Compulsive Gamblers Stories: Addiction to Recovery
This former patient describes how he got hooked on gambling. At the age of nine his family would routinely go to greyhound racing. They would sit and order a nice meal just like they were at a restaurant. But right at their table there would be a TV screen showcasing the dogs. He could either watch the race on TV or he could go outside with his older sisters to get a better view of the racetrack.
He would be given two dollars to bet his favorite dog. Of course either his dad or mom would place the bet for him. He would always pick the number nine dog. Sure enough the number nine greyhound came in first place and he won some money. This was the beginning of his attraction to gambling.
As he got into his early twenties he learned about the lottery and the big potential payouts this could give him. He then got his first experience at a casino. This was his downfall. In the beginning he would bet 25 cents but by the end he was betting at least five dollars on the slot machines. He would occasionally win big. Unfortunately his loses outweighed his winnings and it was not unusual for him to drop more than a thousand dollars in a night.
It seems that the sounds and lights of the slot machines kept him playing despite the huge losses he accrued. One recent article discusses why casinos are so addictive. In general, the casino environment itself is very addicting.
Finally, in 2008 this former patient got help for his compulsive gambling. By then he had lost his house, car, and several relationships. He had never been arrested but that didn’t matter because most of all he lost his will to live because of gambling. Treatment allowed him to go from addiction to recovery. He listened to other compulsive gamblers’ stories and heard a message of hope.
He no longer had to live the nightmare he had been experiencing. Through Gamblers Anonymous and the help of a sponsor this former patient now has over 8 years without gambling. His financial woes are a thing of the past. He is so grateful that he sought treatment and listened to so many compulsive gamblers stories who gave him so much hope. He has never entered a casino or any gambling establishment since getting treatment. Now he likes it that way and does not miss it at all!