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“Gambling addiction is a victimless habit.”
Nothing could be further from the truth! Gambling addiction is affecting millions of families across the country, often making losers out of winners.
Shattered Lives Radio talks with experts from the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling, Mary Drexler and Donna Zaharevitz, who will dispel a lot of the myths surrounding problem gambling, provide information about what is, or isn’t, problem gambling, and available help for those with a gambling problem and their family members.
The Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling is a private, not-for-profit organization affiliated with the National Council on Problem Gambling. The Council’s mission is to reduce the prevalence and impact of problem and pathological (compulsive) gambling on individuals, families, and society.
We often talk about addictions to alcohol and drugs because they are recognizable substances causing addiction, but gambling addiction creates the same havoc as other addictions; feelings of shame, embarrassment, helplessness or hopelessness about the problem that may also discourage a person from getting help.
Listeners will learn the difference between “responsible” gambling, “problem” gambling, and “pathological” gambling, the levels of severity, and the specific treatments available for each. If you feel you have a gambling problem, running short of money to pay your bills, or spending too much time in casinos and not enough with your loved ones, this show is important!
Mary A. Drexler, MSW (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mary Drexler is the Executive Director of the CT Council on Problem Gambling (CCPG). She is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Council. Her duties include oversight of prevention programs and CCPG’s Problem Gambling Helpline and Problem Gambling Live Chat, networking with community/state organizations, advocacy for gamblers and their families, and training. She is a member of the CT Women’s Network, a group focusing on women and problem gambling, the CT Partnership for Responsible Gambling, a collaborative effort including the CT Council, the CT Lottery Corporation, and CT Problem Gambling Services, and the CT Coalition for Responsible gambling, which includes representation from all the gaming industry in CT, as well as the CCPG, and the CT Problem Gambling Services. She has been in social services since 1979. She is a member of NCPG’s Board of Directors and NCPG’s Nominating and Helpline Committees. Mary holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work.
Peer Counselor-Criminal Justice Liaison
Donna is a gambler in recovery and has been working in the recovery field for over 17 years. She has appeared on both national and local news media discussing the addiction of gambling and recovery services provided in the state of CT and other area states. She presented at a press conference at the U.S. House of Representatives advocating for education, research and treatment for the addiction of gambling. In 2008, the CT Department of Corrections granted her permission to start the first of its kind Gambling Intervention Group at Niantic’s Women’s Correctional Facility. She is a certified recovery coach. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Capital Area Substance Abuse Council.
Shattered Lives: Addicted to Gambling, Are You Risking it All?