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My son is 28 y/o and has been a compulsive gambler for 10 years. I feel your pain. As moms it is heartbreaking to watch our kids self-destruct while we watch helplessly from the sidelines.
You are right your son is still there somewhere. Unfortunately addiction is one tough foe to battle.
The one thing I might suggest is to block his # on your phone. I finally did this as when in the middle of a gambling binge the texts and phone calls were coming in fast a furious. Not one of them required an answer and only served to upset me or draw me in to the fight… which is what addiction wants!
It feels odd at first but it finally gave the message that I wasn’t going to „play“ anymore. Anyway… just a thought.
Enjoy the baby step forward:)