As a gambling addict you never suffer alone.
Last week The Volkskrant, a national newspaper, published the latest figures about gambling addiction. In the Netherlands we count 80.000 problematic gamblers and 100.000 gamblers at risk.
News, and everyone jumped to it.
Chairman of the Branch organization VAN Frits Huffnagel rushed to state that “the risk at addiction shouldn’t be exaggerated. Gambling doesn’t come close to alcohol or drugs”. This statement to me, as former gambling addict, doesn’t make sense. The figures are still very high, the self-help groups in AGOG are full and well visited! In addition I would like to put an opposite reasoning. Every problematic gambler is member of a family or other social structure. He or she might have a relationship, children, and I may hope friends, family and work. Let us estimate the number of people in the vicinity at five. Then the number of people that is indirectly involved by a problematic gambler isn’t 80.000 but 400.000. The group at risk half a million!
The vicinity of a gambling addict suffers too. Loss of faith, loss of love, cheating, financial problems, possible dismissal due to fraud. These are the recurring subjects at group sessions in our AGOG meetings. Now, seven years after my last bet I dare to state that I regained the trust of the people around me.
That is more profit than I have ever made in a game room or casino!
A gambling addiction is a shared problem, many other people than only the addict self suffer indirectly and silently.
Ervaringsdeskundige gokverslaving en AGOG bestuurslid