Gambling Addiction

What may have started as fun and challenge eventually devolves to secretive behavior with relentless betting on all and sundry options, fascinated with mega bucks earned easily and quickly, cutting corners, conjuring up tricks, always imagining oneself smarter than others, excusing each loss with ‘if only’ and ‘next time’, spending most winning on paying back debt or entering new bets and skimpily on family needs, and perpetually getting a kick out of guessing. Individual becomes prone to borrowing, hiding, lying, cheating, stealing, and papering over losses while convincing oneself and others that quitting is just a choice away. Eventually running oneself bone-tired and ragged, sometimes beaten up, thrown in jail and more often than not ending up penniless and friendless while leaving family in the lurch. Gambling triggers the pleasure center of the brain that, and as tolerance increases, demands betting larger sums and taking greater risks for the same level of satisfaction, and so it is viewed by experts as more than Compulsion - a mere Impulse Control problem. It is a mental disease.

Statistics/Facts on Gambling Addiction

  • 1% or about 2m Americans are dyed in the wool gamblers. 1
  • Another 2-3% or about 4-6m Americans are problem gamblers.
  • About 85% of U.S. adults have gambled at least once in their lives; 60% in the past year.2
  • 80% of gamblers do not seek help; and of those who do, 70% relapse.
  • Hawaii and Utah are the only two states without legalized gambling.
  • 75% of college students gambled in the past year; 6% struggle with a gambling problem. 3
  • Estimated, 50% of those with gambling problems commit crimes so as to support habit.
  • For AUD individuals likelihood of developing a gambling addiction increases by 23-folds.
  • As many as 750,000 young people, ages 14 to 21 have a gambling addiction.

2 based on John Riddle’s article

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Alcohol Use Disorder

Whether born of fun, situation-bred, or acquaintance-led exposure, and regardless of the age of initiation, alcoholism is an uncontrolled, debilitating chronic disease of the mind. Having become the go-to source of relief and leisure, a financially expensive habit, alcohol casts a pall of gloom over normal life. It affects people variously. In fact, five impact categories have been identified. Regardless, in the worst case scenario [9.2% of alcoholics; 38 years average age;

Drug Use Disorder

Drug Addiction originates in habitually consuming hard drugs [i.e., illegal or controlled substance without prescription]. Entering the body variously [via drinking, smoking and inhaling, snorting, smelling, injecting, inserting, etc.] for the express intention of gaining pure pleasure and relaxation it produces, in the long run it reveals itself to be the Trojan horse it is. It is an induced/acquired mental (i.e., psychological and emotional) and physical disease.

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Gambling Disorder

Once viewed as an impulse control failure, GA has been reclassified as a mental disease. No matter what gambling has been to a person, how it has arrived and is pursued – as a past-time or a challenge, casually or regularly, self-discovered or inducted, as an early starter or a late-comer, openly or secretly, in solvency or in-debt, family-sensitive or irresponsible - girded by precarious financial condition, its steely grip produces tremendous psychological and emotional

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Intimacy Disorder

According to current professional assessment, HSD/IDO/SA is not a disease but an impulse control disorder. It is taking a normal, adult inclination into directions, places, times, people, and processes that are far from normal. Sexual Addiction is very secretively pursued and is quite destructive to one’s social status, health, relationships, legal standing, spiritual and ethical moorings, and sometimes even to one’s income earning capacity and assets

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“Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”
Nelson Mandela

“There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.”
Maya Angelou

“We are only as blind as we want to be.”
Maya Angelou

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
Maya Angelou

“The time is always right to do what is right.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

O God, I realize Your presence having been blind before Failing none, to every supplicant You lend Your blessed ear I am turning to You now even if I cared not to do so before With hope and prayer, inside Your high walls I take refuge Afford me clemency, security, and in all my affairs, reliability! Amen

Below, some punch lines hustle and little poems create Easy and handy, like prayers be, for earthly use To dust off and see each day through royally Good luck, fair weather and Godspeed!

O God, Save me from the excessiveness, indignity and hindrance created by “the piece of flesh between the jaws and the piece of flesh between the legs”! Amen

Religiosity appears winded, narrow to some Just like a river, for one given to compare But the river eventually meets up with the sea Imagine with proper religiosity where one could be!

Who hasn’t seen it, can anyone anywhere deny it A storm as it gathers, as it bears down and batters Yet at the end, it must wither and completely disappear? So, surely as the pesky storm, my future is clear with fair weather!