The Scenario
Do you have any personal guidelines for gambling that are helpful for you in your recovery?
Sam Savings Sam

Savings Sam

Not to bet on sports in bars or around people who are drinking.

Bonnie Balanced Bonnie

Balanced Bonnie

To only go once in a great while, and to do it as a social activity, not as a way to feel “high” or to escape from feelings or troubles.

Ian Impulsive Ian

Impulsive Ian

My counselor did say that I should set limits on my gambling, like how much time and money I spend doing it. But for the time being, with all this spare time on my hands, why not?

 

Part I

Risk

You can establish your own limits and provide direction to others by developing a set of personal guidelines to determine whether, when and how much to gamble.

  1. The decision to gamble is a personal choice. No one should feel pressure to gamble, or feel that he or she must gamble to be accepted.
  2. Gambling is not essential for having a good time. Gambling should not be perceived as necessary for having fun and being with friends.
  3. What constitutes an acceptable loss needs to be established before starting to gamble. Any money spent on gambling should be considered the cost of entertainment; people should only gamble with money they can afford to lose. For those who choose to gamble, it is essential to know when to stop.
  4. Borrowing money to gamble should be avoided and discouraged. Borrowing money from a friend, relative or any other source of funds with the intention of repaying with gambling winnings is always high-risk and inappropriate.
  5. There are times when people should not gamble. Never gamble when under the legal gambling age; or when it interferes with work or family responsibilities; when the form of gambling is illegal; when gambling is prohibited by organizational policy; or when trying to make up for prior gambling losses ("chasing" losses). Be cautious about gambling when in recovery for addictive disorders or dependencies.
  6. There are certain high-risk situations during which gambling should be avoided. Avoid gambling when feeling lonely, angry, depressed or under stress; when coping with the death of a loved one; to solve personal or family problems; or to impress others.
  7. Excessive use of alcohol when gambling can be risky. Irresponsible alcohol use can affect a person’s judgment and interfere with the ability to control gambling and adhere to predetermined limits.

[SOURCE: Keeping It Fun: A Guide to Responsible Gaming]

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