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Gambling

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Individuals suffering from addiction in denial of needing treatment


“We admitted we were powerless —that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Once addiction takes the powerful hold it has over someone’s life, it can seem almost impossible to overcome. For those of us who have experienced it first hand, whether it be yourself or a loved one, we are all too familiar with the feeling of powerlessness and despair. While some people who have overcome their addiction by themselves through sheer willpower and self discipline, most addicts simply can’t do it alone. Many have tried time and time again to quit their addiction and almost always end with the same results. Failure.

There is a reason AA states “We admitted we were powerless —that our lives had become unmanageable.” as the first of the twelve steps. Admitting powerlessness means you have accepted you have a problem, but it can also mean a realization that you are powerless to do anything about it by yourself. The addict who has come to the realization that they have a problem may incorrectly assume they can overcome their addiction without the aid of others. After failures to quit and or repeated relapses, an addict may still believe they do not need to enter a treatment program. They do…

“Are you tired yet?”. Billy Hoffman, a professional peer consoler for Williamsville Wellness, asks this question for addicts who are in denial of needing any treatment. “Have you figured out yet that everything you’ve tried to do, on your own, has not worked? In fact, things have progressively gotten worse.” he says in the video above. There are greater benefits to participting in group therapy, professional counseling and meetings compared to not taking advantage of these resources.

It’s wonderful if an addict can overcome addiction on their own, but those who have tried and failed need to ask themselves “Am I tired yet?..”

New Generation Of Youth Gamblers On The Rise

Counter Strike Gambling

You won’t find the new generation of compulsive gamblers in casinos or race tracks.  You have to be over eighteen or to enter those places…

These new gamblers are young adults and teens gambling away their savings and allowances online from the comfort of home, many going into serious debt.  The name of the game is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.  Counter-Strike is a popular competitive First Person Shooter for PC (a game where players shoot each other).  All the gambling stems from the virtual items that can be acquired in the game known as skins.  Skins are purely cosmetic paint designs for the weapons you can use in the game.  At first glance, the concept of acquiring weapon skins in a video game seems harmless enough until you realize they can be bought and sold for real cash with most only costing a few cents while others are valued at thousands of dollars depending on the rarity.

Acquiring skins in Counter-Strike is basically gambling in itself.  A player must spend $2.50 to open a box (a case) for a random chance of winning a rare and expensive skin.  A roulette style animation appears when the case is opened and selects the new virtual item.  It’s not much different from buying scratch lotto tickets, however scratch lotto tickets actually have much better odds at winning anything worthwhile.  There are hundreds of YouTube videos showing people opening cases and “Winning Big!” with views in the millions.  Here’s one of a young man opening cases for almost two hours.  The guy in that video almost exclusively posts gambling videos, like this one, and has over three million subscribers.  Most of his viewers are teens and preteens.  He was recently exposed to be the owner of the gambling website he was using in his videos, tricking teens into thinking they could win big money using his site.

Counter-Strike gambling websites have been popping up on the internet for the past couple years.  Gamblers use their skins to place bets on these websites.  It is estimated that over 2.3 billion dollars in bets were placed on these websites in 2015 alone.  Since skins technically aren’t real money these websites are operating in a “legal grey area” and are completely unregulated.  A twelve-year old can get on and start gambling instantly and many do.  The industry and craze continues to grow.

VA to become first state to regulate Fantasy Sports

Bob Cabaniss, founder & executive director of Williamsville Wellness, was recently interviewed by ABC Channel 8 about a law in Virginia that has passed the house and senate. It now goes to the Governor, and would impose registration and auditing on Fantasy Sports sites if they wanted to sell their services to Virginia consumers.

ABC Channel 8 Legislation Fantasy Sports

ABC Channel 8 reviews Legislation on Fantasy Sports

 

Williamsville Wellness has long been of the opinion that Fantasy Sports are not inherently dangerous, but can lead to dangerous behavior. This is one of many such activities recovering gambling patients really must stay away from; to re-engage can cause a relapse. To be fair, depending on the patient, other legal activities are also discouraged, such as excessive buying and selling on EBay.

The key to all of this is moderation. Excessive or obsessive behavior can quickly lead to real issues, such as problem gambling. To really guage healthy behaviour, is to look at the total picture of one’s life, not just the one area that has lead to a problem.

“Health is the natural condition. When sickness occurs, it is a sign that Nature has gone off course because of a physical or mental imbalance. The road to health for everyone is through moderation, harmony, and a ‘sound mind in a sound body’.”

Jostein Gaarder, Sophie’s World

 

 

Feeding the Cardio

Williamsville has a total health picture in mind for patients. One thing we’re noticing is a lot of people have trouble meeting the recommended 30 min of actual cardio a day.

This is different from a 30 min workout designed to get the heart rate up, and you can only really figure out if you’re doing it with a heart-rate tracker of some kind. Oddly enough, a diet tweak can make it easier to hit the time your heart stays at the cardio rate.

Food for Cardio

Williamsville Wellness focuses on a total health picture, which includes working out and diet. We’ve found a lot of people have trouble meeting the recommended 30 min of actual cardio a day.

This is different from a 30 min workout designed to get the heart rate up, and you can only really figure out if you’re doing it with a heart-rate tracker of some kind. One thing you can do to make it easier is a diet tweak – although I personally don’t need anymore fiber. 😉

Medical Study: Different Brain Chemistry in Problem Gamblers

A study presented in Berlin found the opioid center of the brain works different in people with an addiction to gambling than with volunteers. The article presents the facts pretty plainly, but the implications back up two other observations. First, people are just different, and some can gamble without danger of becoming addicted, but others really can’t. Second, gambling addicts respond better to being treated as if they had a substance addiction rather than psychological addiction. If the problem gambler’s real issue was they were addicted to endorphin rushes, which are only released when gambling, that would explain the success of treating gambling addiction the same as other substance addictions.

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