Problem gambling can strain your relationships; interfere with responsibilities at home and work, and lead to financial catastrophe. You may even do things you never thought you would, like stealing to get money to gamble or take money meant for your children. You may think you can’t stop, but problem gambling and gambling addiction are treatable. If you’re ready to admit you have a problem and seek help, you can overcome your gambling problem and regain control of your life.

Do I have a gambling problem?

You may have a gambling problem if you;

  • Feel you need to be secretive about your gambling. You might gamble in secret or lie about how much you gamble, feeling others won’t understand or that you will surprise them with a big win.
  • Have trouble controlling your gambling. Once you start gambling, you can walk away? Or are you compelled to gamble until you’ve spent your last dollar, upping your bets in a bid to win lost money back?
  • Gamble even when you don’t have the money. A red flag is when you are getting more and more desperate to recoup your losses. You may gamble until you’ve spent your last dollar, and then move on to money you don’t have – money to pay bills, credit cards, or things for your children. You may feel pushed to borrow, sell or even steal things for gambling money. It’s a vicious circle. You may sincerely believe that gambling more money is the only way to win lost money back. But it only puts you further and further in the hole.
  • Family and friends are worried about you. Denial keeps problem gambling going. If friends and family are worried, listen to them carefully. Take a hard look at how gambling is affecting your life. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help.

Does my loved one have a gambling problem?

If your loved one has a gambling problem, he or she might;

  • Become increasingly defensive about his or her gambling. The more a problem gambler is in the hole, the more the need to defend gambling as a way to get money. Your loved one may get secretive, defensive or even blame you for the need to gamble, telling you that it is all for you and you need to trust in the “big win someday”.
  • Suddenly become secretive over money and finances. Your loved one might show a new desire to control household finances, or there might increasingly be a lack of money despite the same income and expenses. Savings and assets might mysteriously dwindle, or there may be unexplained loans or case advances.
  • Become increasingly desperate for money to fund the gambling. Credit card bills may increase, or your loved one may ask friends and family for money. Jewellery or other items easily pawned for money may mysteriously disappear.

Treatment for problem gambling.

The biggest step in treatment is realizing you have a problem with gambling. It takes tremendous strength and courage to own up to this . Don’t despair, and don’t try to go it alone . Recovery is possible if you stick with treatment and seek support. When you are ready, for advice or a treatment referral call us at 065-684 0944

Do I need help? : Helpful Questions for Self-evaluation

For gamblers, the “Gamblers Anonymous 20 Questions” is a helpful tool for self-evaluation.

  1. Have you ever lost time from work because of gambling?
  2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
  3. Has gambling affected your reputation?
  4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
  5. Have you ever gambled to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
  6. Has gambling caused a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
  7. After losing, have you felt you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses ?
  8. After a win have you had a strong urge to return and win more?
  9. Have you often gambled until your last euro is gone?
  10. Have you ever borrowed to finance your gambling?
  11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
  12. Have you been reluctant to use”gambling money” for normal expenditures?
  13. Has gambling made you careless of the welfare of you or your family?
  14. Have you ever gambled longer than you planned?
  15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
  16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
  17. Has gambling caused you to have difficulty sleeping?
  18. Have arguments, disappointments, or frustrations created an urge to gamble?
  19. Have you ever had an urge to celebrate any good fortune with a few hours of gambling?
  20. Have you ever considered self-destruction because of your gambling:

If you have answered yes to 7 of these questions, or your answers concern you, please contact us in confidence at 065-684 0944 or by e-mail at bushyparkhouse@clarecare.ie

For further information visit the Gamblers Anonymous website and GAM Anon website

Bushypark House

Phone: 065-684 0944
Fax : 065-684 0450
E-mail : bushyparkhouse@clarecare.ie

Counsellor on duty: 8am to 9pm (Call in confidence for support, advice and information)

How to find us

From Limerick

Leaving limerick city follow signs for Galway, Shannon or Ennis. After approx 25km takes the Ennistymon/ Cliffs of Moher/Ennis Exit off dual carriageway. Follow the signs through to the third roundabout (clare abbey). Take the second exit towards Kilrush/Ennistymon. Continue to the Claureen Road roundabout. Take first exit onto the N68. Continue for 1.5km until you reach the Texaco Garage/Oliver Walsh Motors. Turn left at the side of the garage, you will see signpost for BushyPark House. Follow this road for 2km keeping to the left at fork on road. Continue 500metres and see gates of house in front of you on a bend. Please use second gate as entrance to the house.

From Galway

Follow N18 from Galway until you reach a dual carriageway, take the first left exit 500 metres after you get on this new road, signposted for Barefield/Ennis. Follow signs when you come off this road for Ennis. Go through the Ballymaley Roundabout (small roundabout). When coming into Ennis town proceed until you reach a roundabout, (there is a statoil garage and McDonalds on the right at this roundabout). Take first right exit, following signs for Shannon/Limerick. At next roundabout take the third exit, signposted for Ennistymon/Lahinch. Go straight through the next roundabout (Claureen Road) and continue for1.5km until you reach a Texaco Garage. Turn left at the side of the garage, you will see signpost for BushyPark House. Follow this road for 2km keeping to the left at fork on road. Continue 500metres and see gates of house in front of you on a bend. Please use second gate as entrance to the house.