Over the past five years addictions to gambling have grown at an accelerated rate. Not only adults, but teenagers are gambling with out realizing the consequences. Most States including Connecticut have created agreements with Indian reservations for self gain. The states are now realizing the negative impact the Indian casino reservations are having on their taxpayers.
Gambling is a silent addiction. Most people can go years with out anyone ever discovering that they gambled. Besides the local Casino’s people can now even gamble online.
With today’s modern technology, if you want to gamble you can so long as you have the resources. Once your resources are depleted and you’re in debt, you will begin to seek help. This is where many states are taking notice due to people claiming bankruptcy, not paying their state taxes, getting caught committing petty crimes and even suicide.
The I Stopped Gambling So Can You website continues to receive alarming emails from friends family and the compulsive gambler. The site was developed to help people associated with compulsive gambling addiction.
The alarming rate in the rise of addicted individuals has caused the states to rethink what they are doing and how to help this segment of the population. The individuals who sought help through various programs now know they are not alone. The unfortunate part is in most cases they are starting all over. If the States would reach out and help these people then the outcomes may be different.
If a person goes into a bar and is apparently drunk, the bartenders are not going to serve this person any alcoholic drinks and may even recommend a cab. At a casino, people use the cash machines until they are unable to take out any more money. People cash checks and even take cash advances from their credit cards, but no one at the casinos is willing to step up to the plate and help these people out.
I have talked with hundreds of people who excessively gambled. These people knew they were addicted and always planned to spend a specific amount of money. After being at the casinos with all the lights, bells and whistles they fell into a trance and no longer had any control.
Once the gambler leaves the casino reality sets in. They now realize they’ve lost a lot of money. They ask themselves: How did this happen? They themselvesthey will never due this again only to repeat the same behavior patterns over and over until they hit bottom and lose everything. These people were spending anywhere from $100.00 to $5,000.00 per week on their addiction. In a majority of these situations they realized they lost everything. Even after filing bankruptcy they still owed a significant amount in back taxes.
The State of Connecticut receives revenues from their two Indian Run Casinos. If a taxpayer wins a Jackpot equal to or greater than $1,200.00 and resides in Connecticut they will be subject to Connecticut State Tax. The Internal Revenue Service lets you deduct your winnings against your losses but not in Connecticut.
The various states are now realizing they created a major problem, but are not willing to discuss it openly. Various news stations have been reporting the negative impact, but due to the revenues generated, no one is willing to step up to the plate and help these people out.
Until the local authorities take action, many lives will continue to be destroyed.
Future articles will address the compulsive gambler, gambling addiction and a search to find a solution to this growing problem.
You may find the following websites helpful:
Mr. Howard Keith has an extensive background in dealing with compulsive gamblers, relatives and friends of gamblers and teenage gamblers. Mr. Keith believes there are many alternatives to aid in the recovery of a gambling addiction verses a twelve step program. A large percentage of his emails were from compulsive gamblers looking for an alternative to Gamblers Anonymous and twelve step programs. Gamblers Anonymous also helps a significant number of people each year but there is a large percentage that they are unable to reach.
“What time is it? I lost track. I have tome for one more—bet, that is. It will surely be the turning point; one that will get my special streak back on track. It always come back.; just not sure what’s taking so long this time. I must be doing something wrong or maybe I did something wrong and it’s my punishment. Maybe someone at the table is emitting bad vibes. You know luck works in mysterious ways.
Oh-right—what time is it now? Oh no! I’m really late—again. I don’t think I can show up for work now, at this hour. They’ll be upset with me for not coming to work, but I’ll figure something out. For that matter, my wife isn’t going to be too happy with me either-especially after not coming home all night. She’s already given me the benefit of the doubt to get myself under control. I could lose another job and that will mean big trouble covering my losses. My 401K is gone and so are the college funds for my son and daughter. But, I still have time to win it all back. I can most likely double or triple my stake-right? After all, the kids are just in high school. Oh, yeah, I’ll have to pick up a cheap, fake wedding ring before I go home as well.
I get these headaches. My insomnia really gets the best of me. I have to get my belly pain checked out soon. I think I’ve lost more weight. When I see myself in the mirror, I look terrible. I don’t enjoy much of anything anymore; On the other hand, that’s not necessarily true because when they approved cyber sports betting, I was elated! I feel guilty for a lot of this, but I can’t seem to stop. Maybe I have a problem, but it’s the only thing that excites me and when I win it makes it all good. I know that I’m the “lucky one” down deep. It will all be OK and then we’ll be on “Easy Street” and they’ll all thank me. Why’s the Sheriff talking to me with papers in his hand; are they for me? I wish my father was still around. I wish anybody was still around.”
Compulsive gambling is an addiction like many others. pussy888 There’s tolerance, withdrawal and awareness that these are harmful behaviors, but I do them anyway.
There have been years of research about gambling. It turns out there are many facets of gambling that are synonymous with drug addiction from a neuroscience perspective. Researchers have demonstrated brain changes as addiction develops. Specifically, in the middle of the cranium are a series of circuits known as the reward system that connects other regions of the brain that impact memory, movement, pleasure and motivation. According to the research, as a result of engaging in “activities that keeps us alive or helps us pass on our genes, neurons in the reward system squirt out a chemical called dopamine, giving us a little wave of satisfaction and encouraging us to make a habit of enjoying hearty meals and romps in the sack. When stimulated by amphetamine, cocaine or other addictive drugs, the reward system disperses up to 10 times more dopamine than usual… ” [Scientific American; Brain and Behavior; How the Brain Gets Addicted to Gambling]. Over time, the dopamine bath that the brain receives creates less sensitivity to drugs and more is required to produce the satisfaction derived from it. Just as a person addicted to drugs experiences this effect (tolerance), so does a person addicted to gambling. It has been demonstrated that as a result of the influx of the chemical dopamine, it can induce one to make more rash decisions and take more risks because risks and rewards are “more appealing.” As a matter of fact, based on studies of brain flow activities in the brains of people with substance use disorder and those with compulsive gambling, it appears that the same brain circuits are altered in many ways. This compulsivity robs people of their lives, their family, their jobs, and themselves!
The research into compulsive gambling regarding genetics and neuroscience resulted in the American Psychiatric Association moving pathological gambling to the in the latest addition of the DSM-5. This has changed how psychiatrists approach treatment for compulsive gambling.
There is no cure for gambling; no endpoint at which one is declared cured. The most important objective is to break its grasp, regardless of whether you are a “sometimes” gambler or you are compulsive. Therapeutic models include intensive individual treatment to specific group therapies. As in many disorders, one size does not fit all. Among the therapies is: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in which one learns to identify the thought processes that have created the compulsive conduct, and how to better manage their impact. Psychotherapy helps to deal with gambling triggers through individual or group sessions. Family Therapy can play an important role in compulsive gambling as families are often embroiled in the lifestyle and consequences of the addiction that their loved one suffers from. Setting limits on access to gambling opportunities is also important; especially in a time where it is more accessible than ever. There are also Residential Gambling Treatment Centers that may be a great choice for one’s journey to recovery.
Most important, is that treatment is guided through a sensitive, patient professional who is well experienced and current in their knowledge about what the research has shown us.