Is It Still Fun?

With some many recent large lottery jackpots, who doesn’t spend some time thinking about what they would do with all of that money? We could stop working, travel and afford the house of our dreams. Many of us will purchase a few tickets or contribute to a lottery pool at work. While this may start out as “just for fun” and a few dollars a week, for some it can turn into an addiction and hundreds of dollars a week. In recent years, accessibility to gambling has made it easier for more Americans to gamble on a regular basis. With 43 states that participate in state lotteries, 20 states that allow commercial casinos and the availability of online gaming via the internet, we don’t have to look very far to gamble. Statistics from the National Council on Problem Gambling show that 2 – 3% of Americans or 6 – 9 million Americans will have a gambling problem in any given year. So how do we know if it is a problem, or just having a little fun? If we can answer “yes” to several of the questions below, we may have a problem. 1.    Are you spending more than 1 hour per week gambling? Instead of playing only when the jackpot is really high, are you playing every week or every day? 2.    Are you hiding your gambling from your spouse or loved ones? Do you cover up your gambling? 3.    Are you using credit cards to finance gambling? With credit cards, it is very easy to continue spending without realizing how much you are spending. 4.    Are you borrowing money to continue gambling? It can be from family, friends, and banks or in severe [...]

5 Warning Signs For Substance Abuse

This past week, we learned that country star Mindy McCready ended up committing suicide. As authorities go through their reports and autopsy performed, much of the speculation of why she did this circulates around substance abuse. With this being such a sad event, lets touch on the subject of how to help someone who may be struggling with mental health issues and who may turn to substance abuse as a way of escape. Sometimes, you may not be able to recognize the signs, but with this article, we hope to help you be able to reach out to those around you. Many times, people begin to look for ways to escape the stress in their life. This can usually be something from a vacation, to a day at the beach, or even a calming day at the spa. For others, this escape can lead to substance abuse. If someone does not know how to handle what is going on in a safe way or seek out the help they need through friends, family, or counselors, it could go a very wrong way. What are some of the signs you should look for? How can you reach out and help this person? What if they don’t want help? Some of these are easier answered than others but here are some things to remember: 1. This persons eyes may appear bloodshot more often then normal and they may have drastically smaller or larger pupils. 2. If this person suddenly has weight gain or loss that is of significance and you notice that their sleeping or eating habits have changed, this may be a sign. They may also begin to have an increased lack of caring how they [...]

12 Characteristics of Adult Children of Alcoholics

Alcoholism, known as “alcohol dependence syndrome” is a disease that is characterized by craving, loss of control and physical dependence. Alcoholics, as well as being victims themselves, have an adverse impact on those with whom they associate. Research has shown that children of alcoholics develop some personalities traits that may impact their lives as an adult. Here are 12 characteristics of adult children of alcoholics described by Woitiz (1988): 1.Adult children of alcoholics guess what normal behavior is. 2.Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end. 3.Adult children of alcoholics lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth. 4.Adult children of alcoholics judge themselves without mercy. 5.Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty having fun. 6.Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty with intimate relationships. 7.Adult children of alcoholics over-react to changes over which they have no control. 8.Adult children of alcoholics constantly seek approval and affirmation. 9.Adult children of alcoholics usually feel that they are different from other people. 10.Adult children of alcoholics are super responsible or super irresponsible. 11.Adult children of alcoholics are extremely loyal, even if in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved. 12.Adult children of alcoholics are impulsive. Research shows that adult children of alcoholics are at risk at becoming alcoholics, abusing drugs, attempting or committing suicide.  Also, they may develop patterns of compulsive behavior such as overeating and other eating disorders. And adult children of alcoholics tend to marry alcoholics partners. If you are an adult child of an alcoholic remember that you are not alone. Millions of people have grown up in families with alcohol-related problems. Because of the environment you grew up in, you had to develop [...]