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I am an addict. Is gambling addictive for me?

  • anonymous Asks ...

    I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. I have 3 years 7 months clean from all drugs and 2 years 4 months clean and sober. I am invited to a friend’s bachelor party in Vegas. He is a very good friend to me and I would like to attend. I am actually not very worried that I will be overly tempted to drink or use drugs but I have a question about gambling. My friends are not big drinkers but they like to play blackjack. I’ve never really played at all. Do you think that since I have a pretty addictive personality I need to stay away from gambling just like I need to stay away from substances? I feel like I should but I also feel like I am overreacting/being fearful of life. I don’t want live my recovery in a cave but I also don’t want to be dumb.

  • Jill Edwards Says ...
    Jill Edwards

    Your absolutely safest position is not to be involved in a practice that is known to be addictive, particularly where it affects how accepted you are in a group that you do not know well.

    Gambling in the circumstance you describe is particularly associated with group pressure and you may find yourself under sufficient pressure as things stand. On the other hand, you also could consider how important the money is to you. How much could you afford to lose. If you have a partner, what are they prepared for you to lose.

    The people around you may be able to give you good advice, particularly the sober ones. You could find out what kind of stakes they play for. If you decided you wanted to try this you would have to have set limits on what you were prepared to spend and be prepared to lose what you are putting down.

    Gambling is a losers game. No-one really wins against the reality of the odds involved. You might also want to talk the issues over with your friend and make sure there are people you trust around you. Think also about what else you could do with the money, what is most important to you. This is a good opportunity to consider your values and spend your money in a way that you choose. 

    In the end it is your choice. 

    Best wishes

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