes your heart feel good! 💞💝

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Meet Darren Prince. He Runs a Successful Business, Has a Four-Time International Best Selling Memoir, and is a Caring Advocate Through His Aiming High Foundation. A Recovery Interview.

Meet Darren Prince. He Runs a Successful Business, Has a Four-Time International Best Selling Memoir, and is a Caring Advocate Through His Aiming High Foundation. A Recovery Interview.

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I am very happy and honored to welcome a good friend who is also a fellow author and recovery advocate, Darren Prince. He has written an amazing memoir titled, Aiming High: How a Prominent Sports and Celebrity Agent Hit Bottom at the Top. 

It became a bestseller in four countries as he shares his powerful story of drug addiction and what it takes to recover. I feel it needs to be read by everyone who not only maintains recovery, but also parents, and anyone who knows someone afflicted by any addiction. I say “any addiction” because it doesn’t matter the type or what preference the addiction is as addicts, the “cycle,” we get sucked into along with the habits and behaviors we learn are the same from one addiction to another.

Now that we are in the biggest drug epidemic in our country with opioid addiction, other pain killers, meth, etc., and the overdoses claiming too many precious lives each day, we need more helpful and caring advocates like Darren out here that bring the solutions through action to help others break free from addiction and have a desire to recover. He is now doing this through his active advocacy and through his new Aiming High Foundation (.org)
Darren and I met at a speaking event last year that was held here in Arizona where I live within the front lawn of our State Capitol to raise awareness of addiction for another friend. That was my first taste of having to plan a recovery event from beginning to end. Won’t be doing that again anytime soon! Lol.  When I reached out to Darren to ask if he would like to come and speak at this event? I quickly learned that Darren doesn’t do anything small. He Goes BIG or doesn’t do it at all! Lol. It’s why I say he is so caring and has a generous heart. He also helped with some bumps for our event with media and social media and I learned a lot from him and sure appreciated that!

Now, besides Darren coming to Arizona to speak, and I thank him for doing so, again, he sent me boxes prior to his arrival. They were many copies of his new book! Darren signed them graciously for attendees at the event.  Now, I better add that we also had “The Beast,” or I won’t hear the end of it…LOL, former NFL pro who played center for Tampa Bay Bucs, Mr. Randy Grimes… Who, today, goes by SoberCenter #60! Lol. He signed football for attendees too!

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Simply an amazing event to share Recovery from Addiction with Arizonians. Let’s learn more about Darren Prince, as I am also excited that we are working together on the “Literary and Book Marketing” side of things. Since I enjoyed reading ‘Aiming High’ so much? I want everyone to know about it!

WHY?

Because those of us who maintain recovery know that reading another’s experience, strength, and hope can be powerful tools for those new to recovery.

📚📚 ~Catherine Lyon

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Aiming High FACEBOOK and TWITTER TEASER
(Banner Courtesy of Terry of Author Shout (dot) com)

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About The Book -Aiming High
by Darren Prince (Author), Kristen McGuiness (Author), Earvin “Magic” Johnson (Foreword) (Author)

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Aiming High is the astonishing story of sports and celebrity agent Darren Prince, who battled addiction while representing some of the most iconic figures in the world. After a drug overdose, many demoralizing nights, and mornings where he couldn’t get out of bed without a prescription in hand, Darren hit rock bottom at the top–and in the process discovered the true meaning of success.

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ABOUT DARREN and AIMING HIGH FOUNDATION(.org)

Darren is all about “Coming Clean” and “Raising Awareness” as he enjoys sharing his testimony through his advocacy work, especially speaking to young teens at high schools, middle schools, young adults at community colleges, and universities through his new foundation to help others avoid the pitfalls of addiction. Born in New Jersey, he now lives in Los Angeles area.

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Darren Prince, well-known sports and celebrity agent,
has now taken on a new role of author and advocate – this time representing recovery and hope for those who struggle with addiction! His astonishing story within the pages of his memoir battled addiction while representing some of the most iconic figures in the world. After a drug overdose and couldn’t get out of bed without a prescription in hand, Darren hit rock bottom at the top–and in the process discovered the true meaning of success…

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MY INTERVIEW WITH RECOVERY ADVOCATE, DARREN PRINCE

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1.) How long have you maintained recovery and what inspired you to write?
I have maintained my recovery path for 11+years now. After my father passed away, I got several signs that it was time to write and tell my story to help others.
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2.) Tell us about your writing process?
By chance, I met with a publisher named Anna David, she partnered me with writer Kristen McGuiness, and the rest is history. An international best-seller in four countries, and I am happy it was written and has helped many people.
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3.) How did you come to want to share your story and why?
I’ve learned that my test has become my testimony, and everyone knows somebody who is suffering from opioid addiction. We learn in treatment and maintaining recovery that sharing your journey is a powerful tool to help those new to recovery from addictions.
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4.) Who in Recovery Inspires You?
Chris Herren, Brandon Novak, and many other spiritual brothers and sisters are changing the game of recovery advocacy. We support each other and network to save more lives from opioid addiction.
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5.) What advice would you give other recovery writers and authors?
People need to be inspired into action and create change in their life. If you can write and speak your truth to help others? It is and would be the enormous privilege of your life.

6.) Who is your publisher, and how did you decide how to publish your book?
Anna David of Light Hustler Publisher. Anna knew my vision for this book before I even thought it. We would take the world on a journey from the grips of drug addiction and share the beauty of spiritual healing within the written words recovering. And doing so while working and representing many iconic figures of our time.
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7.) What do you consider your book genre to be?
It is nonfiction in memoir form. May appeal mostly to males, however, because of the recovery component, we have had quite a big female following as well because drug addiction doesn’t discriminate.

8.) Now lastly, What do you think about the future of book publishing during and after this Coronavirus pandemic?
I think it will be bigger than ever. People need to be motivated and inspired. Even though this pandemic has had a negative impact around the world, the blessing is positive for giving readers an inspiring book like mine that has an uplifting message while reading during this historic time.
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A Sport and Celebrity Agent's Battle Against Addiction           (Courtesy of The Epoch Times – Ali, Darren, Joe Fraiser)

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I do hope all my recovery warriors will stop by Darren’s Official Advocacy Website and Blog to learn all the ways Darren is “paying it forward” to those who may be suffering from the grip of addiction. Not only does he help teens and young college adults, but he helps “At-Risk” executives and professionals who may work in high-stress jobs.

If you are in the need of an addiction expert for your next virtual conference or event and who cares about others, who is an inspiring speaker and a sought after recovery keynote? Don’t hesitate to reach out to Darren Prince …

As Darren shares; “This Addiction Epidemic is REAL!” 

~Darren Prince of Prince Marketing Group and his Support the Aiming High Foundation.

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DhL6wN2VQAAmO0YDarren                    (Forward Written by NBA Icon, Magic Johnson)

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BIG CONGRATS DARREN for being chosen!!

“So grateful to have my AIMING HIGH FOUNDATION selected as one of 3 charities benefitting the #AmericaStrong Unity Wristband CHALLENGE honoring our COVID-19 heroes, raising money for COVID-19 related charities! Visit AmericaStrongUSA.com and take the CHALLENGE. #AmericaStrong  “

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Links to Purchase Audiobook version
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Learn more about the author on their website
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I Am Proud To Fly Recovery Blogging With My Friends Here At WordPress and Thanks For The Blog Anniversary Wish! We Save Lives Together…

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7 Year Anniversary Achievement

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!

You registered on WordPress.com 7 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us.
Keep up the good recovery blogging.

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What can I say, I love Blogging About RECOVERY From ADDICTION, Share Awareness, Hope, Shatter STIGMA, and not let others suffer IN SILENCE…

It is the purpose and passion of my life and was God-Given.  ✝💞

 

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And that is just the tip of the iceberg! Most of you know who are apart of my recovery community know my purpose is to help those who feel they are within addictions the least, the lost, and the hopeless. Well, not on my watch! Seven years is a long time to be blogging and also sharing one’s recovery journey.  I do so because if I can gain regain and turn my life around from this cunning disease and addiction to addicted GAMBLING? Then I know anyone can who may be afflicted by this insidious and devastating disease.

I have come a long way from those days of wasting so many hours and wasted money behind a slot machine or sitting at a poker table. Selfish about any and everything except when I could gamble again next! Not caring about my husband or even LIFE, just self-medicating and zoning out old pain and hurt from the trauma I endured as little girl.

Finally becoming “Sick and Tired” of feeling sick and tired.

Now? I’ve been maintaining recovery for 13+yrs and counting! WordPress has supported my recovery by the opportunity to share and reach people here in the WordPress Community and beyond. If I have helped one or many? I may never know, but I appreciate WordPress allowing me to do so freely and transparently.

Today I enjoy networking with other friends who are advocates so may try and help restore and guide families to healing, not enable, and learn how to support their loved one who may have a gambling problem. I am most comfortable doing so through my writing and blogging, as a contributing writer for publications, as a columnist for “Keys To Recovery” newspaper, and written within featured articles for other addiction and recovery publications, most recently featured in FEB 2020 issue of “ Recovery Today Magazine issue #63 sharing the WHY and the HOW I became caught into addicted gambling the first place!

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Recovery Today Mag is a 100% Free and a fantastic recovery resource for everyone! I was very honored to be invited to share my story and raise awareness about gambling addiction and what it takes to recover. 

SO HERE IS TO Another Year of Recovery Blogging on WordPress and the only hosting site I would trust to do so! I also have my Book and Literary Blog here on WordPress if you are a reading book CAT like me? Stop and give me a visit there too at “Cat Lyon’s Reading and Writing Den!”


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Havng Fun Rasng $$ 4 Big Jim Foundation!

Speaking Event 4 Big Jim’s Ride, Phoenix, AZ!

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{My E-book Is Now on Sale on Amazon Kindle for only $2.99 & Paperback $6.95

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I APPRECIATE All My Recovery Supporters, Friends, and Blog Recovery Warriors and New Visitors!

Thank You, from my heart to your’s … xoxo💞💞✝💝

~Author and Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT… Did You Forget There Is An Opioid EPIDEMIC Happening Before There Was A COVID-19 Pandemic? A Special Message From Advocate & Author of “American Fix,” Ryan Hampton.

I ADVOCATE and SUPPORT All Forms of Recovery From Any Addiction.

Addiction Does Not Discriminate…

 

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In these unknown and uncertain times, it seems while this COVID-19 Pandemic is still spreading throughout our country, there is still a “BATTLE of an EPIDEMIC” happening in this country.  It also seems our Government, our President, and Legislators have forgotten and are NOT LISTENING.

They have worked faster than I have ever seen in my lifetime getting funding for this pandemic, but where is our immediate assistance for the DRUG EPIDEMIC?  We have surely lost way more lives since this OPIOID CRISIS in AMERICA has begun and we are still losing precious lives every day over and above the virus pandemic…Especially when we read headlines like this!

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Officials worry large potential spikes in overdose deaths amid COVID-19 pandemic

Health officials worry extended isolation could exacerbate the problem. Must read by ABC NEWS.

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When will our President, Vice President, and all of the Government start taking addiction seriously?
Why can’t they rush through more funding for an EPIDEMIC like they are for this Virus PANDEMIC?

Is it a class war fair?

It is because they think all addicts just ‘Choose To Be Addicts and SICK?’

Like this crisis and epidemic is not IMPORTANT ENOUGH?

Isn’t any life saved not a LIFE?

Shouldn’t ALL SICK PEOPLE DESERVE HELP and HOPE?

I think it is safe to say during this pandemic, and with so much funding being sent out everywhere to stop the bleeding of our economy, businesses, the mortgage and financial sectors, and slipping into recession and a huge amount of the job market all going to hell, where do you think they will start cutting funding first? Yes, you guessed it, addiction treatment, and mental health services! I could go on and on but I’ll let my friend Ryan Hampton share his message I got this week from him.

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Those suffering from substance use disorders amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in Jacksonville, Florida, the fire and rescue department reported a 20 percent increase in overdose emergency calls in March. In Columbus, Ohio, the county coroner’s office saw a surge in overdose deaths, including 12 in a 24-hour period the first week of April. And in New York State, at least four counties have acknowledged an increase in reported overdoses, including Erie County, where officials saw at least 110 drug overdoses, including 36 deaths, reported since the beginning of March.

 

“I think we need to consider the role that social isolation coupled with non-stop reporting on the pandemic may have on the feelings of desperation and hopelessness among those struggling with substance abuse,” U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York James Kennedy Jr. said in a statement. “Amidst the current crisis, we need to remember that substance abuse existed long before COVID-19, and it will likely remain long after we have wiped out the virus.”

(ABC NEWS Article)

 

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This message from Ryan Hampton is very important to read and share out through Social Media while tagging our President and all Legislators! 

They NEED TO HEAR OUR VOICES OF RECOVERY and ADVOCACY around this issue!
As Ryan’s book description shares:

“Nearly every American knows someone who has been affected by the opioid crisis. Addiction is a trans-partisan issue that impacts individuals from every walk of life. Millions of Americans, tired of watching their loved ones die while politicians ignore this issue.
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Where is the solution?
Where is the hope?
Where’s the outrage?”
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~In “American Fix” an outline of the challenges that the recovery movement currently faces, and offers a concrete, comprehensive plan of action towards making America’s addiction crisis a thing of the past.”

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Image may contain: 4 people, including Ryan Hampton, people smiling{Hardest Activist and Advocate I Know!}

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Published by Medium on May 10, 2020. Original article can be found here.

 

By: Ryan Hampton. The Author of American Fix

If we look up from what’s right in front of us — a global pandemic — we’ll remember that we’ve been battling a public health crisis for more than a decade. The opioid epidemic alone has stolen more than 450,000 lives from us since 1999, but the total number of deaths related to substance use is around 1.75 million for that same period.

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Before this virus swept through the U.S., we were starting to see real change in the opioid crisis — both in the health systems and the decline of drug overdose deaths. Overdose death rates decreased by 4.1% from 2017 to 2018 in the U.S. This is not to deemphasize the pandemic’s impact on our country or the critical response needed, but to remind America that the opioid epidemic did not go away when COVID-19 reared its head. We can’t forget about people living with addiction.

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Now we’re simultaneously facing two crises, putting patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) at a significantly higher risk for overdose, death, and relapse. When there is so much uncertainty for those with addiction about how to continue receiving care during this time, it’s essential that addiction treatment programs continue to receive federal and state support so that we don’t lose our foothold on combating the opioid crisis.

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Nationally we’re seeing increased unemployment and poverty, mandatory changes to daily routines, and increased anxiety and stress which are only magnified for people managing addiction. These added stressors can disrupt a person’s recovery journey by overwhelming their coping mechanisms. Addiction is a disease of isolation, so the necessary physical distancing protocols that yank people out of their routines and their communities and trap them alone with anxiety (and even boredom) is dangerous to recovery.

 

Not only that, but the pandemic is shifting how people can receive treatment. Many support groups and counseling sessions are being provided virtually. But how about people who use medication-assisted treatment? A significant portion of people in treatment pays out of pocket for their care. With a rising number of Americans losing their jobs due to the pandemic, including people in recovery, their ability to afford life-saving care is in danger.
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The addiction treatment organizations are struggling too. They are spending more money to put protocols in place in response to COVID-19 while dealing with employee absences and patients forgoing treatment. Yes, federal and state regulators have loosened requirements for care at outpatient opioid treatment programs (OTPs), which is important. But if the OTPs don’t have the funding needed to continue operating in this new environment, these regulation modifications are irrelevant. Without ongoing treatment, those in addiction recovery are at risk of relapse and overdose.

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Before COVID-19 hit, our nation was at a turning point in the fight against the opioid epidemic. The coronavirus pandemic not only threatens thousands of lives, but it also threatens to completely derail the progress we’ve made in digging this country out of one of the worst human-made epidemics in history. If people living with addiction can’t get the care they need, they too will die.
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In a time when a pandemic is causing so much uncertainty, people living with OUD need stability. Addiction advocacy groups and others in the industry have issued a formal request to the federal government asking for $38.5 billion in emergency supplemental funding for direct payments to behavioral health organizations, which will help ensure they remain open and operating during the COVID-19 crisis.

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While this sounds like a lot, let me put this request into perspective: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden” of opioid misuse alone in the U.S. is $78.5 billion a year. We only need a small fraction of that cost to save lives.
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The bottom line is this: we need to make sure organizations that help people in recovery — opioid treatment programs, community behavioral health centers, peer support organizations, and others — get the resources they need to continue providing addiction and mental health care.

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Ryan Hampton is the organizing director at the Recovery Advocacy Project, author of “American Fix: Inside the Opioid Addiction Crisis — and How to End It” and national addiction recovery activist.

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Internet Gambling Explodes While “Stay At Home” Orders in Place During COVID-19 Pandemic. How To Stop Addicted Online Gambling…

 
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Some time ago I did a gambling recovery post about problem and addicted gamblers turning to “Self-Ban” or self-exclusion to help them stop gambling. I wanted to re-visit this as I also included some information about internet gambling online as well. Now that we are in uncertain times and uncharted waters with the COVID-19 pandemic, most states are still on lockdown by our Governors orders and many people who gamble normally in casinos or lottery venues that have video poker/slot machines are not taking this isolation to well.

And, while even Indian casinos closed, many are heading to their computers to gamble online in their own home and it IS as dangerous and addicting as sitting behind a slot machine in real life.  How do I know this?  Because I have done in this in the past when I was still in my gambling addiction and had no car to drive to the Indian Casino! Why? I lost one of our cars due to my gambling!

Yes, just one of the consequences we had. We could not afford two car payments because I was gambling addictively. So I even had to walk to work every day. My husband won’t give me money for a cab and rightly so. Oh, those memories are still fresh and kind of the funny lighter side of recovery when I look back today. It wasn’t very funny though at the time. But it does show how insidious our thinking gets and what we, as an addict will tolerate just to stay in the disease.

We all know that old saying; “If want something bad enough you will find a way to get” and that is certainly true when you are talking gambling addiction.

 

So, you decided you are going to try and “BAN” yourself from Casinos to hopefully stop you from GAMBLING. Well, does this really work? My Experiences? NO. Not from some of the personal and hearing others ridiculous experiences . . .You need to help yourself in many areas and just from casinos or lottery venues. When an urge or trigger hits? You need to be banned and blocked from Online Gambling too!


So, What is Self-Banning or Self Exclusion?

Now keep in mind, each STATE in the US may have its own rules and policies about this option to help someone stop gambling and harm. For example, I currently live in the State of Arizona so I will share this STATE’S options as there as Indian Tribe Casinos all over this state, so people have many options and ACCESS to GAMBLE.

Here is what my friends at Arizona Dept. of Problem Gambling say about  Self Ban:

Self-Exclusion or Self-Ban is a process that allows a person to request to be banned from all Indian Gaming Facilities within the State of Arizona and to be prohibited from collecting any winnings, recovering any losses, and the use of any of the services or privileges of the facility.  You can choose either a one-year, five-year, or ten-year exclusion.  This exclusion is irrevocable and cannot be altered or rescinded for any reason during the selected time period on the form.

How Do I Exclude Myself?

There are a number of ways you can go about excluding yourself. You can download the exclusion form found on this site, fill it out, have it notarized and mail it to the Department of Gaming along with a current photo of yourself.
Please note: The self-exclusion will not be processed without proper notarization and a current photo. We can accept the photo electronically via email but we must have the original, notarized self-exclusion form sent to this office.

You may also come to the office to complete the entire self-exclusion process which includes meeting with the self-exclusion administrator who will discuss the program, notarize the form and take your photo as well as give you additional resources for addicted and problem gambling.

Please click on the FAQ link to the right for more information. Questions & Answers on Self Ban  . . . .Many casinos and states are also trying to help by offering these additional Ban Services as well:

The self-exclusion procedures and the self-exclusion forms are in a PDF format. To obtain a free copy of Adobe Reader, click here.

Download a copy of  Self-Exclusion ProceduresSelf-Exclusion Form

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BAN YOURSELF FROM USING ATMS AT MANY CASINOS!!
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The Everi STeP program allows you to exclude yourself from using ATMs at over 1000 gambling locations.

Automated Systems America, Inc. (ASAI) can also assist in blocking ATM transactions in some Arizona casinos.


THIS IS IMPORTANT NOW DURING COVID-19 ~ AND…One Article all should read: “The Perfect Storm” By Press of Atlantic City

“With brick-and-mortar casinos across the United States shut down to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, public health advocates are concerned that a shift to online wagering may lead to an increase in problematic behaviors.

Gov. Phil Murphy ordered the indefinite closing of Atlantic City’s nine casinos March 16 but permitted online gaming to continue. Industry experts expect an escalation in online gaming activity because of the retail casino closings, and the anticipated growth in internet play has gambling addiction professionals worried.

“We believe every risk factor for gambling problems is increasing right now,” said Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling.

USE GamBlock and BAN YOURSELF FROM INTERNET GAMBLING.

Gamblock prevents access to internet gambling sites.


Please make sure you visit their Q&A Facts page about more questions of Self Ban and Exclusion, you will find it Helpful….

BUT GAMBAN WORKS ON ALL ONLINE Gambling Sites IN OR OUT AMERICA ONLINE GAMBLING!


YOU need to go visit them here at GAMBAN check this out! I hear it is More Protection and an added layer to Stop Online Gambling even if you already use GAMBLOCK …
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gamban® is a software product that blocks access to online gambling. It offers users a secure, reliable, and affordable option to stay away from gambling sites and apps, helping those with a gambling problem to fight the urge. Check out their Informative Blog with updates and new features like this post of a new mobile app “gamban Taking a step Forward.”https://gamban.com/gamban/taking-a-step-forward/
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The Interesting and a But Humorous Side of Gambling and Self-Ban:

Now, of course, I will KEEP in perspective that gambling is something many people do from time to time. But for others, it becomes an obsession, and they risk losing their livelihoods and much more because of this affliction and I Know THAT IS NOT Funny…

But, I’d been sitting in the rooms of AA and Gamblers Anonymous for a long time, and when I was in treatment in our weekly group meetings. I heard all sorts of stories about others who did try the self-ban from casinos. Now I never had the nerve to self-ban from the only Indian Casino 41 miles North of my home in So. Oregon where I lived at the time and deep within my gambling addiction. But I have heard many stories from other women and men who did.

Needless to say, many told of them disguising themselves with make-up, wigs, sunglasses and the like, all to hide their identity from the guards and video cameras and praying they didn’t hit a BIG jackpot for an attendant to have to come and PAY them out or they would be Kicked Out and NO money paid. To me? That is living NOT too far off the edge! And many of these ladies were GRANDMA’S! 

BUT? “If you want something bad enough?”….

I had heard many stories through the years of good and bad about self-banning…
Here
is a place and website I came across with stories that are both Positive and Negatives of gamblers who self-banned and gambled anyway on Psych Forums-Gamblers Banned as I think all need to read.

Here is one person’s experience:

“In the US it doesn’t work well. My wife signed the self-exclusion in all local casinos but she is able to play in all of them. One time she was playing, I told security that how come they let her play when she signed self-exclusion, they immediately kicked her out. But casinos are businesses, and none of them will say no to FREE money. There is no real penalty for letting people who self-excluded play so why should they enforce it? I was considering suing them but all lawyers I contacted said that I can’t win.”



I hope you have found this post to be helpful information and informative. I know I have never written and shared much on Self-Banning and find it interesting. I think for my own recovery, it most likely would NOT have helped me as I am the type of person that would find another way to “Get What I Want.” I have heard of self-ban stories that backfired as some horror stories in the rooms as well.

Having access to NO MONEY to a gambler can make them turn to criminal acts after the pawning all that was valuable and CRIME came next as I heard some stories about this as well.

I DO have my own personal experience form crime as I wrote about it in my current book, “Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.” And part of the title of my Memoir: “Confessions” was my way of taking accountability and ownership of the poor choice I made and the people I had hurt when I was gambling and deep within my disease.

We are only “as sick as our SECRETS” –so I wrote and shared almost all of what I’d DONE in a public forum within my book to hopefully help others, may they learn just how far this cunning, sick and progressive addiction will take you!

Here are some signs to look for if you suspect a loved one may have a gambling problem. Visit my friend’s page at  Addictions.com for more information and helpful treatment and support options …

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Any addiction causes highs and lows in a person, and gambling addiction is no exception. According to the NLM, here are some psychological signs of gambling addiction:

  • “Feeling bad after you gamble, but not quitting”
  • Feeling guilty for spending time away from your family or hurting them, but not quitting
  • “Always thinking about gambling”
  • Believing that gambling is not a problem for you, or avoiding thinking about how much time and money you actually spend on gambling

Gambling addiction does become a compulsion, and it is easier not to think about it than it is to soberly consider the repercussions of gambling on your life. When you start using money that goes to your utilities, rent, or house payments, sell or pawn things? You know you have a problem…Please visit… Addictions.com

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Advocate and Author, Catherine Lyon

 

In No Way Shape or Form, Does Business of (Gambling) & State Lotteries Need COVID Money to Be Bailed Out! More From Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation and Les Bernal.

In No Way Shape or Form, Does Business of (Gambling) & State Lotteries Need COVID Money to Be Bailed Out! More From Stop Predatory Gambling   Foundation and Les Bernal.

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Coronavirus Crisis Prompts Call to Suspend Lottery Gambling…At Least For 30-Days

“Antigambling group asks states to suspend lotteries until 30 days after stimulus payments”

Story Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal ~By Katherine Sayre

As millions of Americans begin receiving stimulus payments amid the coronavirus crisis, an anti-gambling group is pushing to suspend lottery betting.

Gambling with stimulus payments: feeding gaming machines with federal dollars. This Headline from 2008-2009 Last Stimulus From The Feds …

The organization Stop Predatory Gambling sent letters Monday to attorneys general and governors in 45 states and the District of Columbia, asking for lottery betting to be shut down for at least 30-days or until Social Distancing Ban is lifted and after many received stimulus checks. Read this full in-depth story here in The Wall Street Journal Special Story…

This morning the members of Stop Predatory Gambling sent a letter to leaders in all states with lotteries (The Wall Street Journal ran a story on it in Monday’s edition.) The letter called on them to shut down all lottery gambling games for 30 days as hundreds of billions of dollars in direct federal financial relief is delivered to American families across the nation. Luring citizens to lose their money on lottery gambling games during this time defeats the intended purpose of the stimulus.

Here’s the letter we sent to all governors and attorneys general.

Below is the press release we sent to media across the U.S.

Please share it with your email and social media lists as well as any contacts you have in your state or local media. Thanks.

Best,
Les Bernal

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      CONTACT: Les Bernal
April 20, 2020                      (202) 567-6996 │ les@stoppredatorygambling.org

STATE LEADERS CALLED ON TO SHUT DOWN LOTTERY FOR 30 DAYS AS RELIEF CHECKS ARRIVE


“Facts Show Many Citizens Gamble on the Lottery to Change Their Financial Condition and Even More So When They Are Feeling a Sense of Desperation”

(WASHINGTON, DC) — As hundreds of billions of dollars in direct federal financial relief are delivered to American families across the nation, state leaders are being called upon to shut down the marketing and selling of all state lottery gambling games for 30 days. All U.S. casinos have already been shut down for weeks.

“Federal tax dollars are being sent to American families in order to put food on the table, make rent or mortgage payments, or provide for other daily necessities – not to subsidize state lotteries,” said Les Bernal of Stop Predatory Gambling, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit who sent a letter on Monday to all governors and attorneys general serving in states with lotteries. “For lotteries to continue running when so many citizens are financially desperate is like putting Dracula in charge of the emergency room blood bank.”

Bernal said there is a mountain of facts showing many citizens gamble on the lottery to change their financial condition, and even more so when they are feeling a sense of desperation. Yet state government is continuing to market its lottery gambling games at the very same moment that citizens are receiving their economic relief checks from the U.S. Treasury.

As part of its letter to state officials, Stop Predatory Gambling included its 2020 Briefing on State Lotteries also issued on Monday.

“The report spotlighted lotteries as one of the root causes why more than 60% of Americans had less than $1000 in savings before the coronavirus pandemic occurred.”

The report found “state governments have turned a nation of small earners, who could be small savers, into a nation of habitual gamblers on course to lose more than $1 trillion of wealth to government-sanctioned gambling over the next eight years. At least half of this wealth – $500 billion – will be lost to state lotteries.” Bernal hopes the lottery shutdown and the new report will bring sorely-needed attention to “America’s most-neglected problem today.”

“Building assets and the accumulating and investing of savings, are the keys to financial peace,” Bernal said.  “A home, a college fund, retirement accounts, a stock portfolio—these assets are the hallmarks of middle and upper-class America, and they are all the result of savings. Creating wealth by the accumulation and investment of savings is the direct opposite of what state lotteries represent and encourage.”

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STATE LOTTERY SALES SOAR THE SAME WEEK FEDERAL RELIEF CHECKS ARRIVE

New Report Adds More Urgency to Call for State Lotteries to Suspend Operations for 30 Days! April 23, 2020  

A report this morning by The Houston Chronicle’s Eric Dexheimer revealed that instant scratch-off lottery ticket sales soared at the same time as hundreds of billions of dollars in direct federal financial relief was being delivered to American families across the nation.

The members of Stop Predatory Gambling renewed our call for state officials to suspend lottery operations for 30 days. We issued the press release below to media across the U.S. Please share it with your email and social media lists as well as any contacts you have in your state or local media.

(HOUSTON, TX) — A report this morning by The Houston Chronicle’s Eric Dexheimer revealed that instant scratch-off lottery ticket sales soared at the same time as hundreds of billions of dollars in direct federal financial relief was being delivered to American families across the nation. The news intensified calls for state officials to suspend lottery operations for 30 days amid a time when all U.S. casinos have already been shut down for weeks.

According to The Chronicle report:

“On Tuesday afternoon, the Texas Lottery released what appeared to be great news: sales of instant scratch-off tickets, by far its largest source of revenue, had surged from the previous week, jumping to $112 million dollars.

The leap came after a month of plunging sales, presumably due to the sputtering pandemic economy, in which revenues had dropped compared to the same periods in 2019. The April 18 weekly figures, by comparison, outpaced the same week in 2019 by more than $15 million – a 16 percent jump.”

The members of Stop Predatory Gambling, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit, renewed their call for state officials to suspend lottery operations for 30 days. On Monday morning, the group sent a letter to all governors and attorneys general serving in states with lotteries to take action.

“State lotteries are openly preying upon the financial desperation of millions of Americans,” said Les Bernal, a spokesman for the organization. “The lottery had a 16% spike in scratch ticket sales over the same week last year, in the middle of a stay-at-home order, during an unprecedented pandemic.
This news is a shame on all of us. State and local government officials in any capacity must listen to and act on their conscience to stop this exploitation of our brothers and sisters.”

Bernal said there is a mountain of facts highlighting that many citizens gamble on the lottery to change their financial condition, and even more so when they are feeling a sense of desperation.

Stop Predatory Gambling’s 2020 Briefing on State Lotteries identified lotteries as why more than 60% of Americans had less than $1000 in savings before the coronavirus pandemic occurred.

_______________________________

LesBernal-1

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Stop Predatory Gambling – – Who We Are —

– A 501c3 nonprofit based in Washington, DC, we are a national social reform network of individuals and partner groups with members of more than 1 million people.

– We believe in improving the lives of the American people with compassion and fairness, freeing us from the lower standard of living, exploitation, and fraud that commercialized gambling spreads.

– We are one of the most diverse organizations in the United States, one in which conservatives and progressives work side-by-side to improve the common good.

What We Stand For —

– We believe everyone should have a fair opportunity to get ahead and improve their future.

– We believe every person’s life has worth and that no one is expendable.

– We believe that a good society depends on the values of honesty, concern for others, mutual trust, self-discipline, sacrifice, and a work ethic that connects effort and reward.

– We believe no government body should depend on predatory gambling to fund its activities.

If you share our beliefs, please help sustain our work by making a tax-deductible, financial gift today of $10 or more.

Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation
100 Maryland Avenue NE, Room 310  | Washington, District of Columbia 20002
(202) 567-6996 | les@stoppredatorygambling.org

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