All so you can keep gambling or pay your debts. Gambling addiction also called Compulsive gambling is the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on your life. Gambling means that you’re willing to risk something you value in the hope of getting something of even greater value (Compulsive, 2016).Individual ImpactWhen a person is a compulsive gambler or an addict, the effects are devastating. Many addicts will use credit cards, loans, or even tap out their retirement fund to pay for their addiction. The result places them in debt to the point of losing homes, jobs, vehicles, and even filing bankruptcy.  If they become to attached to the gambling they can forget to care for themselves causing poor physical and emotional health. It can also cause additional addictions to drugs, smoking, or alcohol because these are used recreationally while people gamble.   Mental health problems, including depression, mood disorders and anti-social personality disorder also cause people to become compulsive gamblers. (George, 2014).  In order to escape those mental health issues, people throw themselves into something that makes them feel better, such as gambling. When that isn’t successful it can lead to the individual killing themselves.  Twenty percent of compulsive gamblers actually attempt suicide, according to a 2007 report from the National Council on Problem Gambling (Burke, 2007).Family ImpactIn every family there are always problems, but it seems like the one most talked about is money.  So, when savings, property or belongings suddenly come up missing, it can cause some problems in the family. This kind of money issue makes the family feel afraid, mad and deceived.  It can be hard on them when they don’t know how they are going to pay their bills, put gas in the car, or pay for food.  It can cause the partner of the gamble to feel ashamed, hurt, angry, and distrustful.  Feeling this way makes it harder to work together to solve the problem.  At this point the partner starts to feel isolated because they don’t want to be close to someone who has hurt them.  They are also isolated because they are too embarrassed or shameful to ask for help.  There is also the problem of the partner being an enabler to gambler and denying the problem exists.  Sometimes in this situation there are more than just the gambler and their partner involved, there are also children.  In this situation the other parent focused on the person who the problem and their children tend to get put off.  This causes the children to live in a world that is unstable, have parents who aren’t reliable, and kids lack the emotional connection they need to have. Families should be a stable environment where children are comfortable but in the situation where the parent gambles it is far from that. This addiction can cause a family to split up, move numerous times, go without food, or even become homeless. Sometimes it gets the point that the person who gambles gets so angry because they aren’t doing well or are losing control of the situation that they take their anger out on the child. This can be by yelling and insulting them or emotionally or physically abusing them.  Either way they are teaching the child the best way to handle life when it gets tough is to be aggressive and physical. Or sometimes the parents become so wrapped up in their problems that they don’t give the love and attention the child needs to grow.  So, it causes them to feel anxious, scared, unwanted, unloved, and alone. As the child watches the parents get sucked in more in more they learn to want instant gratification, learn to be irresponsible, and teach them how to take advantage of others.  It could turn into a cycle where the child suffers the same addiction as their parent(s).  Low levels of parental monitoring enhanced adolescents’ risk of getting involved in gambling activities (Vachon, 2004). Even other problems such as. attempted suicide could happen (C,2017).Community Impact Think about this if you went gambling that for a year how much money you could save and invest elsewhere in the community.  Or think about what could happen if you couldn’t gamble for one day because you didn’t have any money.  It could cause you to make some decisions you would later regret.   Like stealing money from your neighbor, embezzling money from work, or forging checks    It can also lead to the individual stealing food from a grocery store or lying to a local restaurant to scam food out of them.  Those kinds of behaviors eventually lead to loss of employment, difficulties finding new work, and often a criminal sentence and incarceration (Per,2016).   It can also get the point where the gambler has been drinking or doing drugs and they become belligerent when they start to lose or asked to leave.  This could cause a fight which ends the individual up in the hospital or local jail again.  So, our community’s money is now paying the price of feeding, clothing, bathing, getting the individual healthy and providing a lawyer for this person.Policy The Montana Code Annotated has section that helps people understand gambling and says they will offer services to people how have been affected by gambling addictions (Montana).  These leads them to a website called the Montana Council for Problem Gambling site.  There you find a history of gambling in Montana, resources to help you overcome gambling, and what gambling does to your physical and mental health.  The laws do the best they can to help protect people from gambling, but it can only help and assist so much. The person with the gambling addiction needs to admit they have a problem and they are ready to receive the help that is offered.Conclusion Gambling addiction can lead us down a path that can destroy our lives and make it hard to be an upstanding citizen.  As with any addiction you can change that around and become a better person.  Once in recovery the person can share their story to other people and show them there is hope at the end of the tunnel.  It jus takes hard work, support, and the understanding that no is perfect, and realizing it is okay to fall off the wagon-you just have to be willing to get back on and keep trying.


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