September is National Suicide Prevention month. Gambling addiction has the highest suicide rate of all addictions and the statistics do not reflect that many of these suicides are mistakenly reported as single-car accidents, wrong-way drivers, heart attacks, cerebral stem strokes (from an overdose of anti-depressants), and so forth. This is a true story of two friends of mine, who both planned their suicides down to the last detail and thankfully, both survived. The names and details have been changed to protect their identities, but the stories and devastation are true.
Mary, a 60 year old psychologist became so depressed with her inability to stop gambling, an activity that was consuming her every moment and thought, that she had to stop seeing patients because she no longer cared about their problems. Her husband, her one true love had become ill and diagnosed with dementia, as well as complications due to a congenital heart defect and diabetes. She had her own physical limitations due to severe crippling from rheumatoid arthritis. Mary had 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren- the light of her life. All that being said, Mary still could not tear herself away from the video poker machines to get home and check on her husband. She missed many of the grandchildren’s recitals and sporting events because she had hit another jackpot. Her children stopped telling the grandchildren that she would be there because of their disappointment and sadness of being let down, over and over. Mary found herself unable to concentrate and many times after hours of gambling could not recall how she actually drove home. Read more →
Lanie’s Hope Founder, Bea Aikens, to present Keynote Address on gambling addiction and suicide at the 2015 Walk in Memory/Walk for Hope
Gambling Addiction will be the focus of the 2015 Suicide Prevention Community Walk, Saturday September 12, 2015 at Bob Miller Middle School, 2400 Cozy Circle, Henderson, NV. The suicide rate among untreated problem gamblers is extraordinarily high. Experts report than 20% of all problem gamblers who actually seek treatment have attempted or considered suicide; a correlation I am all too familiar with.
Many of you know that I lost my sister Lanie due to a gambling-related overdose in June of 2008. See…I still can’t actually say the words “Lanie committed suicide because of her gambling addiction.” I always find myself couching this phrase in indirect ways like “a gambling-related overdose.” In my heart of hearts, do I think she intentionally killed herself. No. I think she was in such immense pain and shame that she simply didn’t want to FEEL anything. But we’ll never know, because Lanie’s not here to tell her story. What I do know is this. If Lanie hadn’t been gambling, she would not have overdosed. If Lanie had continued to abstain from gambling and attend the recovery fellowship she belonged to, she would not have had to endure the shame and despair that drove her to overdose on antidepressants. Gambling Addiction DID cost my sister her life. Read more →
This is the title and cover of the book about Arnie and Sheila Wexler written by them, along with Steve Jacobson. Arnie and Sheila have helped so many compulsive gamblers and their families to recover from the devastation of compulsive gambling, as well as written training manuals to train casino workers on recognizing a problem gambler. Arnie and Sheila have been in their respective recovery programs for over 47 years and reading their story is just amazing.
Going back to the beginning of Arnie’s gambling, the reader can see how his love of sports quickly evolved into enjoying the sport because of the rush he felt while “in action.” He loved horse racing and spent countless hours at the track. When he wasn’t at the actual track, his mind was still on the upcoming action and how to get more money. He had the ability to charm people into loaning him money, he was collecting kickbacks from vendors through his job, and lying to everybody- all to keep him going. His first date with Sheila (when he was 21 and she was 16) was to a drive-in to see Damn Yankees and the second was to a racetrack. However, as Sheila writes “I never had another date with him unless it was a sports event, a racetrack, or a casino night- except for an occasional Broadway show.” There were many naysayers that tried to convince Sheila NOT to marry Arnie, knowing that he was a compulsive gambler and her life would be hell. However, she loved him and believed that after they married, everything would be different and Arnie’s gambling would come to a halt because he had promised to quit when they were married. Read more →
Multiple Pathways of Recovery Conference – Mystic, CT
October 19-22, 2015
Hosted by CCAR, the premier peer recovery coaching institute in the U.S., this conference is designed to offer education on the many different pathways available to achieve and sustain recovery . Recovery is not one-size-fits-all.
At the forefront of Advocacy for the recovery community and professionals who serve and treat those impacted by addiction, CCAR is renowned for developing and advance the recovery movement in America. Lanie’s Hope is delighted that gambling addiction and recovery will be included in this year’s program.
Founder Bea Aikens, a CCAR graduate and trainer, will be addressing the 12-steps and gambling addiction recovery.
Keynote presentations will include Bill White – Slaying the Dragon – The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America and Phillip Valentine – The CCAR Experience
12-Steps of recovery – Gambling, Narcotics, Alcohol
Medication Assisted Recovery
Women and Sobriety
Mid-Atlantic Addiction Research & Training Institute (MARTI)
Positive Approaches to Recovery: Populations, Providers, and Programs
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
June 22 – 26, 2015
Lanie’s Hope Founder and IUP Alumni, Bea Aikens, will be presenting “When The Fun Stops” at the 26th annual MARTI conference. Dedicated to research and educating professionals treating at risk communities, this year’s program will include two segments on gambling addiction, prevention and treatment.
Formed in 1988, MARTI combines academic resources with treatment expertise to provide state-of-the-art training on addiction treatment for substance abuse counselors and mental health professionals, develops and coordinates intramural and extramural research projects, and provides research and training opportunities for graduate students entering the field.
If you want to know more about helping children of all ages, and especially high-risk youth, MARTI’s Bi-Annual Summer Conference is for you. Come join us for our 26th conference at IUP. This year’s school is designed to meet the ever-changing needs of today’s youth and families. Presentations over the years have included the latest information on treatment for young children, improving school-based programs, working with adolescents, sexual abuse intervention, improving cultural competency, adult recovery strategies, anger and violence, building resiliency in children, and many other exciting topics. Year after year, MARTI has provided the latest techniques for working with children, excellent presenters, and special sections for educators and clinicians, all at a low cost. We hope to see you in June!
Brochures are now available.
To have your name added to our mailing list, please e-mail the MARTI office at [email protected] with both your mailing and e-mail addresses, or call 724-357-1288.
The 2015 International Gamblers Anonymous Conference will be held in Cherry Hill, New Jersey May 29, 30th & 31st.
The Crowne Plaza Hotel & Conference Center
2349 West Marlton Pike (Rt. 70 West)
Cherry Hill, Nw Jersey 08002
The conference theme is “Piecing It All Together.” Event begins Friday evening with a Welcome Dinner, entertainment and speakers followed by 12 Step meetings. Saturday offers a full day of workshops and an evening reception and dinner. The conference will conclude with the traditional Sunday morning Farewell breakfast and closing remarks.
Conference information and registration can be accessed at the link below:
Health Implications of Problem Gambling will be presented by Bea Aikens, Friday March 20, 2015 from 12:00-1:00PM at Montevista Hospital, 5900 W. Rochelle Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89103.
Focused on healthcare and treatment providers, this one hour “Lunch and Learn” presentation will provide a basic explanation of what happens when gambling becomes an addiction and will review screening methods and resources available to identify and treat problem gamblers and their families. For most people, gambling is harmless fun and entertainment, but for as many as 6% of Nevada adults, gambling can be an addiction with serious mental, physical and emotional health consequences.
To register for this event, contact