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Lanie's Hope

Review of “All Bets Are Off”

allbetsareoffcvrThis 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 – Oct 19-22, 2015

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

Workshops Include:
SMART Recovery
Spirituality
Celebrate Recovery
12-Steps of recovery – Gambling, Narcotics, Alcohol
Medication Assisted Recovery
Women and Sobriety

abc3340.com/story/28926309/the-connecticut-community-for-addiction-recovery-ccar-presents-the-multiple-pathways-of-recovery-conference-in-october-2015

Mid-Atlantic Addiction Research & Training Institute (MARTI) – Indiana, PA – June 23, 2015

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.

iup.edu/marti/conference/default.aspx

2015 International Gamblers Anonymous Conference – May 29-31, 2015 Cherry Hill, NJ

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:

trusteewebsite.com/index.php/html/main/cherry_hill_conference.html

Health Implications of Problem Gambling – Montevista Hospital March 20, 2015

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

events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=nexwiipab&oeidk=a07eaoslzcz537233af

 

 

National Problem Gambling Awareness Month – March, 2015

The National Council on Problem Gambling announces March is National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, with the message

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 9.40.16 AM“Problem Gambling: Have the Conversation.” 

Sometimes it can be difficult to ask someone about their gambling habits. Perhaps a loved on seems preoccupied with sports wagering or you’re concerned about the amount of time they spend on line or in a casino. That niggling feeling comes up that “something’s just not right.” Bill collectors are calling, money is missing, too much time is spent away from home…these are possible signs of a  problem. And often, it can be uncomfortable to “Have the conversation” about gambling habits.

Many people can gambling “recreationally”, and for them it is a harmless entertainment like going to a movie, a sporting event or a concert. But for those who can’t “gamble normally”, gambling addiction can be a devastating mental health disorder; destroying lives and harming families.  Anyone is subject to become addicted to gambling.  Gambling addiction crosses all socio-economic levels. Experts agree that between 3 and 6% of the US population is impacted by some degree of problem gambling. Gambling Disorder is recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as an Addiction which is treatable IF it is recognized and treatment is sought.

It starts with a CONVERSATION.

For more information and many helpful tools to support National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, go to npgam.org. For Immediate Help with a gambling problem call the National Helpline at 1-800-522-4700.

Against All Odds

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 “The safest way to double your money is to fold over once and put it in your pocket.”  (Kin Hubbard)

Ah, truer words have never been written and definitely did not originate from a gambler.   For the gambler, it is more about the euphoria of winning when the odds are high or stacked against you.  It is the ‘rush’-  the excitement and angst that live in your gut when you are betting money you cannot afford to bet, but the payout and chance to ‘get square’ outweigh everything rational and logical that you know.  Years ago, golfer Lee Trevino was asked if he felt pressure on making a putt during the Senior Skins match worth $100,000.  He said “You don’t know what pressure is until you’ve played for $5 a hole with only $2 in your pocket.”   Although Trevino has never been identified as a problem gambler, he definitely has the mentality and thought-process of a gambler.

On Christmas Day of 2014, the remake of The Gambler with Mark Wahlberg was released 40 years after the original version starring James Caan.  Both movies follow a similar track-  a college professor who likes to gamble, gambles beyond his means and requires a bailout from his mother, and in both movies, he has to convince one of his students (a star basketball player) to do whatever possible so that the team does not win by more than  7 points. Both  versions of the movie show the escalation and riskiness of the protagonist chasing their bets, the threats of their bookies as they continue to dig deeper holes for themselves, and the anxiety of finding the money to place their next bet.  As a recovering compulsive gambler viewing both these movies, the biggest difference that I noted was that in the orginal, Caan appears to have no remorse and no desire to quit digging his hole; whereas, Wahlberg at least appears to be seeking redemption and to change his gambling ways.  The same week that I watched both of these movies, I also watched “Owning Mahowny” (2003) with Philip Seymour Hoffman, based on a true story of a Canadian banker.  Although he was not a sports gambler, he was nicknamed “Iceman” and once he started manipulating funds at the bank, he began to escalate the amount of money he would then take to Atlantic City.  All told, he ended up embezzling over 10.2 million dollars and, when taken into custody, he appeared stunned and in denial that he had done anything wrong. Read more →

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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