It is hard to witness the destruction of a friend and his family as a result of an addiction. It is a helpless feeling. Hopefully, by sharing this story with you, you will be able to help a friend or loved one avoid this road to self destruction.
This friend, let’s call him Gary, enjoyed getting together with his friends on a Saturday night for an evening of playing pool. It seems innocent enough when he decided that we should all play for quarters. We all thought that this would make the game more fun and competitive, which it did.
Gary loved to win. The bigger the pot the bigger the celebration. Little did I know that this was the beginning of his gambling addiction.
You see, gambling addicts experience the same rush as a crack addict. That rush is created when they win. They begin to crave that feeling to the point where it dominates every waking moment.
Next we learned that Gary was skipping the pool games so that he could go to the local Indian casino where he enjoyed playing poker. We stopped getting together on the weekends. I saw Gary less and less. I later learned that Gary had taken to playing poker online every evening in front of his computer drinking and placing online bets.
Is it no surprise that soon Gary’s business was in trouble. He was neglecting his customers and his revenue was dropping. His creditors were calling. His wife couldn’t stand the stress. She left him.
These are the classic signs of a gambling addict. The gambling becomes a compulsion that defies logic and rational thought. The gambler seeks the gambling high at any cost. His or her life is ruined through the destruction of personal relationships and the burden of increasing debt.
I hope that you share this article with any person you think may be suffering from a gambling addiction. It may help them avoid the road to self-destruction. There are many self-help groups available and qualified counselors are willing to help. In fact, many casinos will have a 24 hour gambling addiction hotline available if you ask.