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.


Problem Gambling Misconceptions and Myths. Are They Fact or Myth? My Guest Post By “The Recovery Village” …

Problem Gambling Misconceptions and Myths. Are They Fact or Myth? My Guest Post By “The Recovery Village” …

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What happens when you first walk into a CASINO? How do you feel? Like your special? Have feelings of excitement? Like you may WIN BIG?

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Well, that was exactly how I felt! And how many people who have had a problem with gambling, felt too!  Now, I am not saying that if you gamble normally that you’ll become a problem or an addicted gambler.  What I am trying to say and share is that for those who do have a problem?  There is nothing NORMAL about it as many of the exciting feelings become the staple of ‘HOW WE FEEL’ each time we gamble.  AND? It goes way beyond those “Feeling of being SPECIAL”…

We actually get a euphoric high and rush when we walk into any gambling venue …And never matters if we WIN or LOSE, these feelings along with cravings, triggers, and urges compound the more we are in “action!”  Be it at cards, slots, or even dice?  The preference really doesn’t matter.

It is the act, being in action and being active within gambling that keeps us stuck in a habitual “CYCLE.”

With so much STIGMA around this Silent Problem, a problem many suffer in silence from addicted gambling, I wanted to share most of an article by the team at “Recovery Village Center”  to help us with some of the real facts are from the MYTHS about problem gambling.  Always know they are ready to HELP and share HOPE from this cunning addiction as The Fine Folks of Recovery Village are always available.

Just visit their website or Call THEM AT 1-888-559-6554 …~ Advocate, Catherine Lyon

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Reviewer Andrew Proulx
Updated on01/23/20

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“Gambling addiction is a serious and devastating problem for many people. Understanding this serious behavioral addiction requires replacing the myths with the facts.”

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Gambling addiction, or compulsive gambling, is a behavioral addiction (process addiction) characterized by a pathological obsession and compulsion to gamble. The addiction to gambling becomes increasingly problematic, causing financial, family, social and job problems, but the gambler continues and is unable to control or stop gambling, despite the negative consequences.

Compulsive gamblers are secretive and tend to be socially isolated, so there are many misconceptions and myths about this addiction. To have a proper understanding of this devastating disorder, it is necessary to separate the myths from the facts.

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Myth 1: Gambling Isn’t Addictive

Fact: Gambling is designed to be addictive.

Gambling operates on a principle of psychology that is known to be highly addictive and compulsion-inducing. This principle is based on variable ratios of reinforcement (i.e., winning), and random ratios of reinforcement, together known as a variable-ratio reinforcement schedule (VRRS). Finding the most addictive form of a VRRS is a matter of considerable research. Most gambling machines are programmed to dole out wins on a precise schedule that is based on the most addictive form of a VRRS.

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Myth 2: Gambling Is a Way to Make Money

Fact: The house always wins, especially when it comes to compulsive gamblers. Money Never Comes For FREE

When driving past a casino it is easy to admire the lavish building. However, it is also easy to forget that the money to build that casino probably came from the losses of the people who gamble there.

One of the characteristics of compulsive pathological gambling is the persistent belief that the next bet will pay, despite repeatedly losing past the next bets. As such, the delusional belief that a stroke of luck is only a wager away is part of the pathological psychology of gambling addiction. The belief that gambling will pay off despite having lost considerable amounts of money is a driving factor of compulsive gambling.

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Myth 3: If You Keep Playing, You Will Eventually Win Your Money Back

Fact: The longer someone remains actively gambling addiction, the greater the losses.

The irrational belief that the gambler will eventually hit it big and come out ahead is a significant driver of gambling addiction. To people who don’t have a gambling addiction, it is usually clear when enough is enough and they can walk away from their losses and get on with life. However, compulsive gamblers cannot do that; they keep coming back, driven by irrational beliefs of the big win.

However, gambling addiction is about much more than simply whether or not the person will win or lose. People who have a gambling addiction get a rush from gambling or a high, and this high is how they cope with negative feelings and life’s stressors. When they are gambling, the high they get from it makes them happy for a little while and distracts them from all their problems. It is known that pathological gamblers get this high whether they are winning or losing. The act of gambling is all they need.

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Myth 4: If You Can Afford It, Compulsive Gambling Isn’t Really a Problem

Fact: Compulsive gambling is a symptom of underlying emotional and coping problems.

Financial loss is only one of many negative consequences of compulsive gambling. People who struggle with gambling addiction often end up having serious problems in their relationships and at their jobs, and may neglect life’s obligations.

Pathological gambling is a progressive condition that tends to become increasingly consuming as time goes by. This fact is especially true in times of stress or low mood, as gambling becomes a way of coping. Eventually, almost all pathological gamblers suffer life-changing financial loss unless they get help in time.

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Myth 5: Compulsive Gamblers Play Every Day

Fact: Gambling addiction can be continuous or episodic.

Many compulsive gamblers have dry periods without any betting. However, gambling addiction is chronic and progressive, so for many pathological gamblers, it eventually becomes a daily activity unless they seek and accept help.

An obsessive-compulsive preoccupation with gambling characterizes pathological gambling. Over time, these obsessive thoughts about betting become increasingly more invasive and anxiety-provoking. The only way to relieve that anxiety is by gambling, which is the compulsion that is coupled with the obsession.

Similar to people who struggle with drug addiction, pathological gamblers experience tolerance, meaning that they require increasing amounts of the activity to satisfy their obsession and to get the same high. They also experience increasing amounts of withdrawal, which is the low mood and irritability they feel when they are not gambling. As these effects worsen, gambling usually increases as a result, and the addiction progresses.

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Myth 6: Knowing a Game Well Increases Your Odds of Winning

Fact: Gambling games are designed to not have any aspect that will increase the odds of winning purely out of knowledge or skill.

Gambling games become absorbing for gamblers. Psychologists refer to “dark flow” as the state where the player becomes so immersed in a game that everything outside of it becomes irrelevant. This “dark flow” state is highly associated with addiction to the game and is designed to occur as people get to know a game by playing the same game for an extended period.

All gambling games are heavily favored for the house, which is why casino owners become so wealthy and the gamblers do not. If a game was not heavily in favor of the house, it would never become popular, because no casino, lottery or gambling website would want it. Whether or not someone knows a game well doesn’t change that fact.

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Myth 7: There Are “Hot” and “Cold” Slot Machines

Fact: Slot machines are programmed to promote problematic play and win for the house.

Slot machines are a particularly dangerous form of gambling because they are programmed with the most addictive form of VRRS schedule. Additionally, they are programmed to operate on a principle known as loss disguised as a win (LDW). This effect happens when a player is given a “win” of credits with a spin, but fewer credits than the original wager. The psychological effect is that these frequent wins keep the player engaged, despite a net loss.

Both the single-line slots (the traditional slots) and the more modern multi-line slots are programmed to give LDW “wins” in a specific payback percentage, but it is always less than 100% and certainly not above 100%, meaning that the house always wins. There are no “hot” slot machines, only “cold” ones.

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Myth 8: Gambling Is Only a Financial Problem

Fact: Gambling addiction causes problems that extend well beyond financial losses.

As their tolerance and withdrawal effects intensify, people who struggle with gambling addiction spend more and more time in their gambling activities, and in seeking money to support their addiction.

Normal activities and responsibilities become neglected because of the amount of time required to satisfy the addiction. They begin missing work and are frequently absent from home. Even sleep becomes affected as they pull “all-nighters” gambling.

This time commitment can have effects beyond financial loss, such as:

  • Career-related consequences: being written up at work or losing a job
  • Relationship stress: financial stress, job loss, and frequent absence are not conducive to healthy relationships, and can devastate families
  • Social isolation: friends and family are tired of being asked for loans and maybe pushed away as the gambler becomes increasingly secretive
  • Arrest and criminal charges: for illegal activities used to finance gambling
  • Physical health problems: lack of sleep or self-care
  • Mental health problems: depressionanxiety, and emotional distress

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Myth 9: All Gamblers Engage in Criminal Behavior

Fact: Gamblers who seek and accept help can recover before they have to resort to criminal activity to finance their gambling.

If pathological gamblers continue with the addiction long enough, frequently the result is criminal behavior to finance the gambling habit. The most common gambling-related crimes are non-violent, financially motivated offenses:

  • Theft
  • Selling drugs
  • Forgery
  • Embezzlement

Typically, they will rationalize their crime as borrowing money. For example, if the person forges a check, takes money from the workplace or steals from a neighbor, they might rationalize the act by convincing themselves that they will return the money, usually after a big win at the casino.

However, not all crimes that compulsive gamblers are engaged in are financially motivated and non-violent. The three risky behaviors of substance abuse, gambling, and crime are known to be closely associated and often co-occur.

Some gambling crime statistics compiled by Georgia State University include:

  • About 50% of compulsive gamblers commit crimes
  • 73% of incarcerated felons are pathological or problem gamblers
  • Pathological gamblers are more than three times more likely to be arrested than non-problem gamblers, and more than seven times than non-gamblers
  • Only 5% of incarcerated pathological gamblers have ever gotten help for it

Myth 10: Teens Don’t Gamble, Only Older People Gamble Especially Now That Some States Have Legal Online Sports-Betting – It’s Touching Teens!


Fact: Gambling is a bigger problem among teens than it is in adults.

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Please, GO VISIT AND LEARN HOW It Is Touching our TEENS atRecovery Village Center”  

 

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MY MEMOIR IS NOT “HOW” TO RECOVER, IT IS THE “WHY” I TURNED TO ADDICTED GAMBLING … Ebook on sale only $2.99 Now On Amazon Kindle.

Gambling Recovery Ramblings and I’ll Be On a New Radio Show! Rise Above Radio With Mac Mullings on KOKC.

Welcome Recovery Friends and New Friends! 

I am so excited to announce as part of my advocacy and in honor of March being Problem Gambling Awareness Month, I will be the guest speaker this Saturday, March 16th, at 3 PM CT on-air and Live on FB from KOCK Radio 95.3 FM and 1520 AM and will be a Live FB Event so come follow on https://www.facebook.com/RiseAboveKOKC/


And Mac is part of the SoberWorx Radio Family as well! So I hope you will tune in or come to Mac’s FB Live to take a listen! Here is why MAC began Rise Above Radio and what they are about.

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Rise Above Radio 1-6-18 Hour 1

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Rise Above Radio with Mac Mullings

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WELCOME TO RISE ABOVE RADIO

WHO IS MAC MULLINGS – THE SURVIVAL DRINKER?

“Addiction is the only disease that will try to convince you that you don’t have one.”

My drinking career didn’t start out the way it ended. It never does. The social drinker turns into the survival drinker.

Life isn’t happening according to our plan so we pour something on the rocks to escape reality.

FORGET EVERYTHING AND RUN


We are priming the machine for a slow suicide mission. The more challenges I faced the stiffer the drinks.

My relationship with alcohol was a sign of spiritual bankruptcy.

“God loves you” was followed by an asterisk in my mind.

“God loves all his children except for you, Mac” the enemy would whisper to me. Leading me to believe that the greatest moments I would experience had passed.

Life began to feel empty. Empty like that last bottle I swore I wouldn’t drink.

The enemy thought I was breaking down but God knew I was breaking through.

RISE & RECOVERY

The idea for ‘Rise Above Radio Show’ came to me about this time last year. I was just over 90 days sober and God was planting the seed.

I’m pretty good at rushing things so with this I prayed for patience and direction.

Sometimes we have to shut up and listen. Be still. “God never talks to me!!”.

Do you ask him to? Are you ready enough to receive it?

RISE ABOVE IS GOD’s SHOW

Rise Above is God’s show, not mine. I believe in it and the need for it.

We must make a ministry out of what was misery. I don’t honor recovery by keeping it to myself and not encouraging others.

God is doing some amazing things with it and I like to say that we are just getting started.

The birthmark of a believer is a bulls-eye on it’s back and the enemy has his sights on it for sure.

Some don’t see the message of ‘Rise Above’ and it’s fair to say that given the opportunity they would rather replace it with a paid program to collect a paycheck.

MY PROMISE

One of the beautiful things about recovery is that I don’t have to worry about that. I don’t have to occupy my time with negativity.

One foot in front of the other and let God handle it. I’m not truly sober if I go about it any other way.

I have received many encouraging comments and it is very much appreciated.

I will stay true to the mission, I promise.

If you haven’t had the chance to listen, check out all our previous shows on the Rise Above Facebook page (give it a follow) and join us Saturdays from 2pm-4pm CT on KOKC Radio.
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Image may contain: 1 person
Mac Mullings – Creator-Host/Rise Above Radio
Program Director/95.3 FM & 1520am KOKC
Co-host/The Ride w- Mac & Chad

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WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

“This show is changing lives, mine included. You don’t have to be an addict to be touched.  I grew up with an addict, and didn’t truly understand addiction or how to forgive until I listened to Mac.”

“Addiction was never an issue I had to deal with. I thought addicts were weak and lacking in character.  Then God brought Mac, along with several other people across my path and into my life, and I learned just how wrong my original assumptions were.

Rise Above is truly doing the Lord’s Work, raising awareness about addiction and its treatment, and opening the eyes of people like me, who would arrogantly look down upon those who are struggling
.”

“Thank God for ‘Rise Above Radio and Mac!’ What they’re doing for the community is truly amazing! Addiction is such an epidemic in our country today.

We need more pioneers like this in the world of recovery. We are seeing life’s saved and families changed because of ‘Rise Above and Mac’ getting the word out that Recovery is possible and there is hope!”

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So I hope you will join me and listen in as I shine a spotlight on a Silent and Dangerous Addiction! I will be sharing my Testimony and Shatter Stigma about this underground addiction that “Requires No Substance!”

WHY did I say yes to being on Mac’s show? Well, I want to share my story and to share current facts, stats, and some misconceptions about gambling addiction. To share with him that we just had a “tick up” in our worldwide population that now, 2.6% around the world are problem gamblers from only 1% prior. And this tells me with the expansions of gambling venues like legal online Sports Betting in several states, Indian casinos, and States Lottery offerings, this number is going to continue to grow.

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I think we all know that using gambling like I did to ‘escape or numb out from life’ and for all the wrong reasons is happening more and more and it IS having a negative impact in our communities and on families. It is reaching our high school and college-age kids too with again, now legal online Sports betting in some States and out of the 17+million problem gamblers in the USA?

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Parents? HALF this number is your high schoolers and young college adults!. It is also having a significant negative impact on our Retired Senior folks too. Look, I think we are all smart enough to know that gambling profits are not being made from those who are a “once in a while” Bingo players or gamblers. The profits from all venues and options of gambling are being from the people who are frequent, addicted and problem gamblers.

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So, anytime I get an invite on a platform like “Rise Above Radio” and like my monthly column called “QUIT To WIN” in ‘Keys To Recovery Newspaper’ a  free recovery publication, it helps me feel empowered to be able to share my experiences of how gambling addiction devastated my life and my husbands, share my strengths maintaining recovery and what works for me, and have platforms to share HOPE to those looking or reach out to RECOVER OUT LOUD . . .

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 ~Catherine Townsend-Lyon  



The In-Depth Stats – Facts – And More! My New Radio Interview on Mental Health News Radio and Sharing The “UGLY SIDE” About Gambling and Becoming Addicted.

The In-Depth Stats – Facts – And More! My New Radio Interview on Mental Health News Radio and Sharing The “UGLY SIDE” About Gambling and Becoming Addicted.

“We Can Come BROKEN From Gambling Addiction Into RECOVERY And Become FREE From This Deadly DISEASE”…

I was so excited to share some of my story and advocacy with Kristin Walker, Host of Mental Health News Radio last month. It was an amazing conversation about gambling addiction, myths, misconceptions, and sharing hope and recovery from this deadly addiction. We need to hear how it is negatively impacting our communities and pulling families apart. So if you or someone you love and care about has a gambling problem? Please take some time to listen and learn we can recover and how you can help them get their lives back! It is the first interview I share my feelings and thoughts about “The Las Vegas Shooting”… My thoughts and prayers are still with all the families who were “touched” by this tragedy.

LINK To SHOW: GAMBLING: The Underground Addiction

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ABOUT THE SHOW:

Catherine Townsend-Lyon is the best-selling Author of her shocking debut Memoir “Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat. She has fast become well known in the addiction & recovery communities. Her book shares her raw, unedited and haunting past of gambling addiction, living with mental health challenges, a childhood trauma, and abuse survivor, as she helps many in recovery and advocates about these important issues to Shatter Stigma, Raise Awareness, and Educate the public, and those who have been ‘touched’ by the same. Her mission is to spread HOPE to others looking to recover and warn that suicide is not an option or answer for someone with a gambling addiction.

“I’m just a regular woman who wanted to share my personal story about a very big addiction.” NO, I am not rich, famous, or a reality star, I just wanted to share what I’ve been through so others can have more understanding of problem & addicted gambling, and how devastating and cunning this disease is as it devastates your life and how you can recover!”

“Gambling addiction is the hush, hush addiction no one talks about. That now needs to change when 2.9% of our population are problem gamblers thanks to the expansion of Indian casinos and state lotteries in the US. GAMBLING ADDICTION IS currently the highest ‘Suicide Rate’ than any other addiction.”

PSSS…My New E-Book is now released! A new compilation book of REAL STORIES of Addiction and Recovery available on Amazon Kindle!

“These STORIES will touch your HEART”  ~ “TEN THE HARD WAY”

Ten the Hard Way: True Stories of Addiction and Recovery (Ten the Hard Way; True Stories of Addiction and Recovery Book 1)

Addiction In General and Gambling Addiction: “Just The Facts and Truth.”

My Guest Article Is By: By Chris Hedges of Truthdig ~ A Nation of the Walking Dead.

Offshore-Gambling-Firms-to-Pay-15-Tax

Opioids and experiences that simulate the deadening effects of narcotics are mechanisms to keep us submissive and depoliticized. Desperate citizens in Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel “Brave New World” ingested the pleasure drug soma to check out of reality. Our own versions of soma allow tens of millions of Americans to retreat daily into addictive mousetraps that generate a self-induced autism.

The United States consumes 80 percent of opioids used worldwide, and more than 33,000 died in this country in 2015 from opioid overdoses. There are 300 million prescriptions written and $24 billion spent annually in the U.S. for painkillers. Americans supplement this mostly legal addiction with over $100 billion a year in illicit marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin. And nearly 14 million U.S. adults, one in every 13, regularly abuse alcohol.

But these monetary figures are far less than what we spend on gambling. Americans in 2013 lost $119 billion gambling, with an additional $70 billion—or $300 for every adult in the country—spent on lottery tickets.

Federal and state governments, reliant on tax revenues from legal gambling and on lottery ticket sales, will do nothing to halt the expansion of the industry or the economic and psychological toll it exacts on those in financial distress. State-run lottery games had sales of $73.9 billion in 2015, according to the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries. This revenue is vital to budgets beset by declining incomes, deindustrialization and austerity.

“State lotteries provided more revenue than state corporate income taxes in 11 of the 43 states where they were legal, including Delaware, Rhode Island, and South Dakota,” Derek Thompson wrote in The Atlantic. “The poorest third of households buy half of all lotto tickets,” he noted. Gambling is a stealth tax on poor people hoping to beat the nearly impossible odds. Governmental income from gambling is an effort to make up for the taxes the rich and corporations no longer pay.

Slot machines and other electronic gambling devices are engineered to draw us into an Alice-in-Wonderland rabbit hole. They, like our personal computers and hand-held devices, cater to the longing to flee from the oppressive world of dead-end jobs, crippling debt and social stagnation and a dysfunctional political system.

What to Do When a Loved One Struggles with Addiction pic 2

We frantically keep pulling levers until we are addicted and finally entranced by our compulsion to achieve fleeting, intermittent and adrenaline-driven rewards. Much like what happens to people using slot machines, the pigeons or rats in Skinner’s experiments that did not know when they would get a reward, or how much they would get, became the most heavily addicted to operating the levers or pedals. Indeed, Skinner used slot machines as a metaphor for his experiments.

The engineers of America’s gambling industry are as skillful at forming addiction as the country’s top five opioid producers—Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, Insys Therapeutics, Mylan, and Depomed. There are 460 commercial casinos, 486 tribal casinos, 350 card rooms, 55 racetracks and hundreds of thousands of gaming devices, many located in convenience stores, gas stations, bars, airports and even supermarkets.

The rush of anticipation, available in 20-second bursts, over hours, days, weeks and months create an addictive psychological “zone” that the industry calls “continuous gaming productivity.” Heart rates and blood pressure rise. Time, space, the value of money and human relationships hypnotically dissolve. A state of extreme social isolation occurs.

 

Gambling addicts, like many addicts, are often driven to crime, bankruptcy, and eventual imprisonment. Many lose everything—their marriages, their families, their jobs, their emotional health and sometimes their lives. Gambling addicts have the highest rate of suicide attempts among addicts of any kind—1 in 5, or 20 percent—according to the National Council on Problem Gambling.

Donald Trump is in large part a product of gambling culture. His career has not been about making products but about selling intangible and fleeting experiences. He preys on the desperate by offering them escapist fantasies. This world is about glitter, noise, and hype—Trump called the Trump Taj Mahal, his now-closed casino, “the eighth wonder of the world.” The more money you spent, the greater your “value,” the more you were pampered, given free hotel rooms and gifts, handed passes to special “clubs” with lavish buffets. Scantily clad hostesses hovered around you serving complimentary drinks.

If you spent big, you were invited to exclusive parties attended by supermodels and famous athletes. Decorated chips—some featuring a photo of Donald Trump—turned cash into a species of Monopoly money. But in the end, when you were broke when there was no more money in your bank account and your credit cards were maxed out, you were thrown back, in even greater financial distress, into the dreary universe you tried to obliterate.

Roger Caillois, the French sociologist, wrote that the pathologies of a culture are captured in the games the culture venerates. Old forms of gambling such as blackjack and poker allowed the gambler to take risks, make decisions and even, in his or her mind, achieve a kind of individualism or heroism at the gambling table. They provided a way, it can be argued, assert an alternative identity for a brief moment (escapism). But the newer form, machine gambling, is an erasure of the self. Slot machines, which produce 85 percent of the PROFITS at casinos, are, as the sociologist Henry Lesieur wrote, an “addiction delivery device.”

They are “electronic morphine,” and hearing more and more described as “the crack cocaine of gambling.” They are not about risk or about making decisions, but about creating somnambulism, putting a player into a trancelike state that can last for hours. It is a pathway, one sociologist points out, to becoming the walking dead. This yearning for a state of nonbeing is what Sigmund Freud called “the death instinct.” It is the overpowering drive by a depressed and traumatized person to seek pleasure in a self-destructive activity that ultimately kills the organism…

Please Visit Truthdig – There Is Much More To This Article.

Image result for images of gambling addiction the same as crack“Gambling Addiction is the Addiction #1 In Claiming Lives By Suicide”

Why is gambling addiction with slot machines considered as the highest form of addiction with gambling?

  • Psychologists have specifically designed these devices in order to attract people.
  • The new formats of multi-line electronic slot machines contain colors as well as graphics that are very stimulating and compelling to the eye.
  • Music is very stimulating as well with a strong suggestion that penetrates subliminally.
  • With the emerge of bonus rounds there is a great deal of rush involved even if there are many loses occurring.
  • The play has a speed that allows your adrenaline to pump faster.
  • With the jackpots, there can be huge winnings, but they happen so rarely just for the sake to keep people gambling.
  • Slot machines can induce hypnosis inside your brain that is hard to resist.
  • There are no skills involved in the play, making this gambling accessible to everyone.
  • Many ATMs are placed in the vicinity of slot machines for obvious reasons.
  • A lot of slot machines use from 1 to 5 cents to make gamblers think they do not spend too much money on their already outlined gambling addiction.

 

IF YOU or someone you care about has a problem with gambling? Please visit my good friends at The National Council on Problem Gambling as they have help by each STATE. National Helpline1-800-522-4700

WWW.NCPGAMBLING.ORG/CHAT

Click the icon below to chat with a helpline specialist. If you would like to call the helpline specialist, dial 1-800-522-4700 and if you would like to text the helpline specialist, text 1-800-522-4700. NCPG also supports GamTalk, a
Messaging

 
Author & Recovery Freelance Writer,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon  🙂

 

 

 

Can My Past Childhood Trauma Cause Mental Health Problems? Or is it, “Tag Your It!”

Hello Recovery Friends, and Welcome New Friends,

 

 

I was wondering over the weekend if my mental health issue’s could be caused by a genetic predisposition, or was my childhood trauma and abuse the main cause? The trauma of being sexually abused as a little girl. So I started doing some research, and of course some crazy thinking of my own, and started journaling more about what I could remember, as far back as I could of my childhood.

Thought I would write a little about what I came up with. Being therapy again for problems with PTSD again, I have uncovered a few things of my own. Some are memories of my past, and some is information I came across to get a few more answers as to why, because out of all of my siblings, I’m the only one that suffers from mental illness and disorders. And how confusing it is at times when my psychiatrist says that many conditions I suffer are “just labels.”

WHAT?

Now that just confuses the hell out me! She tells me that doctors use labels to help explain what my mental conditions, but I tell her, “what about the symptoms?” When I “get labeled,” I go look up what the disorder or condition they tell me I am suffering from, and BINGO! They description fits exactly to my symptoms. So what am I to call them?
I get very frustrated at this. So here is a little piece I came across from a medial journal that explains if mental health is generic.

“Scientists have long recognized that many psychiatric disorders tend to run in families, suggesting potential genetic roots. Such disorders include autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia. Symptoms can overlap and so distinguishing among these 5 major psychiatric syndromes can be difficult. Their shared symptoms suggest they may also share similarities at the biological level. In fact, recent studies have turned up limited evidence of shared genetic risk factors, such as for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, autism and schizophrenia, and depression and bipolar disorder.”

Now later in life, I found out my mother was having trouble with depression. So I wonder if I just happened to be the lucky one to have it passed on to me. I don’t know if either of my two sisters, or my one brother has any mental health problems because we all have not spoken to one another since my mothers passing in summer of 2003.
Yes, it is very sad to write that. Even my father has not spoken to me since 2004. Have no clue why, but I have forgiven and moved on in my life. Like we say in recovery, “we have no control over people, places, and things.”

So back to memories. I’m not saying that my childhood was all bad. There were many wonderful family memories, but some would get over looked due to alcohol abuse, or family drama of sort. Maybe I was more hyper sensitive to words my parents used to describe me at times. But after going through sex abuse, I do feel that made me more prone to look at everyone around me differently as I got older. In JR. High School my dad would see me hanging with my girlfriends outside the school, and he would call me a hooker or pill popper just because a few of my friends smoked. Or he didn’t like the way they were dressed, so he said they dress like hookers, and so did I. He had no idea how hurtful that was.

To judge your daughter by the clothes I was wearing? So I did anything I could to be out of the house. I hated being home. I would isolate in my bedroom a lot. Feeling sad and depressed a lot. But then my parents would turn around and let me go on a date at 14? OK, now I’m confused. My mom would constantly tell me I never tell her the truth about anything. That I would never amount to nothing when she got mad at me. When we were a bit younger, she would tell us kids that if we didn’t do what we were told, she would have my father drop us off at juvenile hall and leave us there.
Who threatens their kids that way? For me? I took the things she said to heart I suppose.
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I never felt like I could talk to my parents about anything going on in my life due to the nasty verbal abuse, which continued into my late teens and 20’s. And this did follow me into adulthood with my father. We have always had a strained relationship.  I feel my mother caused this, as she made us kids afraid of my father. That he would be the one to beat us with a belt, buckle and all if she could not get through to us kids. We where not ‘hellish’ kids either. Well, in the last year of high school my brother did give them a little run for their money until he went into the Army. LOL.
This is one area I tell many parents about, to please talk to your kids. They only want to be heard. They want validation and unconditional love from their parents. They want to know they have a voice. You can still tell them, ‘no,’  of what ever they are asking for, but at least they feel they have been heard.

I do feel from being sexually abused, had a lot of bearing on the way I viewed things and others in life. Other people, men, relationships. And not getting that unconditional love from my parents, I spent years trying to prove my worth to them, and trying to find that love in many bad relationships. So my conclusion is NO, I don’t think mental health problems are directly genetic, or passed down from your parents. I feel the environment you grow up in can play a large roll. I remember from a young age, I had to be on the go, or moving all the time. I guess they call it high anxiety, or mild mania. Even just riding in the car, I would have to rock back and forth in my seat. I felt nervous and anxious all the time. Even to this day I have to shake my foot to fall asleep. So later in life when I was first diagnosed with bipolar ll disorder with severe depression & anxiety, I thought, how can you be depressed and have anxiety at the same time?

Well you can. I would find this out later in live when I got tangled into a severe gambling addiction with alcohol abuse at times. The gambling was the ‘excitement and movement’ I was using to feel ‘pleasure and reward’ in my life. I also was feeling entitlement to do the destructive things I was doing with gambling. Even today, one of my med’s I take is because I depleted this from my brain chemicals is what I was told from my psychiatrist. Being in a constant state of  impulsiveness and obsession, and on edge all the time with my gambling addiction. But I also used it as a form of escape and running from my past pain of my abuse and childhood haunts. As far as my treatment, I needed more than just cognitive behavior therapy and treatment. I had to get through all the crap I was stuffing away for years from my past as well.

And that is now where I am today. I have been in recovery now from gambling addiction 8 1/2 years. And yes, I did have many relapse’s along the way until I got a foot hold on long-term recovery. What I deal with most today is my mental/emotional health. It still is not where I did like it to be. I have and have challenges with depression with pain, agoraphobia with panic disorder, PTSD has reared its ugly head again, and adult attention deficit disorder. I’m still working through a behavioral center, and with a psychiatrist, and therapist. Two of my medications have just been increased. I take each day as it comes. And I try my best to not let all of this stop me from doing the things I love. The agoraphobia is the hardest to deal with right now. It makes me feel so isolated. Like watching life go past your window without YOU in it. But I’m working it.  I refuse to give up. I know there are many who have it even worse than I.

So I share what I am going through, so those who may not have ever had to deal with mental illness can see what it is like for those who do suffer. We need to change the Stigma and how people view others who do have mental and emotional illness. We need to continue to talk about it. I plan I doing so for a long time. . . .

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Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author and Advocate