Sunday, March 30, 2014

Elderly Gambling Addiction

Some senior citizens deciding to retire in Las Vegas are finding their dreams of living a relaxing life crushed because of gambling addiction. Las Vegas is the gambling capital of the United States, so some elderly people find themselves partaking in the action due to their newfound free time.

People from all over the country decide to retire in Las Vegas. Many of them don’t have any experience living in a town like Vegas, which can suck a person into the games and glamor. Some residents start spending their social security money along with retirement funds to play slot machines and tables. Many even end up losing everything including their cars and homes.

English: Slot machines (las vegas)
English: Slot machines (las vegas) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“Gambling is a serious addiction,” says Dr. Rob Hunter, the founder of the Problem Gambling Center. “Forty percent of Clark County is not senior citizens, so 40 percent of my patients shouldn’t be senior citizens, but they are… We have treated people in their 90s.”

Many new retirees who move to Vegas don’t understand the dangers of gambling addiction. Dr. Hunter doesn’t think gaming businesses are deliberately trying to hook older people, but many of them don’t even know it could become a potential problem. The state’s funding for gambling addiction is very low, so there isn’t a lot of help available for senior citizens who find themselves in debt.

Gambling, like any other addiction, has the potential to take everything we cherish away from us. It can become very dangerous, but help is out there through addiction treatment programs. There are specialized treatment programs for gambling, as well as substance abuse. Recovery is possible to those who want it.
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