Is there a relationship between substance abuse and compulsive gambling? On this week’s Addicted to Addicts, host Denise Krochta interviews Michael Burke, author of Never Enough. His answer? A whopping big YES! “Addiction is addiction is addiction,” says Burke. Find out why! Krochta and Burke share their recommendations for addicts (and their loved ones) about prevention, recovery, and support.
After battling alcoholism in his younger days and spending time to get help in rehab, Burke felt he was finally free and clear; however, he traded in one addiction for another and ended up spending his 24th, 25th, and 26th year of “sobriety” in prison… because of his gambling addiction. Thanks to celebrities, alcohol, drug, and even sex addiction have been on the forefront of news media–but what about gambling addiction? This serious problem often goes ignored for lack of publicity. But does a lack of attention from the public eye make the problem any less important? Of course not. Burke describes, in detail, how he first got pulled under by the riptide of gambling addiction and how it affected not only his own life, but the lives of the people he cared about.
Burke discusses his suicidal thoughts, how difficult it was to “come out” to his family about his problem, and the time he ultimately spent in prison when his gambling debts spiraled completely out of control. The strange thing is: “In the beginning, addiction works,” says Burke; addressing his former alcoholism and how, at first, it was very enjoyable (and a huge part of his social life). The same was true for his gambling addiction. However, a gambling addiction is much easier to hide. “You can’t smell a pack of cards on a gambler like you can smell alcohol on an alcoholic,” Burke points out.
Gambling is socially accepted and sometimes even presented as a good thing to do; however, a gambling addiction can ruin your life: financially, romantically, mentally, emotionally, and otherwise. Learn how and when to get help today!