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11 Mar 2004

Gamblers and alcoholics
My husband is an alcoholic and has not had a drink in 4 years. He did not go to AA - he said it was a change in lifestyle. Over the last year his addiction seems to have moved over to gambling. He has even forgotten to pick my son up from aftercare. He said he did not even realise the time. He went again the next day - he has not promised never to do it again - he said he cannot make that promise but he wants help. I need to get a support group in the south somewhere. He is now leaving his job at the end of the month - he has been retrenched.
How on earth can I support him and help him when all I want to do is kick him out. He is usually a good father but is verbally abusive to all of us at times. I cannot allow this to happen again. Because of his gambling I have had to sell all my jewellery and we owe thousands..... Where do draw the line?
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear Me,
Actually, some people very distinctly do have a sort of addictive personality, and a great tendency to get hooked on something ( in which case you only wish they'd get roud to being hooked on knitting or reading, or going to the gym, or something else not harmful and not too expensive.) It's good if he is recognizing that this is getting out of his control, and that he does need help. Seeing a psychologist would be a good idea, to plan a programme of treatment to get over this ( and to avoid merely switching to a different form of addictive behaviour).
Then there's Gamblers Anonymous. National HQ was 0800-006-008, or 011-915-7730 ; and www.gamblersanonymous.org ; and I gather there's a support group for spouses and partners of pathological gamblers, Gam-Anon, 021-797-1682, or 0210 671-2267.
Also, try calling your local casino for advice, odd though this sounds --- they're supposed to be funding a foundation to promote "responsible gambling" ( whatever that is ) and ought also to know of available support services locally.

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