November 9, 2014 – At a presentation on Gambling History in Las Vegas, Nevada Senators Ford and Townsend promised to pursue help in providing healthcare services for gambling addiction.
“ There’s no wrong door Bea.” This is what ran through my mind when Nevada Senator Aaron Ford called me earlier this year asking if I would be a part of the Gambling Panel for the “British American Project.”
It’s a phrase I often use when called upon to speak about problem gambling or to serve those impacted by gambling addiction.
The woman credited with this phrase was a pioneer in advocacy for problem gambling services, Dr. Rena Nora ncpgambling.org/files/public/DrNora_Pioneer.pdf While I never met this much beloved woman, I am honored to be a benefactor of Dr. Nora’s wisdom by way of her mentee Carol O’Hare of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling nevadacouncil.org, and her daughter Judge Cheryl Moss , both inspiring champions of the cause, who carry the torch that Dr. Nora ignited.
When asked to speak I answered “Absolutely,” even though I knew little about “the British American Project” or what their interest was in Gambling and Gambling Addiction.
There was a “Knock.” I answered….and the door swung WIDE OPEN as Senator Ford publicly committed that he and Senator Townsend could and would advance the ball in assuring equal services are made available for Nevadans struggling with a gambling addiction!
Compulsive Gamblers can’t be anonymous anymore. If people don’t know about our disease, there’s never a hope for treating it and maybe, someday, curing it.
These are the sentiments of recovering compulsive gambler and Las Vegas attorney Doug Crawford, who will forever be linked to the very public case which resulted in his 2009 suspension from the practice of law. In a January 2012 trial, Doug was the first defendant in a Clark County, NV criminal case to be sentenced in accordance with provisions of the Nevada Problem Gambling Diversionary Law The Diversionary sentencing mandates therapy and attendance at mutual aid support meetings as well as restitution for crimes committed in furtherance of the disease of gambling addiction.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Doug. He candidly shared his story …from early dependence on alcohol and drugs to a gambling addiction that lead him down a path he never imagined he would take – stealing from his clients’ trust account in furtherance of his addiction.
Doug Crawford’s Interview can be seen at youtube.com/user/lanieshope
Maryland Public Television and the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling present an exceptional Gambling Addiction Documentary in “Understanding Joy.”
Don’t let the name fool you…there’s nothing “Joyful” about a gambling addiction. “Joy W.” shares her personal struggles with gambling addiction and the ramifications of acting out in her disease. Joy’s gambling addiction lead her to actions she would have never thought herself capable of doing. In her words, “It’s like my brain was hijacked.” I have heard this and similar declarations like “I can’t believe I did those things” or “It felt like I was in a trance” from others with a gambling addiction. Read more →
Hopeless, Helpless, Worthless
Those are the words that describe how I feel after another night at the casino. Unless, of course, I win and then I’m on top of the world until I sink it all back into the slot machines. I am a 60 year old female who discovered slot machines 4 years ago. I never gambled before that point in my life. Today, after only 5 years of marriage, my spouse has had enough. He’s paid my payday loans for 4 years and the amount is staggering. I’ve transferred money into my account from his in order to play the slot machines. I lie about my whereabouts. I’ve pawned my wedding ring for gambling money. While visiting my mother, I pawned some of her jewelry for gambling money. I’ve lost every member of my family (8 siblings), 3 children, and my spouse due to gambling not to mention countless friends. I haven’t a penny to my name and my husband told me to leave. I have no money for gas and no where to go. I’m sure this is all sounding familar to anyone who is a compulsive gambler.
Walk in Memory/Walk In Hope
Suicide Prevention Event
September 13, 2014
Problem gambling is a serious community health issue and it is estimated that as many as one in five problem gamblers may attempt suicide. Hosted by the Nevada Coalition of Suicide Prevention this outstanding community advocacy event provides an opportunity for our community to stand up in support of those who have experienced suicide of a loved one, but more importantly takes a stand for suicide prevention, education and advocacy. Read more →
This cartoon illustrates an individual playing a risky game of Russian roulette with some faulty (and dangerous) reasoning that because he’s been lucky 5 times so far, then he’ll prevail on the 6th time as well. For years I’ve heard of the ‘gambler’s fallacy’, in which a gambler believes that given enough throws of the dice, turns of the wheel (roulette) or push of a button (slot machine) that they are just ‘one more time’ away from the big win. Understanding that each event is independent of another and completely random according to statisticians did not make a difference in my gambler’s mind, but instead kept me playing long past what a reasonable, non-addicted person would play. The ‘near-misses’ excited that portion of my brain that craved the reward and euphoria that would come, if I only played long enough and was patient enough to see that jackpot come through…one more time. Read more →
Conference open to Gamblers Anonymous and Gam Anon members only.
Lanie’s Hope is in no way affiliated with Gambler Anonymous. Information posted is in keeping with our Mission and our goal to serve those who suffer with a Gambling Problem.
Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity “doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result” is often espoused by those recovering from a Gambling Addiction. For some of us, we’ve coined the phrase “forget-itis” as much the same thing and very similar to what Bill Murray experienced in his movie “Groundhog Day” (1993) doomed to repeat his day over and over with the same results. Having spent almost twelve years in a 12-step group for gambling addiction, if I had a nickel for every time I have heard someone share their experience of doing the same thing over and over again, well, I would be rich!!
I did search the Internet for a definition or explanation for the term ‘forgetitis’ and although I was unsuccessful in that quest, I did find in Wikipedia the following: Read more →
December 5, 2013
The American Psychiatric Association “Recognized” the disease of Gambling Addiction now known as “Disordered Gambling” with the May 2013 release of the the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – THE resource for diagnosing and treating mental health disorders. Read more →
September 14, 2013
Bea Aikens, Founder Lanie’s Hope
I’m not one for exclusive memberships or inner circles. Yes, there was a day when my head was turned by private clubs and the trappings of privilege I once took great joy in knowing that I was a part of Neiman Marcus’ exclusive In Circle, where I had the great privilege of overpaying for all sorts of frivolous things… earning me In Circle “perks” like free sample product swag, attendance at private events, and even a personal shopper who knew me by name. Read more →
Anonymous, not Invisible….What does that imply? To most people, it may mean nothing other than as a reference to a single person lost in a crowd, visible to others, but not known to them. For those individuals who are of an addictive sort, it may be a reference of people belonging to one of the “A” groups ending in Anonymous, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous and so forth. No, the statement ‘Anonymous, not Invisible’ instead is directed towards that small percentage of people who are compulsive gamblers that are surrounded by those who would be insensitive to someone with this problem. Read more →
July 22, 2013
If one were to Google “Internet Cafe”, a consortium of choices will confront you. What are these Internet Cafes and what are they really selling? Some would describe them as storefronts conducting gambling operations (unlicensed, unregulated, untaxed, and illegal.) Proprietors of these cafes describe their operation as providing a service or product; phone cards and Internet time, as well as a chance to win prizes. In fact, they compare their operation to that of a sweepstakes such as the McDonald’s Monopoly game or one of the big companies (like Home Depot, Olive Garden, K-mart) that offer customers an opportunity to win a prize if they complete an online survey (after purchasing a product). Read more →