Gamblers Anonymous aids in overcoming addiction

Gamblers Anonymous aids in overcoming addiction

Gamblers Anonymous aids in overcoming addiction

Whether it is the ring of the bells, the sound of change clinking on metal or just scratching a card, gambling can be and is exciting to many people.

However, it can become a problem for a few. These problems range from behavioral to financial issues to self-destruction.

Recently, at St. Louis Community College in Florissant Valley, card playing was suspended due to the behavior of the students who were playing.

When Brian Corpening, dean of students at SLCCFV, heard one too many complaints about the “inappropriate behavior,” he said he decided to take what some might consider drastic action.

He placed a temporary ban on all card playing.

“I have an issue with language,” Corpening said.

He also said the tempers of the students were a contributing factor to the suspension. The students who were playing allowed their tempers to rise to what was considered a problem.

After Corpening’s suspension, students found a way to solve the problem. They came together and formed a school organization that specialized in card playing.

These problems are not just in bigger city areas either. Students at Missouri Southern have suffered the negative effects as well.

“I had a few friends who, as soon as they turned 18, would gamble,” said Amanda Stone, sophomore undecided major. “It was crazy too. As soon as they’d get a paycheck, they’d blow it.”

Stone said she experienced the negative side of gambling when she tried to be a caring friend to those she knew had a problem.

“It went from being passive to aggressive, especially when you’d try to confront them [about gambling],” Stone said.

However, even though gambling can cause problems for many people, there are ways to get help.

Jim, a member of Gamblers Anonymous and wished to remain anonymous, had a gambling addiction for four years.

During the time of his addiction he maxed out four credit cards three different times.

“I’d get to the period where I couldn’t stop,” Jim said. “I was so addicted that I wrote 11 checks and they all bounced. That’s when I realized I had a problem.”

After this point in his life, Jim joined a chapter of Gamblers Anonymous in Springfield.

Recently, however, he started one here in Joplin.

“[Gambling] destroys your family,” Jim said. “You feel like you aren’t as good as anybody else. You become depressed and suicidal.”

Although money is a part of the attraction to gambling, there is a bigger reason for the addiction.

“The biggest struggle is wanting to be in action,” Jim said. “Many people think the big attraction is the money, but it’s the thrill.”

The chapter group in Joplin currently consists of around five members. The chapter meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays in Joplin Heights Baptist Church.

For more information, call Jim at 483-4152.

Jim has not gambled for a year and a half.

If anyone is worried about a loved one, Jim said some warning signs to look out for are nervousness or odd behavior.

The Web site also has more facts about the signs of addictive gambling.