Struggling With a Serious Gambling Addiction
Last post I described common denominators between drug addiction and compulsive gambling.
Today I want to ask: how do we assign responsibility for promoting products that benefit some while seriously harming others — because they are too attractive?
I got back from my trip to Australia about three days ago and I can finally see straight this morning.
I came home travel weary but armed with some great new insights and perspectives.
In particular, the counsellors, case workers, policy makers, and researchers in the audience and at the podium repeatedly raised the question of responsibility — and how responsibility is related to technology, access, and profit.
Let me unpack that.
Gamblers in the Melbourne area come in droves to thea multi-level pleasure palace packed with every conceivable form of entertainment and an enormous number of high-tech slot machines distributed among the bars, bandstands, restaurants, craps and roulette tables…along every corridor, in every nook and cranny.
These machines have been designed to appeal to a great variety of individual tastes.
In some, the spinning character set settles into a poker hand — usually a losing hand.
Others rely on matches among fruits, goblins, jewels, and shining, flickering, mesmerizing tokens lifted from fairy tales and Kung Fu movies.
Some mix cards, dice, and fairy-tale images on their gambling addiction and casino responsibility screens.
The variety and artistry are incredible.
What offers all this excitement, this sense of fun, and what keeps gamblers playing and losing and playing and losing, derives from innovations in design, programming, psychological modeling, video game development, and the technological know-how to package all these in a single product.
And of course the paycheques of the designers, programmers, artists, and so forth come from a casino industry that rakes in enormous profits.
The attendees at the conference were pretty pissed off.
Especially at the slot machines, where play becomes almost mindless see previous post.
The conference attendees spend their lives trying to help people who continue gambling addiction and casino responsibility lose — not only their money but their homes, marriages, interpersonal relationships of all sorts, and even their lives — sometimes directly via suicide, sometimes slowly through the alcoholism and other forms of escape that ride on gambling addiction.
They exist to make money, pay their employees, and increase their profits, just like any other business.
Does it make sense to blame them for being good at what they do?
See recent research findings.
Or should the government come down hard on an industry that brings pleasant entertainment to many but serious harm to a few?
These are some of the questions at the forefront of the discussion about problem gambling in Australia.
And the same questions are debated just as hotly in the US and the UK.
Should the makers of video games like The Sims and Candy Crush be penalized for making the most attractive and addictive games ever known?
Should Facebook be banned?
After all, the world is full of temptations, some of them natural, some manufactured.
And would we want a world that minimizes tempting attractions, even if we could achieve it?
Where this conundrum interests me most is where it intersects with the problem of drug addiction.
The parallels are mind-blowing.
First, stigmatization, family disintegration, avenues of treatment, and support groups continue to blossom gambling addiction and casino responsibility both realms.
Third, how do we balance the suffering of the few against possible benefits to the many?
The sale of addictive drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, and crack line the pockets of drug lords and gangsters, but they also pay simple farmers all over South America and Asia.
And the legal addictive drugs like oxycodone and Vicodan most famously certainly profit Big Pharma, but they also provide badly needed relief for the millions suffering pain.
Next, should we restrain what might be called the technology of attraction at all?
The substances I just listed, as well as modern slot machines and internet gambling, evolved from links between profit and technology.
Technology needs money e.
Even scotch whiskey — at least the good scotch that I like — is the product of an industry that harms a portion of its users while feeding some of its profits into technological advancement.
Alcoholism kills 88,000 Americans per year.
Yet almost nobody recommends a return to Prohibition.
Many of the products that make modern life fun, pleasant, interesting — or even just bearable — for many of us also make life hell for those who lose control.
Do we just turn responsibility over to the user, or is there a sensible way to restrain the dealer?
Is there any concept of regulation, packaged warnings, education, or harm reduction that could help across the board?
In Opium and the People, Virginia Berridge describes the situation in the UK where in the 19th century, opium in oral form was widely and legally available, but led to very few problems and addiction rates.
I would start by looking at this model and then asking important questions about the people, the society and culture at the time.
What is different now and would it be possible to introduce cultural elements that would lead to a similar outcome now?
And then how to use those cultural elements for other addictions as well?
So a lot of people feel this disenfranchisement or alienation.
Whether or not you believe in food addiction I dothere are very compelling arguments that the food industry is doing the same kind of innovating in design, modeling etc to help sell their products, more often than not at the expense of our health ref Michael Moss or David Kessler for lots on this.
Walking down the desserts and snacks isles at the supermarket is mind-blowing.
Reminds me of my early days in Berkeley, where there online best signup bonus different pills different colours, different highs available on every corner of Telegraph Avenue.
How old are you?
Then came LSD and the color coding went off the rails… Orange Wedge sticks in my mind…probably in more ways than one.
Yes, I remember all those drugs….
I never figured those out, but I do remember liking them.
Then came Eskatrol, a buffered form of dextroamphetamine in time release spansules.
Packed a wallop punctuated by a horrible depressive episode.
Sleep debt from artificial light, sedentary life; inflammatory pollution make for addictive brains.
Big cities suffer most from these risk factors, so drugs and gambling can be prohibited in the cities and allowed in rural areas.
Each municipality can decide for itself, based on the addiction rates in its population.
Neuroscience and the mystical poets: a dynamic duo!
There is so much suffering — a new brand of loneliness partly because the old supports of family and religion are fraying and disappearing.
I think this recent editorial by the Dalai Lama and Arthur C.
Brooks speaks to another element of loneliness that is at work in addiction, and why service to others can https://spin-jackpot-money.site/gambling-130/free-gambling-site-4769.html so therapeutic: the need to feel needed.
Seems like it must be ten years now.
The thing is though, we have laws that restrict the speed you can drive and the amount of alcohol you can drink at least whilst driving anyway.
There are also pretty strong social norms around acceptable alcohol consumption.
To my knowledge, there are no laws, or even government endorsed guidelines, for how much money you can safely gamble.
People are free to literally gamble their lives away.
There is a Fahrschule driving school on every corner.
The population in Germany is twenty times as dense as ours, and if they drove like us NZers and Australians do, it would be a blood bath.
I think Germans are much more law-abiding and considerate, less aggressive and competitive, on the road than we are — quite a different attitude.
Parallels with alcohol and addiction?
I believe alcohol is consumed more as part of a meal or social eating in Germany, so non-addictive consumption of alcohol is modelled frequently for children.
I live in Europe and I love the way people drive here…compared to N.
The word respect comes to mind.
And those same social norms apply to excess in gambling and intoxication.
At this gambling conference I attended, a lot of the discussion was gambling addiction and casino responsibility stigmatization.
Problem gamblers are not well regarded by friends and family.
So social norms are present and they are overt, and people who cross those lines pay for it with a major loss in esteem!
I think a good solution is to rethink our tolerance for the ways of our capitalist economy.
Most of the organizations profiting from it have not taken any real responsibility.
They benefit tremendously and are not required to use those benefits to help those in need.
To claim this is inaccurate is to choose to put our heads in the sand and fear any change of the status quo.
I believe the answer is to require the profits beyond gambling addiction and casino responsibility sustainable level for industry trail blazers who work hard to create new and interesting products and services need to be used for education.
Not some stupid placard that puts the onus back on the individual but as Marc and Johann Hari have taught us … these problems are societal and require a societal solution.
A new infrastructure that does not tolerate taking advantage of those who struggle.
That is, they need to be extremely honest about the problems and solutions to those problems that their products create and not make a person feel they are personally weak and suffer.
No, they suffer because it is inherent in that product to cause them a loss of personal power.
With this way of taking responsibility, those who can enjoy without personal harm get to do so and at the same time we are being totally honest and transparent to help those who fall prey.
How do we accomplish this?
But just the concept of responsibility in the way you mean gambling addiction and casino responsibility is completely novel on the human landscape.
Even in my beloved?
Canada, there are no restraints on developers and retailers who have the ethical proclivities of reptiles — Shoppers Drug Mart comes to mind, as does the condo and billboard infestation of my home town, Toronto.
People can act morally reprehensible and be rewarded for this callousness…i.
Trump … remember Atlantic City.
Get involved in local politics and listen to what the candidates are promising, and then do your due diligence by discovering what big corp lobbyist is funding which candidate.
Only invest in stocks that reflect socially responsible business practices, gambling addiction and casino responsibility, etc…I believe it must begin with the individual.
Investing in companies with ethical practices is a great way to help…a little.
Despite what you say, humans and other animals have some kind of intrinsic pull toward altruism….
What about teaching emotional intelligence in schools?
These are skills and attitudes that are learned, mostly in childhood — or not, if you happen to be born read article a dysfunctional family or society.
There is movement in exactly this direction.
Some call it teaching emotional intelligence, a la Goleman.
The problem needs to be addressed on both individual and societal levels.
This while recognizing that we need a socioeconomic reprioritization to undo the devastation wreaked by free-market capitalism run amok.
Similarly, the junk food, alcohol, tobacco, and gambling industries provide pleasure that most people can handle in moderation but many cannot.
The damages suffered by individuals, families and communities are externalities that industry has no responsibility to ameliorate.
Of course, the ever lowering corporate and superrich tax rates is one of the reasons why we have such a crappy educational system for all but the wealthy.
And given the abysmal state of public education in the US, many students emerge functionally illiterate.
Combine that with the emotional and psychological deficits that result from poverty and dysfunctional social settings and you have a recipe for intergenerational disaster.
How can these people be expected to evaluate the risks of worldly temptations, much less know how to resist them?
For so many people this does not come naturally.
A separate issue is this: I wonder if there is a way we could legislate against intentionally making products more addictive.
Tobacco in its natural state is plenty addictive, but Phillip Morris, et al, juice up their product with even more nicotine.
Why is this allowed?
In the junk food world, scientists are employed to make their products as addictive as possible with just the right balance of fat, gambling port information casino & canaveral, salt, and flavorings.
Does the world really need a more compelling Dorito?
Ah, but this is the logic of capitalism.
This also raises the question of conscience.
How do scientists justify their role in the relentless assault on public health?
A very thoughtful comment, Lisa.
Sure, these are real costs, and conceivably industries could be made to pay them.
As far as education….
Carl Hart has become somewhat famous for advocating decriminalization of drugs in general — including nasty drugs like meth — and putting our energies into education instead.
Kids need to be taught, not restrained.
This has a solid ring to it.
Yet, if meth, for example were available at the corner smart shop here in Holland the externalities would ALWAYS be many times the price tag, so it seems.
Regarding availability, I believe in the this web page of all drugs.
So much of drug addiction is wrapped up in the thrill of outlaw life it certainly was for me!
By making drugs available in a clinical setting, we take the sexy out of using.
But the system as it exists now creates far far more externalities in terms of human and social suffering caused by the criminalization of drug use.
People will always free non gambling themselves using drugs, but with sane policies we can minimize how deeply their toxicity penetrates the rest of the culture.
Hari writes about success stories in Portugal and Online gambling sites money, and Free gamble online is particularly interesting because the addiction rate keeps dropping even though heroin is available and accessible legally.
The thrill is gone, baby….
A young man in India is a friend of mine.
He studied here in the States for a year and worked with me on a gambling addiction and casino responsibility and other projects.
During his time here he visited an amusement park.
The thing he found most amusing about https://spin-jackpot-money.site/gambling-130/online-gambling-game-sites-4777.html park was the litany of words used to protect the owners and operators of the rides from litigation.
In my work, I talk with people about how to risk gambling slot machine addiction was tobacco, but I am NOT anti-tobacco.
I smoked tobacco for decades.
I was 12 years old when I started in 1969 and hell, I knew the risks then… how did anyone NOT know the risks?
I chose to do it anyway for a long list of reasons.
The bottom line is: it made sense gambling play to best las vegas slots the time.
And then I was IN… until I found the way OUT.
I am in favor of a world in which we offer options AND the ways — effective, free and low-cost ways — to delight in or shun those options.
Offering ways to resource everyone, across socioeconomic status, returns to them the power of choice.
You and Hari and Maté and Brady and more are giving us the leg to stand on in asserting the need for this kind of collective reform.
I am most grateful!
Best to you — Joanna Free I think you make some great points here.
An interesting approach is to tax the negative externalities i.
I think that makes sense and aligns the costs with the risks.
I take a more simplistic public health approach—interventions that improve lives with minimal costs monetarily or to basic rights are the low hanging fruit.
Gambling in casino is fun and risky as it is associated with lots of money.
Whatever he earns he will spend it in casino, I have seen many people who even lost their house and job.
I personally am against gambling because of my father.
He started gambling for entertainment but carried away and lost everything.
He left us and we faced many difficulties in growing up.
Once in a while father comes and get money for gambling from mom.
She is weak and cannot fight against dad.
Marc, your question: Do we just turn responsibility over to the user, or is there a sensible way to restrain the dealer?
Is there any concept of regulation, packaged warnings, education, or harm reduction that could help across the board?
Growers and suppliers, public health, public safety, prevention and personal wellness choices are either protected or made available.
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A bracing and informative corrective to the muddle that now characterizes public and professional discourse on this topic.
Drug Addiction : How to Control a Gambling Problem
Responsibility of the gambling organisation; In Asia, the issue of problem gambling has been around for years. It is one that constantly surrounds the industry. Both online and offline gambling providers have a duty to tackle problem gambling issues, such as addiction or compulsiveness.
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