Gambling should be a form of entertainment, one of many hobbies of which you partake. It is important never to gamble more money than you can afford to lose, or to spend so much time gambling that it begins to interfere with other areas of your life.
If you feel like you – or someone you care about – are being harmed by your or their gambling, you are not alone. Most people are able to gamble responsibly, but a small percentage of people develop a gambling problem. Fortunately, these problems are treatable and there are many no-cost resources available to the residents of California. Getting help starts with calling the statewide helpline, 1.800.GAMBLER. The helpline is always answered directly by trained professionals, at any time of the day or night - there are no recordings, and your call is completely free and confidential. Translation services are also available for more than 240 languages, and TDY is available for the hearing impaired.
You can break free from your gambling problem, but the first step is recognizing that you have one. It requires some honest answers to some difficult questions. Start by taking the self-assessment, here.
Call or visit the Web sites of the following organizations for more information:
California Statewide Problem Gambling Helpline
Free, confidential and available 24/7/365
California Council on Problem Gambling
California Office of Problem Gambling
You can break free from your drinking problem, but the first step is recognizing that you have one. And that's not easy. It requires some honest answers to some difficult questions. Start by asking yourself the questions listed below if your problem relates to drinking.
The questions for drinkers was excerpted from material appearing in the pamphlet, "Is A.A. For You?", and has been reprinted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. ("A.A.W.S") Permission to reprint this material does not mean that A.A.W.S. has reviewed and/or endorses this publication. A.A. is a program of recovery from alcoholism only - use of A.A. material in any non-A.A. context does not imply otherwise.
Questions for Gamblers:
- Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
- Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
- Did gambling affect your reputation?
- Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
- Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
- Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
- After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
- After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
- Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
- Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
- Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
- Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?
- Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
- Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
- Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
- Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
- Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
- Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
- Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
- Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?
Most compulsive gamblers will answer "yes" to at least seven of these questions.
Questions for Drinkers:
- Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days?
- Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking - stop telling you what to do?
- Have you ever switched from one kind of drink to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting drunk?
- Have you had to have an eye-opener upon awakening during the past year?
- Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble?
- Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year?
- Has your drinking caused trouble at home?
- Do you ever try to get "extra" drinks at a party because you do not get enough?
- Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk when you don't mean to?
- Have you missed days of work or school because of drinking?
- Do you have "blackouts"?
Most problem drinkers will answer "yes" to at least four of these questions.