FairPlay - Need to stop Gambling?
We are not here to moralise or to judge just to offer some advice on what helped a few people we know Gamblers Anonymous
Gamblers Anonymous (GA) is a twelve-step program for problem gamblers. GA began in Los Angeles on September 13, 1957. As of 2005 there were over 1000 GA meetings in the United States and meetings established in the United Kingdom, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Israel, Kenya, Uganda, Korea and Japan. The only requirement for GA membership is a desire to stop gambling. Aside from financial insecurity, problem gambling has been shown to cause dysfunctional families, legal problems, employment difficulties, psychological distress and higher rates of suicide and attempted suicide. Less than 10% of those with gambling problems seek treatment for the syndrome. GA has auxiliary groups, Gam-Anon and Gam-A-Teen for spouses and children of problem gamblers.
Incidence rate and evaluation
Problem gambling is estimated to occur in 1.6% of the adult population in the United States. GA has a list of twenty questions that can be used to self-diagnose compulsive gambling. The results from their instrument have correlated strongly with other tests that screen for compulsive gambling (e.g. the Total Sensation Seeking Scale, Boredom Susceptibility, Experience Seeking, South Oaks Gambling Screen, and Disinhibition subscales).
Compared to problem gamblers who do not attend GA, GA members tend to have more severe gambling problems, are older, have higher incomes, are less likely to be single, have more years of gambling problems, have larger debts, have more serious family conflicts, and less serious substance abuse problems. GA may not be as effective for those who have not had significant gambling problems. GA is effective to prevent "relapses" (inability to remain abstinent from gambling), but not as effective when helping members deal with the consequences of their relapse.
GA spends much of its time and energy counseling members on how to deal with financial and legal problems. GA supports "pressure groups" where members take each other to task and encourage them to "get honest" with people in their lives and get their affairs in order. Gamblers who are able to moderate their activity are not likely to continue attending GA meetings. GA members who stopped attending meetings were more likely to consider the sharing at the meetings "meaningless" and were more critical of GA literature. Those who felt particularly elated at their first GA meetings were less likely to continue than those who had a more balanced first impression. GA, therefore, may be most suitable for severe problem gamblers who do not have compounding issues.
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