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My son is a gambler
My son who is 21 has been gambling for at least 3 years. We have bailed him out on numerous occasions. he has stolen money from bank accounts and credit cards, stolen cheques and forged them. The latest is stealing electrical equipment from our home. We have thrown him out for the umpteenth time now, I have spoken to him today and told him he is a liability and that we can't have him back. I think he is suicidal and I am also worried because of the freezing weather. is there anywhere i can advise him to go.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Hi Margaret

I am aCompulsive Gambler.
Sad situation. Sorry to hear of your problems.
Do you have a lifeline help phone number in the UK? He should get some counselling of some sort.
GAMCARE do have online & telephone counselling services. (They deal with gamblers & their families.)
If u can talk to him, try advising him to attend a GA meeting. He sounds like he is heading for a mighty fall.
Re the "bailing out" situation. You should never bail a gambler out of his debt. Otherwise, he will think he can always fall back on someone for help when he next needs some money.Then the cycle continues...He has to learn that there are consequences to his actions.
Re housing. I am assuming he has some friends, so do not worry about the cold. I am sure someone will accommodate him.
I also think you would benefit by attending a GAMANON meeting. These meetings are run by, and attended by the relatives & friends of problem gamblers. They will have more experience at this issue than me.

Best Wishes
HI Margaret,

just to echo what Roy said.

Never bail out a compulsive gambler. That is happy days to them and by the way I should know as I am one.

Get yourself and whoever else is closely involved to a Gam-Anon meeting. They will provide you with practical help and support.

I know you must be worrying about your son being out of the family home and I can't really offer any advice as I am not a trained counselor.

take care,

Hi Margaret, I'm in the same position and its so scarey. My son also gambles, he works hard and is also a pro athlete, yet he will spend everything he earns at the bookies. I've bailed him out numerous times, even paid his debts off. He's lost his g/friend through his addiction. I've been in control of his Bank card, yesterday he demanded it back, and within forty minutes he was broke again, with nothing to live on for the next month. As he dosent live with me, I told him to go. I'm a pensioner and I cannot afford to keep him anymore. In the past I have fed him and given him money to run his car, feed himself when he's at work. I cant do it anymore.. the stress that he creates for himself is unreal. He wants to kick the habit, but he can't do it alone. I have found GA meeting for him, I hope he goes!! There's only so much we Mums can do, I feel as if I haven't done him any favours by helping him out in the past, but what do you do when you're child's mind is in turmoil. I wish you all the luck in the world Margaret with your son, hope he turns that corner.
hi my heart goes out to you. my son is 19 he has'nt gambled now for 9months it been hard (very hard at times).i had his bank card several times and after a short time he would want it back and started gamling again. we never bailed him out, i sorted out his wage, looked after his spending money and cleared all debt with his money.
I feel sick when i think he could gamble again but i think he feels the same. we take him to ga each weeks and he accepts that this is a livetime problem. just when you think things are good he goes on a downer and feels depressed but we talk a lot and that time passes without gambling. (so far )
could you encourage your son to go to ga. let you have his money again and let you help, also the doctor now can refer him for councelling to help with his addictive personality. we have just done this and waiting for my sons appointment.
good luck, hope you can get something sorted. it is an illness and i am proud of the progress my son as made but always worried that we can go right back to where we started.gaynor
I have just read all the messgaes and replies.

For starters, I am 23 years old. I have been through and am still going through the same situation as you are all explaining.

I started gambling when a was around 18. Gambled on mainly just football coupons. It then escalated to horses/dogs/ and the worst being the roulette. I used to get paid on a Friday and was skint by the Friday afternoon.

Couldn't afford to pay bills etc NEVER MIND EAT FOR THE MONTH!

Anyway, I was bailed out several times by my dad. That was the worst thing he could of done. I felt that I could always rely on him.

Now am still gambling but seeking help.

I am more a binge gambler now which some might say is worse.

I have moved place for work and the problems follows me everywhere. I am going to start a new GA meeting this Thursday as I hadn't gambled for months and last night I gambled a lot.

I am just letting you know the feelings and emotions which surround gambling. It is a rollercoaster of emotions that requires stopped.

I spent most of my late teens and early twenties "kicked Out" I once resented this as it was just ME. I attended GA at 25 and continued doing my nut, throwing back at parents the help they tried to give. Now im 34 4years free of gambling and building my life away from this terrible desease. A desease is what it is, love clouds that desease and I will never have that conversation with my parents about what I put them through, the words "stress" "worry" etc spring to mind. Your son doenst need "money" he needs to see what he can truly become if this desease continues to effect his life, I liken my life to that of a heroine addict, cold turkey is not enough for this desease as we have periods of no money. Step one...get him to a meeting it will open him up, step two take control of his finances, treat him with respect but if its not you without help it will be someone else. Further to this as a mention, im 34, single, building a life, Gambling made me smoke to much, probably will effect my older years, but I only realised this at 28....your son is 21 and can re format his life....

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