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Lanie's Hope

Compulsive Gamblers Can’t Be Anonymous

 

Doug Crawford

 

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

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Gambling Addiction Documentary

Maryland Public Television and the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling present an exceptional Gambling Addiction Documentary in “Understanding Joy.”

Gambling Addiction Documentary

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

Hopeless, Helpless, Worthless

despair white woman in hoodie 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.  

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Suicide Prevention – Walk in Memory/Walk In Hope – Henderson, NV September 13, 2014

Walk In Memory/Walk in Hope 2013

Walk In Memory/Walk in Hope 2013

Walk in Memory/Walk In Hope
Suicide Prevention Event
Henderson, NV
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 →

Gambler’s Fallacy: Proof Is In The Brain

 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 →

Gamblers Anonymous of Southern Nevada Conference, May 17, 2014

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.

Gambling Addiction: Forget-itis or a Touch of Insanity?

The Insanity of Gambling Addiction

Gambling Addiction – Insanity or “Forget-itis”?

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 →

Gambling Addiction “Recognized”… and Ignored

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 →

Gambling Addiction Suicide: The “Inner Circle”

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 Anymore

peoplewmasksbutoneAnonymous, 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 →

Internet Cafes: What are they selling?

July 22, 2013

Neon_Internet_Cafe_open_24_hours

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 →

Dostoevsky: A Compulsive Gambler

Dostoevsky recorded his struggles with Gambling Addiction in the 1800’s, yet the American Psychiatric Association did not recognize this addiction until 1980.

Today The American Psychiatic Association recognizes the disease of
Disordered Gambling as a treatable mental health disorder.

gambler-book-fyodor-dostoyevskey

Fyodor Dostoevsky famously wrote “The Gambler” , published in 1867.  Obviously not a work of complete fiction, Dostoevsky notably had first-hand experience as a gambling addict.

In a letter to his beloved Anya, Dostoevsky asks her to

“Remember too that I’m not a scoundrel, just a passionate gambler.”

Certainly one can surmise that with the expanded availability of gambling (now legal in 48  states), the incidence of problem or “disordered gambling” is likely to have increased commensurately.  It has been well-documented that gambling has been around  since ancient times. It would also seem, based on Dostoevsky’s letter to his wife, that gambling addiction has existed through the ages.

Get a glimpse of the mind of a compulsive gambler in   Dostoevsky’s letter to Ayna Dostoevsky_Letter

 

 

A Compelling and Passionate Speaker
Bea Aikens couples her personal experience with extensive knowledge of the disease of compulsive gambling to build a compelling platform for civic, community and national organizations seeking knowledge and understanding of the disease of disordered gambling. To engage Bea for your upcoming event, contact her at
Contact Info
Lanie's Hope
P.O. Box 60214
Boulder City, NV 89006
702.812.1922
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