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There are over 6 million Americans that meet the criteria for a gambling problem every year. The consequences of gambling addiction can be devastating not only to the problem gambler but others in their life as well. It's very hard to admit to yourself that you are a 'problem gambler' but you're not alone, men and women in all age groups understand, and there's help and support for anyone in need.
Gamblers Anonymous (GA) is fellowship of men and women that's grown considerably since the first group meeting that was held on Friday, September 13th in 1957. The first GA meeting was held in Los Angeles, California and since then many people suffering from gambling addiction have supported each other improving their lives and lead normal happy lives now.
The only thing Gamblers Anonymous requires of their members is the 'desire to stop gambling', nothing else. Their members learn that they have to acknowledge to themselves that they're compulsive gamblers and that they have lost their ability to control their gambling.
It makes a big difference for people who share the same addiction and the same desire to 'stop' when it comes to recovery. Gamblers Anonymous Program of Recovery is based on the 12 Steps and the ancient spiritual principles the steps are based on. For anyone wondering why the 12 Steps, the answer is simply, "because it works."
Members of Gamblers Anonymous have found a better way to live, an alternative to the destruction of compulsive gambling, which is the GA program of recovery. No matter who you are members are ready to help anyone who passes through their doors, sharing their experiences and offering strength and hope to those in need.
Understandably some people are not completely sure if they have a gambling problem. Gamblers Anonymous has a GA Questionnaire with questions you can ask yourself to help you decide if you're a compulsive gambler and want to get help. Most compulsive gamblers will answer 'yes' to at least 7 of their questions.
Some people may worry about the cost associated with Gamblers Anonymous, especially during this financially hard time people are going through. Not to worry, there are no fees or dues for Gamblers Anonymous memberships. They are self-supporting through their own contributions. All you have to have is the desire to stop gambling. If you or someone you know is in need of recovery from their gambling addiction or maybe you're not sure, answer the 20 questions honestly and if you have the 'desire to stop' there are Gamblers Anonymous Meetings throughout the United States and their members want to help.Who Answers?
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I can't tell you how blind I was to my gambling addiction. The path I was headed down almost helped me to lose everything that means anything to me. Without the help I found in the rehab program, I would not be where I am today. They helped me to see what the addiction was doing to my life and helped me to be able to control my own life again. I was so blinded by gambling that I had no control over how much money I was spending. I emptied my bank account every week and eventually lost my job because I was taking so many days off to focus on my gambling habits. The rehab program helped me spot potential triggers for my gambling and learn how to manage my behavior when faced with those triggers. I learned how to recognize when I was in trouble and how to find the help that I needed to keep me on the right path.
I can't thank rehab enough for putting me back on the track of a quality life. I can now look to a future that I never realized I could have. I can control my life by recognizing my short comings and knowing how to manage them. Once I made the decision to get help they were ready to give me all the direction I needed and step by step I found my life again. I can't believe it took me so long to look for and accept the help that rehab had to offer me.
I have always loved games so it didn't even occur to me that I was becoming addicted to gambling all those years ago. I was just playing a game in my mind; putting myself up against the odds to see if I could beat them. When I lost my wife and my job it started to come to me that maybe I had a problem and should lay off the gambling for a while. This seemed like something that was simple enough to me until I tried it. I didn't even make it one full day before I found myself with a deck of cards in my hand putting myself in so much debt I would never be able to repay it. A friend who saw what was happening suggested the rehab center to help me get back on my feet and start to take control of the gambling. The first time he mentioned it I blew it off and told him I didn't have a problem that I couldn't handle by myself.
Two weeks after I told my friend to stop judging me I realized that the gambling was taking over my life and destroying me. I didn't recognize myself anymore and needed help. The rehab center not only helped me to find alternatives to gambling, see trouble that was headed my way and how to divert from it. They also taught me how to ask for help when I felt like I was headed the wrong way. My life is mine again thanks to the rehab.