Gambling addiction happens to the best of us

“I was still emotionally 13. I had stopped growing emotionally. Addicts are always trying to get that immediate fix, trying to fill that void with outside things like drugs and shopping. It is a progressive disease which is unique for each person.

“Then I wanted more. I tried cocaine. It numbed me from fear. It made me more sociable. It was easy to get and it became a necessity for me.”

Kate went back to school for training and found a job she loved and excelled at. When not at work, she continued using alcohol and cocaine, which cost hundreds of dollars a month.

“Addicts become very good liars and manipulators. We turn into what you want us to be to get what we want. I got loans from my parents. They still thought my only problem was that I was drinking too much. I hate to think of what I put my family through.”

She had her first son when she was 28 but realized she wasn’t able to cope with taking care of him and sent him to live with his father.

She married again in her early 30s and had another son who she also had to give to his father.

“I was more and more self-centred, not thinking of anything or anybody, just getting my fix. Addiction is very hard on women because they will go places and do things they would never normally do just to get drugs. The drugs numb a person’s value system and moral system. I was chasing the high — the one more hit that would get me to where I wanted to be. By the time I was 42, I started using heroin and prescription drugs that I bought on the street and cost thousands of dollars a month. Outside of work, where I felt good because I was helping people, I just wanted to be high. My life was a mess.” ...

“It was scary and hard but I stayed clean and sober for eight months. I learned so much from the program and the fellowship, then a relationship broke up and I couldn’t cope. I went straight to a dealer and started using again. I picked up a crack pipe. I would have a hit off my pipe, feel good for 20 minutes, start crying, have a hit, again and again. I wasn’t eating and was very thin. I thought the drugs would take away the bad feelings but it made them worse. It was complete and total despair.”

“There were drugs,” he said. “My drug of choice was cocaine and alcohol. Cocaine was recent, in the last two years, last two and a half years. I depended more on the alcohol than the cocaine. It took me to a place where I felt safe. It took me to a place where I felt like … nobody could say anything to me. It took me to a place where I could just reach out and grab my mom [who died of cancer in 1991]. I was dependent on those drugs, those alcohols.” --Boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya

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“I was still emotionally

Sometimes it's not stopping gambling, but what will we place gambling with? What are our new hobbies? We need to fill out spare time with constructive hobbies.

Replacing one addiction with

Replacing one addiction with another is common with addicts. Hope things turn out well.