By Karen O’Connor:
Help for the Compulsive Gambler
“It only takes a dollar and a dream.” For many men and women that’s all they need to read on a poster or on the Internet to lead them to the nearest casino or web site. From there, thousands begin a slow descent into compulsive gambling.
Some however, actually find God while gambling because they wake up to the destruction they’re causing themselves and their loved ones.
When Lydia’s husband of 44 years passed away, he left her set for life financially. She joined a senior club in her community and signed up for a bus trip to a gaming hall.
“That was the beginning of the end for me,” she admitted. “I enjoyed the feeling of watching the wheel spin and the dice fall in my favor––at least part of the time. It was enough to bring me back.”
Lydia continued her gambling pattern until she went through $200,000 before seeking help on the counsel of her son.
According to Dr. Robert Perkinson , clinical director of Keystone Treatment Center (keystonetreatment.com) in South Dakota, compulsive gambling “is called the hidden illness since there is no smell on the breath nor stumbling of steps or speech.”
Dr. Perkinson focuses on three steps to recovery at his treatment center. He claims people need to:
• get honest about their addiction
• go to Gamblers Anonymous meetings and participate with others
• get on a spiritual path to God.
“Ninety percent of addicts who take these actions stay clean,” he said.
Perkinson also made the point that “many people know God’s teachings, but they are helpless to live by them, because of the addictive nature of gambling. Addiction stands in your way of God,” he said resolutely.
But those who find God through gambling and subsequent treatment discover that only He can release and save them: restoring them to sanity and serenity.
©Karen O’Connor. Karen is an author, writing mentor, and frequent contributor to the Finding God Daily blog. Visit Karen on the web at www.karenoconnor.com.
Here’s a YouTube video with one man’s story (audio) about the destruction caused by his being a compulsive gambler and how he found help:
Do you have a story to share about how gambling hurt you or your loved ones? Or something to share about how God helped you or someone else recover from this addiction? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Click the link by the title: Leave a Comment.