The Day I Decided To Stop Gambling With Gamblers Anonymous

Everything was going perfect for me in life. Good job, good home, good life and good friends. Until one day some friends asked if I wanted to go to the casino. By the time I realized it, three years of my life were gone and I was in debt. It was time to quit.

The day I decided to stop gambling I was depressed and relieved at the same time. I couldn’t go on any longer. I thought all my hopes and dreams were shattered. I couldn’t tell anybody what I was going through. I was afraid that they would be disappointed in me. I remember the first day. I was nervous and anxious. I had a hard time focusing at work. This was not my first time trying to quit. I was sure I really wanted to quit, but wasn’t sure if I could quit.

The day I decided to quit I had no where to turn. I found it was difficult to talk to my family and friends about my problem. I began to do research and found Gamblers Anonymous. I wanted to give Gamblers Anonymous a try. I happened to have met a lot of nice people there. They welcomed me into the group and made me feel comfortable. I had tears coming down my face and my anxiety kicked in. I was very quiet buy my emotions were running wild inside. I made it through my first meeting and was somewhat looking forward to the next one. As each week passed new members would join and others would disappear. This became a weekly event. Who was going to come back and who was going to stay?

I continued to go to my Gamblers Anonymous meeting on a weekly basis. I was always afraid some one would recognize me. The turn over was extraordinary. Each week as I entered the meeting my heart began to race until I was sure I didn’t know any of the new members. It was the tenth week and an old co-worker of mine walked through the doors. We hadn’t worked together for over ten years. I thought about leaving but I decided to stay and try and work it out. Unfortunately he did not keep the Gamblers Anonymous code. He had told a friend who told another friend until it got back to me. It was unfortunate, but I dealt with it and moved on.

I and others unfortunately had other situations occur that were not very positive for us at Gamblers Anonymous. I still thank them for putting me on the road to recovery. From the first time I entered Gamblers Anonymous and followed up with the website I Stopped Gambling So Can You http://www.istoppedgambling.com/

I believe I am on the road to recovery. I take one day at a time and allow myself the option to gamble or not to gamble. This helped me to take control of my life. By allowing myself to make the choice the amount of stress on me has been significantly reduced.

A month after I stopped going to Gamblers Anonymous meetings, I ran into one of the members. He was curious at how I was doing and asked me if I would be there next week? I told him I would try and make the meeting. I popped in a few times more to tell them how I was doing. They were all glad to see me, but I wasn’t in compliance with the rules of Gamblers Anonymous, so I decided not to go back. In this particular group I attended, they have rules that do not allow a member to comment during therapy if they did not attend four consecutive weekly meetings. I respected their rules but realized it was time to move on. I told the group and thanked them very much for putting me in the right direction and left.

After this experience I created a website that would allow people to be themselves as they recover. This site is also the closest to anonymous you can get. There you will also find a private stop gambling chat room and a self help manual to help gamblers stop compulsive gambling addiction. The website is I Stopped Gambling So Can You http://www.istoppedgambling.com/.

My experience from Gamblers Anonymous meetings to now has helped me to stop gambling. I stopped so can you!

Gambling and Taking a Risk – Do You Know the Difference?

Learning how to take risks in your life is a key skill in achieving success throughout your entire life. Every successful person in all areas of life has taken some risk at some point in time. There is a big difference between taking a risk and gambling. Many people are not able to distinguish a significant difference between the two. We are going to talk about the difference between each of these things so you can understand them in detail. From now on, make a commitment to yourself that you only take calculated risks and not gamble with your life or your money.

We all have heard stories about people who go to casinos while they’re on vacation, mainly in Las Vegas. Las Vegas is known for the millions and millions of dollars that people lose each and every year because they have an addiction problem. This addiction problem comes in the form of gambling with money that they really do not have to spend or lose. It is sad and unfortunate, but many family members gamble with their life savings or their child’s college tuition money. Gambling has become a serious an addict of the problem in our country today.

A personal friend of mine that I have known for a few years now has always been a saver and a diligently hard worker since the first day I met them. It was only six months ago that I heard a story about my friend losing all of his money at the racetrack. Deep down, the person had an addictive personality that led them to continually gamble, and eventually lose all of their money. This is something you do not ever want to have happen to you.

Taking a calculated risk is completely different than gambling. When you take a calculated risk, you are making an educated guess based off of a set of rules and information that you follow. For example, professional stock traders go buy a set of rules whenever they are placing a trade. They know exactly when they will get out to if the trade goes wrong and they stick to their rules. They have a calculated amount of money that they are willing to put at risk and lose that will not damage their portfolio. This is called taking a risk, but it is a calculated risk. Emotions do not have anything to do with taking this calculated risk, it is all based off of logical data.

Many people who gamble are emotionally addicted to the process. People who take calculated risks only use their logical thinking part of their brain. Daniel Goldman calls this emotional intelligence. This is a key skill and learning what the differences between gambling and taking a risk.

Online Sports Betting – Everything You Need to Know

Online Sports Betting has been gaining popularity these last few years. The advancements in technology and the internet have contributed greatly in the development and improvement of sports betting. From the classic on the spot betting and televised betting, people of the right ages will also be able to enjoy sports betting through the internet. It is as simple as having your own computer or renting one, just make it a point to be sure that the computer has internet connection and in seconds you are on your way into enjoying the sports that you wish to place your bets on.

Sports betting online can feature different kinds and varieties of sports. From the famous horse racing, to tennis matches, football matches, baseball matches, motor racing, basketball and even cricket matches, you name it these online sports betting websites are sure to have it. Thousands of people in the United States as well as in Europe and some parts of Asia have already begun to get hooked with this kind of sports betting. Day by day there are hundreds of sports enthusiasts willing to test their luck while betting on their favorite sport through these numerous Online Sports Betting websites available as of today.

Truly this kind of sports betting can be a lot of fun. You can surely enjoy betting via these online betting websites by trying your luck but there are several things to consider before getting addicted into this kind of betting. First, make it a point to keep in mind that you cannot bet what you cannot afford. In fact, do not bet even a dollar if you do not have it. The one and only period that can be said to be safe in betting money in this kind of sports betting is when you can afford to lose it. Otherwise, you will be sacrificing money intended for other useful purposes such as food and clothing. Sports betting are full of fun and enjoyment, but getting addicted to it is gambling addiction that is a very serious problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Second, remember that you will be losing in this kind of betting. Since betting is a form of gambling, you should keep in mind that there are winners and there are losers. The ratio of winners against losers is about 1:10, so expect that you will be losing a lot, especially during your first try. If you win in your first try then you are extremely lucky as the other persons that betted with you lost there money. Try to learn through the first couple of losses that you experience as having experience will be a lot of help to you in knowing how to play against the odds.

Third, make sure that you know the sport that you are betting on. A basic knowledge will suffice, but a thorough knowledge will be a big help to you in making the right bets. You should know the basics as well as the advanced rules regarding your favorite sport that you wish to bet upon in order for you to assess on who or what to bet against other betting fanatics. By having this basic knowledge you will be on your way into making good and fruitful bets in no time at all.

Compulsive Gambler’s Journey To Day One Stop Gambling

Its day one and this was the most exciting day in Justin’s life. He made the choice to stop gambling. It’s been a long exhausting journey that he thought would never end. His journey towards self destruction began five years ago. A simple few bets cost him his future financial freedom. He lost all of his retirement money and all of his savings. The only things left in his life were his wife, two kids and a dog. He was just about to lose his job due to poor attendance and performance. He was at bottom with no where to turn. His wife had also been emotionally distraught due to his lies, disappearance, lack of interest in the kids and their personal intimacy. No one was really very happy at this point in time.

Justin’s wife realized he had a problem a year earlier and she didn’t know what to do. She contacted various programs through the internet and then found I Stopped Gambling So Can You http://www.istoppedgambling.com/ website. There she began to educate herself on gambling addiction. At the website she found something for everyone. She showed the site to friends and family and finally her husband.

Justin read through the manual and found out he could relate to it. He remembered how many times he wanted to stop gambling, but couldn’t stop. He even thought about going to a Gamblers Anonymous meeting because he heard a lot of good things about them. He finally decided that the I Stopped So Can You website was going to help him stop gambling. On day one he had a lot of thoughts running through his mind. He remembers that first morning when he woke up and realized how gambling had controlled his life for way to long. He was not going to allow this anymore. He was nervous because he remembered all the other futile attempts at stopping. This time was different. He had a calm feeling about the direction he wanted to take his life and he was now in control of his destiny. His goal was to take one day at a time. This will help him to succeed in his quest to stop gambling.

Day one Justin changed the direction of his life for the better. He will always remember that this is his life and there’s no reason to spend his hard earned money on gambling. Gambling was a self destructive part of my past.

In one day Justin accepted his situation, made a plan and followed through. He believes that his life for the first time in five years is headed in the right direction.

Congratulations Justin on day one!

Addiction, The Silent Killer

The word “addiction” is derived from a Latin term for “enslaved by” or “bound to.” Anyone who has struggled to overcome an addiction or has tried to help someone else to do so understands why.

Addiction exerts a long and powerful influence on the brain that manifests in three distinct ways: craving for the object of addiction, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences.

Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (e.g., gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable, but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health. Users may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.

The word addiction is used in several different ways. One definition describes physical addiction. This is a biological state in which the body adapts to the presence of a drug so that drug no longer has the same effect, otherwise known as a tolerance. Another form of physical addiction is the phenomenon of overreaction by the brain to drugs (or to cues associated with the drugs). An alcoholic walking into a bar, for instance, will feel an extra pull to have a drink because of these cues.

People with an addiction do not have control over what they are doing, taking or using. Their addiction may reach a point at which it is harmful.

Addictions do not only include physical things we consume, such as drugs or alcohol, but may include virtually anything, such abstract things as gambling to seemingly harmless products, such as chocolate – in other words, addiction may refer to a substance dependence (e.g. drug addiction) or behavioral addiction (e.g. gambling addiction).

However, most addictive behavior is not related to either physical tolerance or exposure to cues. People compulsively use drugs, gamble, or shop nearly always in reaction to being emotionally stressed, whether or not they have a physical addiction. Since these psychologically based addictions are not based on drug or brain effects, they can account for why people frequently switch addictive actions from one drug to a completely different kind of drug, or even to a non-drug behavior.

Addiction, often referred to as dependency often leads to tolerance – the addicted person needs larger and more regular amounts of whatever they are addicted to in order to receive the same effect. Often, the initial reward is no longer felt, and the addiction continues because withdrawal is so unpleasant.

When referring to any kind of addiction, it is important to recognize that its cause is not simply a search for pleasure and that addiction has nothing to do with one’s morality or strength of character.

Experts debate whether addiction is a “disease” or a true mental illness, whether drug dependence and addiction mean the same thing, and many other aspects of addiction. Such debates are not likely to be resolved soon.

Casino’s Popping Up Leads To Negative Impact on Economy

Casinos and other forms of gambling are popping up in almost every state. Every other day you hear of a new Indian Tribe that is looking for recognition. Once they receive their recognition, investors look to back these people up and in turn a new Casino is born. People all over the United States are using their paychecks for a chance to win big. In turn all of the local businesses are suffering to the point where they are now starting to file bankruptcy. Eventually, someone in political power will finally admit that the amount of money taken in from taxes on gambling is significantly less than the hardship created with the economy. Most states take in millions of dollars from their casinos, scratch tickets and lotto, but they don’t want to deal with the negative impact on the local businesses. Everyone knows there is a problem, but no one wants to face it.

People have no problem in spending hundreds and thousands of dollars at the Casino’s but will quickly get upset when gas rises ten cents per gallon or their child needs more school supplies. One mother told me she was very upset that the school system did not completely cover a field trip and that it would cost her $15.00 for each of her two children. She called the school and complained. This same person had no problem the night before losing $1,300.00 at the local casino. There’s no logic to this situation. In another situation, a person would steal sweet and low, butter and rolls from her local diner. She had money in her wallet but that was reserved for gambling. In both of these situations family members knew they had a gambling problem only after they noticed their quality of life was changing.

Everyone now knows someone who has a gambling problem. They don’t understand how this has happed to a loved one, but they know something has to change. The same situation occurs when you find out your brother is an alcoholic. You can’t close down every bar and you can’t bring back prohibition. You have to face it head on and look for alternatives to help your brother.

People now are beginning to speak out as the epidemic continues. A lot of people don’t even realize they have this addiction until their resources run out. Gamblers tell their friends I won $2000.00 at the Casino on Saturday, but they neglect to tell them they lost $5000.00 and the week before. Bad information is being spread in turn the recipients of this information head to the casino in an attempt to win big. If everyone won Casino’s would be out of business.

I have seen thousands of gambler’s lives destroyed because they do not know how to quit. Through education we can succeed at finding alternatives to help these people.

You may find the following websites helpful:

I Stopped Gambling So Can You

http://www.istoppedgambling.com/

Stop Gambling Books

[http://www.stopgamblinginformation.com/][http://www.stop-gambling-books.com/]

Compulsive Gambling Addiction

[http://www.compulsive-gambling-addiction.org/][http://www.compulsive-gambling-addiction.org/]

Gambling Debt Help

Gambling is addictive, and often leads to financial trouble. Thousands of people fall into gambling debt, and this is where gambling debt help is needed.

The people who are unfortunate enough to find themselves falling into gambling debt should seek some professional gambling debt help. These gambling debt counselors are experienced professionals who will gladly help the gambler to overcome his various financial problems. They can often help these people get out of the debt trap to start a new life. They teach them the right procedures in which to repay their creditors, while saving as much money as possible in the process. They can offer gambling debt help by consulting the various creditors and getting them to lower their interest rates. This in turn lowers the amount of money the gambler has to repay.

However, as gambling is very addictive, gamblers need not only financial help, but also personal counseling to overcome this addiction. Many gamblers in debt have tried Gamblers Anonymous for help, only to come out of it when they run into friends and co-workers at the meetings. As gambling is a private addiction, they cannot face known people with this addiction.

With the Internet, there are many private chat rooms with self-help manuals available online to provide psychological help to compulsive gamblers who want to beat their addiction. With a search engine, compulsive gamblers can easily find treatment that best fits their position.

So gamblers, with the assistance of professional gambling debt help individuals, can overcome gambling debt and get on with their lives.

The Dangers Of Gambling Abuse And Addiction

So, how do you know if you or someone you love have a gambling problem?

First of all it’s important to note that compulsive gambling is a psychological condition that makes people unable to control their desire to gamble. Many crave the feeling they have when they gamble and seek this experience on a daily basis, no matter whether they’re on a winning or losing streak.

Compulsive gamblers may start betting small amounts, but sooner or later start to wager higher bets in order to get the same feelings of excitement they had when they first started playing. Compulsive gamblers often feel agitated and restless if they are unable to gamble and can feel a strong desire to gamble when other aspects of their lives are weighing them down. Compulsive gamblers may also believe that gambling is the only way to pay off debts and keep believing that it’s only a matter of time before they hit the elusive jackpot. Some compulsive gamblers may find themselves lying to friends and families and in some cases stealing money or goods to pay for their gambling habit.

Not all compulsive gamblers will exhibit each of these qualities, but if you recognise just a few of these in yourself or someone close to you then it could be time to seek help.

Compulsive gambling is treatable and there are a number of wonderful organisations set up to deal specifically with this problem.

Gamblers Anonymous is probably the most well-known and widespread and is based on a 12-step program similar to that of Alcoholics Anonymous. Members meet on a regular basis to share experiences and listen to each others stories and you will find that there are literally hundreds of Gamblers Anonymous groups situated all over the world. Go to the Gamblers Anonymous website for more information (www.gamblersanonymous.com) or check your local newspaper.

Gam-Anon is another well-respected self-help organization whose motto is “serenity, courage, wisdom. “Their website provides a solid resource into the issues surrounding compulsive gambling and meetings are held regularly. (www.gam-anon.org).

The National Council on Problem Gambling is a government sponsored organization with branches across the USA. The website also has a lot of information which you may find useful. (www.ncpgambling.org).

Other countries will also have their own groups and organizations which may be publicly or privately run. Again check your local newspaper or phone book for more information.

Remember, compulsive gambling is a mental health issue for which there is help and support. If you feel that gambling is dominating your life in a way that is harmful or unhealthy, then perhaps its time to talk to someone about it.

How to End a VLT or Slot Machine Addiction

“Like a vampire seducing its prey, the VLTs were, at first blush, sexy and alluring. They were shiny, flashy, fast, and exhilarating and unfortunately for me, it was love at first sight-not the romantic, beautiful, and healthy love you’d witness in The Notebook, but the obsessive, destructive kind that you’d see in Fatal Attraction.” Gisele Jubinville

Do you or someone you love relate to this quote? The gaming machine addiction, or in other words, an addiction to VLTs or slot machines, is unlike any other gambling addiction. There are very few treatment programs that recognize this. As Gisele Jubinville outlines in her book Dismissed: How one woman’s intuition ended her addiction and exposed a government cover-up, one of the most important elements missing from treatment programs is a basic understanding of how gaming machines work. Losing control of time and money, continuous and excessive play, the inability to make controlled, informed and rational choices, and losing touch with reality are all COMMON and NORMAL experiences for regular VLT and slot machine players.

Let’s look at this statement and how it affects your addiction. One of the most common reactions after a gaming machine binge is self-loathing. Normal healthy internal dialogue switches from compassion and understanding to anger, impatience and judgment. You think, “Why am I so weak?” “What just happened to me?” “I’m such a pathetic mess. How am I ever going to get my money back?” “If someone finds out, they’ll hate me for sure.” “Why do I keep losing my money on these machines? I have no will power. What a failure I am.” These thoughts roll around in your mind, dampening your mood and infesting your self-esteem. Pretty soon, you start to believe them. You believe your addiction is your fault. You determine that you are the only one to blame for your actions and therefore you deserve the internal abuse you put yourself through.

But what if this isn’t the case? What if you are not the only one to blame? What if there are factors that contribute to your addiction that you weren’t even aware of. Did you know that millions of dollars a year are spent by manufacturers of VLTs and slot machines to increase time of play? Psychologists, behavioural scientists, doctors and researchers are hired to sharpen the program inside the machine to undermine the regular player’s ability to play responsibly. If you can’t stop playing the machines, perhaps it’s time you understand that the very ones who designed the programs you are playing actually wanted it that way. They want you to insert your money into their machines and they have done everything they can to achieve this goal. Everything about the machine has been consciously designed to hook you in and keep you there. It is a manipulation that most players are not even aware of.

Most new players are attracted by the potential of winning a jackpot. It’s why new players find VLTs and slot machines entertaining at first. But, over time entertainment turns to entrapment. Regularly playing the machines affects your thinking. Your controlled, rational mind is replaced with an irrational thinking that fools itself into believing you will actually make money on the machines. This is what the program inside the machine wants you think. It has created a scheduled system of reinforcement to condition you to expect, hope for and want the elusive winning jackpot. And it has you thinking it is just around the corner, just another $20 oughta do it. When you play regularly, your normal thinking is replaced with this insane rationalization and you end up chained to the machines.

So yes, take ownership of your addiction. You cannot heal until you do. But consider also that perhaps you are more a victim than you are an addict. When you let this sink in, your internal dialogue will begin to change. Instead of beating yourself up for losing control again, you’ll think, “I am doing exactly what the machines are programming me to do. When I sit in front of a VLT or slot machine, my mind is being affected. The program inside the machine is created with the purpose of keeping me at the machine for as long as possible. Losing control of my time and money is a NORMAL reaction for regular players of these machines.”

As your internal dialogue changes, so too will your actions. The urge to play the machines will start to disappear the more you understand how the machines work. Instead of unsuccessfully trying to force yourself to stay away from the machines, you will naturally want to stay away. Knowledge is freedom. It is a natural and harmonious path to recovery and I encourage you to start researching. It could potentially save your life.

Teenage Gambling At Post Prom High School Party

The latest trend to hit high schools is supervised teenage gambling at the Post Prom School Party. Over the past few months I have received numerous emails from parents, students and school faculty expressing concern about the new alternative entertainment. In all cases these people believe it would do more harm then good.

The concept became reality for students once the Post Prom Committee voted to accept this new alternative entertainment.

This Post Prom Committee believes this is safe night party for the High School prom. The students who are taking part are between the ages of sixteen and eighteen years old. Each student is able to purchase fake money to gamble with and at the end of the night they can trade this money in for prizes with at the end of the night. Some parents believe this is a safe wonderful event for their children. While others believe this is one area they prefer their kids not be involved with.

One of the emails I received was from a family who home schools their five children. I was surprised since their kids were not involved. She had explained to me that her daughter who is seventeen has friends who attend the public school system. She went on to tell me the negative behavior exhibited by these teens after the event took place. In fact they taught her daughter how to play black jack and poker. This is a good neighborhood that has strong community ties. She also informed me that she not see the difference between using fake money or real money when you still have a chance to win a prize that has value. She believes these teens are being educated on how to gamble, win and take the easy way out.

People in favor of this gambling event, nicely told those who were against it to have their teenager’s stay home. It was my understanding the post prom parties were supposed to be for everyone.

It surprised me that a school district finds gambling night an acceptable behavior for our teenagers.

I have seen first hand the self destruction gambling can do to teenagers and adults. It’s my belief that gambling should be limited to people who are eighteen and over.

Another email was asking me for the specific statistics on the negative impact on a teenager’s who attend a gambling event. General statistics reflect a percentage of those in attendance will develop a compulsive gambling addiction. Some of these same students may become addicted at some point in their life. I have found that addictions to gambling are not age sensitive. People of any age who are gambling for the very first time can develop a gambling addiction. Usually a friend or family member takes them to the gambling establishment. I first found it difficult to understand how a person who is sixty five retired and on a fixed income gets addicted to gambling. The seniors I spoke with were very upset and didn’t understand how this happened to them. The unfortunate part is they lost their pensions and now only have their Social Security to live on. In one case the Grandmother has to move in with her daughter.

There is very little difference between supervised gambling and allowing supervised drinking alcoholic beverages or serving the students there choice of dugs on a silver platter. If a Principal served a student an alcoholic drink he would be arrested. I am trying to understand how school educators and parents can distinguish between alcohol and gambling on school property. How is one more acceptable then the other?

Studies have shown that there is a correlation between alcohol addiction and gambling addiction. The correlation was based on individuals who attend both Gamblers Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

It would be a shame to find out ten years from now that students who took part in supervised gambling at the High School level their future was compromised by a life of self destruction and low self esteem.

It’s a proven statistics that students who gamble get a similar rush as if they just had an alcoholic beverage. The only difference here they will not wake up with a hang over and the side effects are minimal until it’s too late.

We have now given our students another option in life. The major concern is the student’s will probably like the rush from gambling a lot more then alcohol and or drugs since there is no hang over or smell. Some students are likely to continue gambling. Students with A grades are not exempt from this. Statistics show that compulsive teenage gamblers are also very bright and articulate individuals.

People need to be educated on teenage gambling and its long term affects. It’s illegal to gamble if you are under 18. It’s also illegal to drink if you are under 18 (some places 21) and it’s illegal to smoke cigarettes if you are under 18. These laws were set for a reason. Another email I received wanted to know do these school systems have any respect for the Law?

I emailed each of the people and asked why haven’t they raised their concerns to the school board? They all responded the same. “We are the minority and now we look bad in front of our kids.” This is truly a no win situation.

The parents who are against this sort of entertainment believe; if just one student develops a compulsive gambling addiction that is one too many.

For more information on Stop Teenage Gambling Website [http://www.teenage-gambling-addiction.org] and I Stopped Gambling So Can You http://www.istoppedgambling.com/.