Gamblers Anonymous Information

Gamblers Anonymous is a twelve-step program for problem gamblers. GA began in Los Angeles on September 13, 1957. As of 2005 there were over 1000 GA meetings in the United States and meetings established in the United Kingdom, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Israel, Kenya, Uganda, Korea and Japan. The only requirement for GA membership is a desire to stop gambling. Aside from financial insecurity, problem gambling has been shown to cause dysfunctional families, legal problems, employment difficulties, psychological distress and higher rates of suicide and attempted suicide. Less than 10% of those with gambling problems seek treatment for the syndrome. GA has auxiliary groups, Gam-Anon and Gam-A-Teen for spouses and children of problem gamblers.

Problem gambling is estimated to occur in 1.6% of the adult population in the United States. GA has a list of twenty questions that can be used to self-diagnose compulsive gambling. The results from their instrument have correlated strongly with other tests that screen for compulsive gambling .

Compared to problem gamblers who do not attend GA, GA members tend to have more severe gambling problems, are older, have higher incomes, are less likely to be single, have more years of gambling problems, have larger debts, have more serious family conflicts, and less serious substance abuse problems. GA may not be as effective for those who have not had significant gambling problems. GA is effective to prevent "relapses" , but not as effective when helping members deal with the consequences of their relapse.

Wikipedia, Gamblers Anonymous, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamblers_Anonymous (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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gu · ru [goo-roo] : one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom and experience in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others. Log in or join now now to designate yourself or someone you know a Gamblers Anonymous guru.

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