You can break free from your gambling or 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 in this brochure if your problem relates to gambling or drinking.
Help is here.The first step is often the hardest. But you can stop feeling trapped and gain control of your life.
Call or visit the Web sites of the following organizations for more information:
California Council on Problem Gaming
1 (800) GAMBLER
* Information provided by Gamblers Anonymous
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"?
If you answered "yes" four or more times you are probably in trouble with alcohol.