Monday, May 16, 2005

Ask A Question About Gamblers Anonymous or Compulsive Gambling - (Last Updated 5/18/05)

First, for truth in advertising purposes, I must say that I am stealing this idea from another 12-Step program blog. But, it was a good one and thought it may be interesting here.

My breakdown of people visiting this blog is about 50% "return visitors" meaning they have been here at least once before, most have multiple return visits. Then about 10% are people searching on various search words, or have been referred by someone else, or a blog I have commented on or something. But by far the most often referred search term to this site is "Gamblers Anonymous". This term accounts for about 40% of my visitors. Some are looking for meeting locations and other information, but most seem to be coming here to FIND OUT what GA is all about.

As such, I am starting a "continually updated post" . Here you can ask me a question simply by sending an email here .

5/18/05 - Does treatment at a Recovery Center Work?

Hi John,
I stumbled into your blog recently in search of answers and solution for my on- going gambling problem. I have search for Gamblers Anonymous close to my house and the closes one where I live has relocated. I have been looking at some other websites and it seem like it leads me tomedical treatment, Pathological Gambling. Do you know of anybody that went through this process of treatment. Did it work? I would like to know.
Thank You,

Well, I personally never was able to enter a treatment center when I hit my bottom. Not that I did not try! But, as I was completely broke (See Remembering Day One Post) I was unable to get that help. That is actually one of the reasons I do this blog. To promote awareness that that most gamblers cannot afford to get the treatment that might help them at the time they need it.

With that said, my experience is that treatment CAN work for many. Especially if that treatment is given in combination with attendance at Gamblers Anonymous meetings. When you are able to be removed from the problems around you (real or imagined) for even a short period of time, it can help clear you rhead enough to start down the right path. In my area we have many people who attend our meetings that are part of the in-house treatment program at Camp Pendleton called S.A.R.P. (Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program). They have a good success rate. I even have a sponsee who graduated from their program and he is approaching 18 months without a bet. This program is available to active or retired military AND their dependents free of charge.

I have also heard many other good things from other treatment centers including Algumus, CORE (Louisiana), and The Gambling Treatment Center run by Dr. Hunter in Las Vegas. Links to all of these are on this blog.

But, the most important thing in my view that has to happen for anyone to stop gambling, is BE READY. Easy to say, difficult to do. Also, you say the meeting near you has re-located. But may I suggest that that if you need to, go to any length to get to a meeting. The meeetings are the starting point from which all else flows.

Good Luck.