Problem gambling doesn’t just affect the individual. It affects family members and friends. If someone you care about has a problem, the anxiety and concern you feel about their gambling can become all consuming. Living with the effects of someone else’s gambling can be too devastating to bear. That’s why, whether or not your loved one chooses to get help, the best thing you can do is to get help for yourself.
One of the most valuable resources you can turn to is Gam-Anon. Gam-Anon is a 12-step, self-help fellowship of men and women who have been affected by the gambling problems of a friend or loved one. They understand what you’re going through in a way that few others can. The people at Gam-Anon are all too familiar with the worry, sleepless nights and broken promises that family and friends of problem gamblers live with.
If you’re living with the consequences of a loved one’s gambling, the steps and tools of the Gam-Anon program are designed to nurture your growth and recovery. It’s not a religious organization or a counseling agency. It’s simply a group of supportive people who understand what you’re going through.
Gam-Anon provides face-to-face meetings and literature that help members find answers to such questions as:
- What is my role as the loved one of a compulsive gambler?
- How can I be of the greatest help to a loved one who is still gambling?
- How can I live with the problem?
- How can I deal with my anger, fear and resentment?
- Will I ever be able to trust the gambler again?
The message of Gam-Anon is simple – “Let us Help.” Membership is voluntary. There are no forms to complete, no insurance cards needed, no appointments necessary. Just show up – and start the healing process.
Local hotline numbers and meeting lists are available at www.gam-anon.org. You can also call (718) 352-1671 for information.
For more information and resources on responsible gambling, visit BeforeYouBet.org.