Problem Gambling Resource Guide

Problem Gambling Resource Guide
by Stronger Families for Oregon

Are you or is someone you know a problem gambler? Stronger Families has compiled the following lists of information for those affected by problem gambling.

Gambler’s Anonymous Twenty Questions

Gamblers Anonymous offers the following questions to anyone who may have a gambling problem.
These questions are provided to help the individual decide if he or she is a compulsive gambler and wants to stop gambling.

1. Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
3. Did gambling affect your reputation?
4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
5. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
6. Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
7. After losing, did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
8. After a win, did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
9. Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
12. Were you reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures?
13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
14. Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
17. Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
18. Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
19. Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
20. Have you ever considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?

Problem gamblers usually answer yes to at least seven of the questions. (

Five Ways to Enable a Problem Gambler
By Tom Raabe

1. Cover up and cover for the gambler.
Make excuses for why he or she is missing work. Stand up for him or her when friends criticize his or her actions.

2. Attempt to control the behavior.
Hide the car keys or try to keep him or her too busy to gamble.

3. Threaten to leave.
This attempt to control only encourages the gambler by giving him or her the needed free time to gamble.

4. Bail out the gambler.
Take on his or her responsibilities. Fix the financial situations. Co-sign loans.

5. Cooperate with the gambler.
Participate in gambling or answer gambling-related messages.

Raabe, Tom. House of Cards, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.: 2001.

Trigger Mechanisms
By Dr. Archibald Hart

According to Dr. Hart, there are two major sources driving addiction: excitement seeking and tension reduction. He notes that these can be triggered by the following nine mechanisms:

1. Anxiety
2. Isolation
3. Boredom
4. Depression
5. Crisis
6. Sense of failure
7. Unmet sexual needs
8. Criticism
9. Selfish needs

Dr. Hart adds that anything that threatens failure, rejection, or abandonment can trigger an addiction cycle.

Hart, Archibald. Healing Life’s Addictions, Servant Publications: 1990.

Help in Oregon:

Problem Gambling Helpline: 877-2-STOP-NOW
Treatment is free and confidential

Gamblers Anonymous
Portland Hotline: 503-233-5885; Southern Oregon Hotline: 866-335-9192

Other Resources:

Focus on the Family: Christians and Social Gambling

National Council on Problem Gambling