Yesterday, I went to a Gambling symposium at The Courtyard Marriott. I went with two other Beit T’shuvah residents to speak to a room of 30 therapists about compulsive gambling. I was different than resident A and resident B. They came to Beit T’Shuvah purely for this addiction, while gambling was the furthest thing from my mind when I entered treatment haggard and dope-sick. But then the head of the Right Action Gambling Program approached me and asked if I’ve ever gambled compulsively. Of course I had. If someone asked me if I had ever exhibited symptoms of overeating, codependency, or love addiction I would have answered in the same way. I am an addict, pure and simple; I will avoid pain at any cost, I will escape into anything that takes me away from my projected pain of the human condition.
Though I haven’t gambled compulsively in 5 years and I did not think it to be a problem at the time, I believe that now that I am abstinent from drugs and alcohol, another addiction is more likely than ever to rear its ugly head and plunge me back into the depths of isolation and desolation. I am seeking treatment for my life problem, not my heroin problem. I need to learn how to cope with life on life’s terms, without the aid of any external solution. Resident A, Resident B, and I are all the same; we are addicts, we just found a different solution to the same problem.
The Right Action Gambling Program at Beit T’Shuvah, in conjunction with UCLA and The State of California’s Office of Problem Gambling has treated over 50 gamblers and is among the first residential programs to to offer this treatment in the state. For more information contact Mike Konheim at (310)204-5200 ex.252.
- Compulsive Gambling – Gaming Gone Bad (everydayhealth.com)