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Reader's view: Duluth offers help for compulsive gamblers

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I’d like to address an issue few people know about. We’ve heard of A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous) and N.A. (Narcotics Anonymous). I would like to address the issue of G.A. (Gamblers Anonymous).

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Since Minnesota allowed casinos, pull tabs and lottery scratch-offs, etc., many, many families have suffered the effects of compulsive gambling. Families have been destroyed because either one parent or both sit in casinos or bars gambling.

I am a compulsive gambler, and by the grace of God I have been clean 300 days and counting. Will I gamble again? Who knows? Like any other step program I take it one day at a time.

People are spending whole paychecks, taking payday loans, spending retirement savings, etc., and their children are home without food or necessities. Rents and mortgages are going unpaid.

I have seen posters and pamphlets advertising help wherever gambling is allowed, but how many people ever really read or acknowledge them? I never did. When I would see them I would turn my back. I believed like many others I could control myself. My husband trusted me with our bills and payments. Little did he know I accumulated $30,000 of debt.

I’m one of the lucky ones who did pay my bills. I’m luckier yet my husband didn’t leave me. I want people to know Duluth has excellent help for compulsive gamblers just a phone call away. For people who don’t believe in group or step programs (I was one of those who didn’t because gambling is such a loner type of illness; it was my escape from life), please, please give it a try. It saved my life and marriage. Call Gamblers Intervention Services at (218) 723-8444 or the Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment at (218) 722-4996. The program is awesome. The program is anonymous.

Teresa Davis

Duluth

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