One runs cocktails at a regional casino. The other is completing her education and searching for a teaching job.
On the day I met them, they appeared to have little in typical. But they were among pals, and under a cloak of anonymity they confessed being compulsive gamblers and started speaking about their lives. Taking that bold step to get help is exactly what brought them to the Problem Gambling Center for Rob Hunter’s Tuesday group session.
You’d believe, in 2016, it would go without stating that compulsive gambling habits doesn’t discriminate. Ask an unfamiliar person to paint a quick profile of the degenerate gambler and the photo of a male with a development of beard and eyes blurred from the manic action will most likely emerge. It’s just not so.
It’s a medical disorder like alcohol addiction and drug dependency. Carol O Hare, executive director of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling, stated a study of her group’s hectic help line exposes a cross section of mankind that mirrors our state’s varied demographics.
However she also said the stereotypes persist, in part, because of the ability of compulsive gamblers to camouflage their dependency. Unlike the alcoholic, she stated, you can’t smell a roll of quarters on my breath.
Gambling dependency straight touches a bit more than 2 percent of the population, according to some studies, but O Hare stated the figure is up to 3 times that high in Nevada. Beyond the lives damaged and destroyed, the yearly expense to American society of gambling dependency surpasses $7 billion, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling.
Those two women with relatively little in common were, in fact, in exceptional company with casino executives and industrial employers, maids and bartenders, priests and retired ballplayers. It’s not a matter of money, morals or discipline.
And viewing the disease as a character weak point or a question of willpower obscures the medical science. However unlike the drug abuser and alcoholic, whose plights have actually acquired a level of social understanding, the compulsive gambler finds couple of allies a reality shown in the typically poor funding for support programs.
Pay attention to their stories, and you’ll be reminded that the cost of compulsive gambling is determined in more than missed home mortgage payments and bankruptcy. It also makes liars of excellent people.
Take that cocktail waitress
She’s young, married, and stated she’s concealed her addiction from her other half for several years. He doesn’t know she’s poured a bundle into video poker devices while sitting with good friends after work. Now the losses are so great, she’s scared to come clean.
Which teacher’s gambling regular sent her to the ATM up until her cost savings was tired? For a time she believed moving away would be the very best thing, but when she returned to the Midwest for a check out she saw a billboard for an issue gambling help line that recommended, Don’t Fall For Your Own Bluff. Over the next couple of days, the message began to sink in.
I didn’t believe I was falling for my own bluff; however I was, she said, the feeling increasing in her voice. Every time I stated, I’m only going to take 20 bucks, or I’m only going to take 100 dollars, or I’m going to leave my ATM card at home, or only go (gamble) for 3 hours.
She went back to Las Vegas and chose to stay. Among the ironies of this gambling-saturated subculture is that it also provides a constant lineup of 12-step Gamblers Anonymous meetings in addition to Hunter’s group session and other treatments.
The teacher realized that she could run, but she couldn’t hide from the disease. She also understands she’s not alone.
From what we’ve seen working with individuals in the neighborhood, this is like any other dependency, said O Hare, who describes herself as a woman in recovery for the previous 25 years. We’ve come a long method in this nation.
You can’t sit in that group of vulnerable, brave individuals and not come away rooting and praying for their recuperation.
A teacher, a waitress, and the rest people, too.