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Gambling Addiction And The Consequences

It starts with a little flutter on the horses. Or a game of poker with the lads. Nothing serious and it’s not hurting anyone is it? It’s not like taking drugs or being constantly drunk. It’s fine, honestly. Just a few pounds here and there won’t break the bank.

Then comes the first big win. What a feeling! See, it was worth the money spent. And if it can happen once it can happen again. That huge win is just waiting round the corner; the one that is going to resolve all money problems and then the gambling can stop. Gambling becomes more frequent and larger as the bid to recreate that ‘buzz’ gets stronger.  The compulsion to gamble becomes stronger by the day and the thought of giving up creates anxiety and irritability. But it’s okay; it’s not a problem.

The Lying Begins

Friends have started to notice changes in behaviour. Everything’s fine though, isn’t it? Just busy at work, things on the mind. At home, finances are a little tight and shopping and utility bills are going on the credit card. But that huge win will sort out the credit card company and it won’t be long before it happens. The ‘other half’ is a little concerned about the mood swings and the long absences from home. “Problems at work” you say, “but it’s all in hand.”

Credit card bill has come in. You’re over the limit. And the bank balance has reached an all-time low. The kid’s savings accounts will sort out the deficit though and can be topped up again when the big win comes in. Speaking of which, there’s a ‘sure thing’ racing at Doncaster this afternoon. The children’s savings will make it a decent-sized bet and the horse is sure to win.

Illegal Acts

The ‘other half’ has been screaming and crying about unpaid bills and empty cupboards. The boss will never notice that withdrawal from the business account to yours. It’s only temporary and you work hard so you’ve earned it. Some bills paid and a small bet on the way home.

Home is very quiet. Note on the table saying that they’ve packed and gone. The TV and computer have been repossessed and the electricity supply has been cut off. You need a stiff drink. And another. And another.

Hangover at the police station as they accuse you of theft. The boss must have noticed. They’re talking about prison. Get home and have a few stiff drinks. Hair of the dog. For medicinal purposes only. Next few days are a bit of a blur. No job, no family and the thought of being locked up. Can’t bear the shame. The family are better off without you. There’s a length of rope in the garage and a strong rafter. Wish you’d never started gambling but how were you to know it was so addictive?

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