What is Compulsive Gambling?
Compulsive Gambling is an illness, progressive in its nature, which can be never be cured, but can be arrested.
Before coming to Gambler’s Anonymous many compulsive gamblers thought of themselves as morally weak, or at times just plain “no good”. The Gamblers Anonymous concept is that compulsive gamblers are really very sick people who can recover if they will follow to the best of their ability a simple program that has proved successful for thousands of other men and women with a gambling or compulsive gambling problem.
What should a Compulsive Gambler Do to Stop?
The compulsive gambler needs to be willing to accept the fact that he or she is in the grip of a progressive illness and has a desire to get well. Our experience has shown that the Gamblers Program will always work for someone who has a desire to stop gambling. However it will never work for the person who will not face squarely the facts about this illness.
How Can I tell if I am a Compulsive Gambler?
Only you can make that decision. Most people turn to Gamblers Anonymous when they become willing to admit that gambling has them licked. Also, in Gamblers Anonymous, a compulsive gambler is described as a person whose gambling has caused growing and continuing problems in any department of his or her life.
Most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions.
1. Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
3. Did gambling affect your reputation?
4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
5. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
6. Did gambling ever cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
7. After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
8. After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
9. Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambing?
12. Were you reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures?
13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself and your family?
14. Did you ever gamble longer than you planned?
15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance your gambling?
17. Did gambling ever cause you to have difficulty sleeping?
18. Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
19. Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
20. Have you ever considered self destruction as a result of your gambling?
What is Gamblers Anonymous?
Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share there experience strength and hope with each other that may solve their common problem and help others to recover from a gambling problem. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop gambling, there are no dues or fees required.
Gamblers Anonymous is listed in most phone books where you can get a list of meeting places. The 24 hour phone number for Gambler’s Anonymous International Service Office in Los Angeles is: (213) 386-8789. They can provide you with literature and more information.
PO Box 17173
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(has all GA regional phone numbers)
There is also a fellowship of men and women who are husbands, wives, relatives and friends of compulsive gamblers called Gam-anon. The phone number for Gam-anon is (718) 352-1671.
Gam-anon International Service Office
PO Box 157
Whitestone, NY 11357