Hi Eliza
Welcome to Gambling Therapy
The addiction to gamble is all about the ‘gamble’; money is only a means to an end. Although your son appears to be gambling to win money to pay for things – he is probably only gambling to get more of the commodity that he needs to fuel his addiction. He might be kidding himself that it is to pay for rent or food but once he has money he will almost certainly gamble.
In my opinion, it is important to give directions to a CG (compulsive gambler) where support can be found. We have an excellent helpline here where your son can communicate one-to-one and where he will be anonymous. He would be very welcome in our CG only groups where he can join in and push his thoughts around without being identified and we have the CG forum ‘My Journal’. He has nothing to fear and nothing to lose by making these contacts.
It might help to download the ‘Gamblers Anonymous 20 Questions’ for him, you can find them on Google. Maybe you could get the address of the local GA and their meeting times for him. Many CG do not realise that their addiction is recognised and that there is help available.
I have brought my thread up entitled ‘The F&F Cycle’ which I hope will help. It should be close to this thread on the forum. Knowledge of his addiction will give you control over it and help you cope.
You have done well taking control of his debit card. When you enable a CG by giving them money, it is the same as giving an alcoholic a drink. Is your son working? Is he in debt? Perhaps most importantly, does the friend he intends to move in with know he has a gambling problem? I know it is hard to say ‘no’ but I think it is important to know that giving him the 2 months rent money is the same as clearing his gambling debts and only helps his addiction thrive.
It would be great to communicate in real time with you in the Friends and Family group on Tuesdays between 8 and 9 pm. Nothing said in the group appears on the forum. I hope to ‘meet’ you there.
Please keep posting and asking questions. It is sad but his addiction to gamble will take you down with it if you allow it to do so – it is secretive and divisive but with knowledge you will cope. The most important thing you can do for you and your son is to look after yourself.
I would not be writing to you if I didn’t know that your son can control his addiction and live a wonderful life.
Well done starting your thread. You are doing well