Gambling addiction: The facts

March 9, 2006 by  
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Newport News-Times: Gambling addiction: The facts

Posted: Mar 08, 2006 – 08:50:39 PST

Any one of these signs may indicate a gambling problem. If five or more of these signs are present, then there is a problem, according to Marilyn Austin Heins, a clinical counselor and gambling specialist with Lincoln County Health and Human Services.

* A preoccupation with gambling, such as reliving past gambling experiences or thinking of ways to get more gambling money.

* A need to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve desired excitement.

* Repeated, unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back or stop gambling.

* Restless or irritable feeling when attempting to cut down or stop gambling.

* Using gambling as a way of escaping from problems or relieving feelings of helplessness, anxiety, boredom, or depression.

* After losing money gambling, returns to gamble another day to “get even.”

* Borrows money from others to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling.

* Lies to family members or others to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling.

* Commits illegal acts, such as forgery, fraud, theft, or writing bad checks to finance gambling.

* Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, educational, or career opportunity because of gambling.

Heins notes there are two types of addicted gambler

* The Escape Gambler: “She just wants to zone out, just play the machines. It’s their escape from life. She forgets about being lonely, or stressed or angry.” This is the most frequent type of addicted gambler.

* The Action-Seeking Gambler: “He is more into the challenge and the competition. These are your poker players that are betting that they are smarter than anyone at the table.”

For more information call the 24 Hour Helpline: 1-877-2-Stop-Now or 265-6611 ext. 2261. Treatment is free – counseling is paid for from Lottery proceeds – and confidential.


Copyright © 2006 Newport News-Times

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