Debt and Gambling
August 22, 2016
In our last blog post, we spoke about understanding the human side of gambling. Metadata will paint the picture as to the scope of the problem and its place in society. For example, if you were to learn that just 900 people report being addicted to Pokemon Go, in the scope of how many people live in the United States, just 900 people doesn’t seem all that bad. The numbers tell part of the story, but you must learn about the human side too.
In this blog installment, we will combine the numbers and the human experience while exploring the element of what makes a gambling addiction incredibly unique.
Both heroin and gambling addictions are dangerous. Let’s first explore how heroin use has affected our neighbors in the Northeast.
In 2014, there were 781 heroin-related overdose deaths in New Jersey alone, according to data by the state Department of Criminal Justice. Considering the amount of heroin users in New Jersey is relatively small, that is a startling number. Each week, scores of people are dropping dead from overdoses. The possibility of overdose is an element that makes drug addiction different than gambling. Drugs like heroin can be instantly fatal.
While it’s true you cannot overdose on gambling, it doesn’t mean that extreme damage cannot be done quickly. People have blown through their life savings in one evening at a black jack table. People have squandered their fortunes playing cards, slots, and table games. And the quick onslaught of massive debt has grave consequences.
This past year, the FCCG found that the average debt of a caller phoning our helpline exceeded 50 thousand dollars.
Imagine waking up to find out that you are 50k in debt. A reality like that is crushing. Sudden debt comes along bringing feelings of anxiety, panic, and depression. It wrecks relationships and puts people in grave danger. It is known in the mental health world that problem gambling has the highest rate of suicide among the addictions.
Heroin and gambling are dangerous in different ways.
The silver lining about problem gambling is that recovery is possible. Getting out of debt and reclaiming your financial life is possible. Here at the FCCG, we have developed a tool to help people attack the debt process. While owing fifty thousand dollars may seem like a mountain few are able to climb, it can be done. Should you be experiencing debt due to gambling, you can download our Budget Toolkit for starters. Feel free to call our helpline and speak with one of our specialists. We have specialized experience when it comes to helping people navigate problem gambling.