In an effort for Council staff members to continue educating ourselves on problem gambling, each member chose a book on the topic to read and review. This week’s review comes from Council Human Resources Director, Scott Melissa.
Scott chose the book: Gambling Addiction: The Problem, the Pain, and the Path to Recovery.
Gambling Addiction is a help guide for people with experiencing problems with gambling. The author is a gambler in recovery who has relied heavily on religion / spirituality to help him. His story is intertwined throughout the book. The first anecdote from his life discusses his uncontrollable gambling, and how his wife was hospitalized for taking pills because she couldn’t watch him destroy their lives any longer (p. 13). While at the
hospital, he believed he was having a heart attack and was treated, but his wife didn’t believe him. She thought he was trying to escape responsibility for his actions, and attempting to get her to stop being angry with him. This incident was his jump-start to the path of recovery.
The book goes into the five stages of gambling (winning, losing, chasing, bailout, and desperation), how to know if you’re a problem gambler, why people gamble, the effects gambling has on someone who has a problem, and how it affects not only the gambler but their families as well.
The author provides a suggested program for recovery, that the author himself found helpful (pp. 87-109). The program begins with being truthful about money: where it comes from, where it goes, etc. The second step is a belief that God wants him / her to stop gambling. Steps three to five rely heavily on the belief in God and letting that belief help you find your way home. It also provides three case studies of people who used this program to stop gambling (pp. 131-166).
John Eades has a unique perspective as a trained psychologist and addiction specialist who lost his own position and everything else to his own addiction. The story of his recovery will not only enrich the lives of all who read it, but could well lead to more recoveries.
Eades, John M. Gambling Addiction: The Problem, the Pain, and the Path to Recovery. Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Publications, 2003.