Walk in Memory/Walk for Hope- Sept 10, 2016 8AM, Bob Miller Middle School
2400 Cozy Circle, Henderson, NV
Lanie’s Hope’s proudly supports the Walk in Memory/Walk for Hope. We walk to remember those who have been lost to suicide, to honor the family members and survivors, and to shine a light of hope for those who may be considering suicide. Compulsive Gamblers have the HIGHEST suicide rate of any group, with 1 in 5 compulsive gamblers considering or attempting suicide.
Last year’s walk was dedicated to raising awareness of gambling addiction and suicide. I was honored and humbled to serve as the keynote speaker. I made a promise to myself and to my God to spend my life raising awareness of the social issues surrounding problem gambling. I would do ANYTHING within my power to prevent just one death due to a gambling related suicide. I believe that anyone reading this would too! So won’t you walk with us this year?
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 had not 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.
…And…it cost me my best friend. It cost her daughter and son the loss of a mother whom they loved dearly. It cost her grandson Colby his “Grandma Lanie” whom he still speaks of with such love and longing, even though he was only 3 years old when she died. It cost her the opportunity to ever know her Granddaughter “Lyla Lanie” or her Great Granddaughter and Great Grandson who have come into our family since Lanie died. Lane died at the age of 52. She was a lung cancer survivor! She survived 9 years post chemotherapy, only to succumb to a disease that is so insidious that no one knew she was still struggling with the addiction. We, her family and loved ones, thought she was in recovery. We thought she hadn’t gambled in years.
We were wrong. The disease of compulsive gambling is cloaked in secrecy and shame. The Suicide Prevention Coalition uses the term “Out of the Darkness” to describe their mission: taking suicide out of the darkness and into the light. The same philosophy must be applied to gambling addiction. When we illuminate the disease and raise awareness that gambling addiction (so often undetected as there are no tell-tail signs like slurred speech or a staggered walk) is a recognized mental health issue requiring treatment and therapy like any other addiction, we take it “out of the darkness.” This is my prayer, and this is the mission of Lanie’s Hope; to humanize and illuminate the disease of compulsive gambling.
I invite each of you to walk with us on Saturday, September 1, 2016, as we take suicide and gambling addiction out of the darkness and into the light.
To Register to Walk with Lanie’s Hope Team, Go to the “Merchandise” page, Select “Walk in Memory” and follow the prompts to register. There is no cost to register.
Kindly consider “wearing our colors” and proudly identifying yourself as part of “Team Lanie’s Hope!” T-shirts and apparel are available on the “Merchandise” page.
The 4th Annual Maryland Conference on Problem Gambling will be held Friday May 27, 2016
at the BWI Airport Marriott Hotel, 1743 West Nursery Road, Linthicum, MD 21090
Hosted by the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling, this year’s theme is “Working Together for Problem Gambling Awareness.” Flyers are not yet available; however registration information should be available on line soon.
On behalf of Lanie’s Hope, I am honored to be presenting “Advocacy in Action” in the afternoon session, following presentations by Keynote Speaker Victor Ortiz of the Mass Council and Dr. Natasha Dow Schull, author of “Addiction by Design.”
Look for future postings and details re this event at http://mdproblemgambling.com
Gamblers Anonymous of Southern Nevada will be hosting the annual “Mini-Convention” Saturday May 21,2016 at the Henderson Convention Center, 200 South Water St., Henderson, Nevada 89015.
The Cost is $40 per person for registration before May 1st and $50 after May 1st. The Deadline for all registration is May 15th, 2016.
Lanie’s Hope is not affiliated with Gamblers Anonymous. We are happy to make this information available for our recovery community. Anyone interested in more details or in registration, should contact GASN directly. Details and registration information are available at
Gamblers Anonymous 2016 International Spring Conference will be held May 13-15, 2016 in Phoenix, AZ
at the Sheraton Crescent Hotel, 2620 W. Dunlap Avenue, Phoenix, AZ (800) 325-3535.
Lanie’s Hope is not affiliated with Gamblers Anonymous. This information is made available as a resource for our recovery community.
To register for the conference, and to make hotel reservations, please contact the host organization at 2016 GA Conference Phoenix
Is Fantasy Football Gambling?
The 2015-2016 Football Season has come and gone..and still the question comes up in daily news. Is Fantasy Football “Gambling?” Does participation in fantasy sports pose a threat of potential Gambling Addiction? Maybe. Maybe not. I suppose the simple questions that apply to gambling addiction in general could be used as a litmus test for Fantasy Football league participation. It’s called the “Lie/Bet” screening and it asks two simple questions. Do you ever lie about the amount of time or money you expend to gamble? and Do you find you have to bet greater and greater amounts of money when you gamble? http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/04/14/fantasy-bet-fantasy-sports-game-skill-or-gambling-164072
And yet another article TODAY on Fantasy Football. Apparently Congress is weighing in on the issue. Hmmm..Lots to digest here. Why do you think this issue is getting so much attention?
The 10th Annual Nevada State Conference on Problem Gambling brings together diverse experts and stakeholders to address the impact of this significant community health issue on the people of Nevada. Their goal is to increase awareness, enhance professional knowledge and skills, and empower our communities to help reduce the impact of problem gambling through Prevention, Education, Treatment, Recovery and Research.
Lanie’s Hope is honored to co-present the session “In their own words.” Using actual journal entries from compulsive gamblers in recovery, we will explore the impact of journaling as a tool for addiction recovery and mental health. Many in recovery lean on journaling as a tool to process thoughts and feelings. The act of journaling helps those in recovery “pause” and get in touch with their feeling rather than acting out the urge to gamble. Promoted by many clinicans as an effective therapeutic tool, this presentation offers a rare glimpse into the recovering gambler’s most private thoughts and the personal journey of journaling as a path to self awareness.
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 →