This week on Talk Recovery Radio
Talk Recovery Radio speaks with Brian Meister a counsellor and therapist who works with people with gambling disorder, Brian also shares his personal story of gambling and drug addiction.
Guest 1: Brian Meister Counselor/therapist with People with a Gambling Disorder, Brian also shares his personal story of gambling and drug addiction.
I am Brian Meister. I work as a counselor/therapist with People with a Gambling Disorder. I speak on the topic of Gambling Disorder. I am a Person with a Gambling Disorder and a Drug Use Disorder in recovery. I will share with you my own perspective in this blog on the cost of gambling to individuals, families, society whether the gambling is legal or not. I will disclose that as the title above alludes to I believe the costs of gambling outweigh the benefits. I believe that the prolific expansion of gambling in the US, and in Illinois, was not done in a thoughtful way either economically, and more importantly, with a social conscience. The ideas I will present will be my own; not my employers, not any recovery group or any other party I am connected to. I will use, and cite, data from others though some of the citations will be anonymous. I do not believe I have all the answers to effect change for the benefit of individuals, families, and society from the negative effects of the proliferation of gambling. I do know that I want myself and others to have a voice in finding solutions to the horrible effects from gambling. I know that my thoughts are the collection of all the wisdom and data I have gleaned from others that have been integrated in my being along with my own experiences. I will soon write a post explaining why I chose the title above. Before that I want to complete a resource page for those experiencing their own gambling disorder, experiencing the effects of someone else’s gambling disorder, or for those interested to learn more about the topic.
Brian says that he feels like people with gambling disorder seem to have more magical thinking than other addictions. Brian says he tries to stay out of magical thinking and if he had the money, he would plaster billboards up all-around casinos and have them say “Casinos are not your Friend” the title of his blog about gambling addiction. Brian asks, “Why do I say that”? Brian speaks about friends being someone who will not harm you and will be there when you need them the most. Casinos can seem so welcoming with all the lights and bells and whistles Brian says, but they are a business and casinos will take your money and leave you feeling hopeless and wanting more.
Brian started gambling at 13 years old and when he hit 15 years old, he says he feels as he met the criteria of someone who had a gambling addiction or gambling disorder. Brian speaks about the difference between gambling disorder and substance abuse disorder is that it is much easier to hide gambling disorder, it is a hidden addiction until he says of course its not hidden and the negative consequences come. Brian explains his life in high school as someone who was involved in sports and lots of healthy friendships to someone who dropped all those things when gambling became a problem and an addiction in his life. He went from to top of his class in grades to the bottom, and no one said anything because his gambling addiction was hidden. The signs and symptoms of gambling addiction are similar to substance abuse, grades going down in school, irritability, disinterest in activities someone has previously been interested in.
Brian touches on the reason why he wanted to come on Talk Recovery, he got a call from a client the other day who is 26 years sober and blew his whole life up gambling. Gambling addiction is a problem for people already in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction and needs to be talked about.
Visit Brian’s Blog here
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