Why is Slot Machine Gambling Considered "The Crack Cocaine" of Gambling Addiction?

Why is slot machine gambling so addictive? Why is it coined the “crack cocaine of addiction”? Why is slot machine gambling considered to be the MOST addictive form of gambling that exists today?

I will try to answer these questions in this article. The questions are quite significant, and the answers can help to explain why so many people have gotten hooked on the “slots”, “pokies”, and “fruit machines”.

Slot machines use what is known to psychological behaviorists as “intermittent reinforcement” Basically, what this means is that a winning hand on a slot machine only happens sometimes.

This type of reinforcement is known to be very powerful because an individual is only rewarded at certain intervals. This can create an addictive reaction , resulting obsession quite easily. When you reward only sometimes., it is sure to create an obsessive reaction.

In addition, studies have shown that the neurotransmitter dopamine plays an important role in developing a gambling addiction. Dopamine is known as the “feel good” chemical. The illusions of patterns in slot machines, and the intermittent winning spins create a rush of dopamine in the brain that makes people desire continued play.

You have probably heard in the past that gambling addicts are “addicted to the action”and not really as interested in winning money like they may think they are. This is because the dopamine rush is so powerful and pleasurable, that the action of gambling becomes euphoric in its’ own right. It is a means it itself rather than a means to an end.

The role of dopamine is in the brain is very significant and powerful. Individuals with Parkinsons Diseases who were taking medications to increase dopamine in their brains were becoming addicted to gambling, specifically, slot machine gambling. Once these individuals stopped the medication, their addictive and obsessive gambling stopped. This happened to a significant amount of people taking these types of medications.

Slot machine addiction is considered to be the “crack cocaine” of gambling for a few different reasons.

Crack cocaine is one of the most highly addictive drugs that exists today. Slot machine gambling is also considered to be the most addictive form of gambling… hands down.

The two can also be compared to each other because of the very quick, accelerating progression of the addiction. A person can hit total despair and devastation with a slot machine addiction in one to three years. Other forms of gambling do not accelerate as quickly.

Another comparison is how both forms of addiction can create such debasement, despondency and despair because of the power and intensity of the addictive substance/behavior.

Stealing, prostitution, drugs, loss of job, marriage, and finances are common with both of these addictions. You may have heard horror stories of individuals with either of these addictions. These stories are all too common.

As you can see, it is very easy to compare slot machine addiction to crack cocaine addiction. The common characteristics of both addictions is quite impressive.

Why is Slot Machine Addiction Considered The MOST Addictive Form of Gambling?

This question is related to the above two areas that I have covered, except for a few other concepts which I believe are worth noting:

o Slot machines are designed by psychologists and other specialists who are specifically instructed to design slot machines to seduce and addict people.

o The new video mulit-line electronic slot machines have graphics and colors that are very compelling and stimulating to the eye.

o The music in video slot machines is very stimulating, repetitive, seductive , and truly reinforcing. There is strong subliminal suggestion in this.

o The bonus rounds in video slot machines can encourage continued play, even amidst great losses, since bonus rounds are very exciting and provide a rush.

o The speed of play, and the speed of modern slot machines keeps your adrenaline pumping, especially with all of the above factors.

o The jackpots in slot machines can be huge, however, the chances of winning these jackpots are equivalent to winning the powerball lottery, if not more improbable.

o Slot machines can be a place to “zone out”. Today’s slot machines can put you into a hypnotizing trance that is hard to break out of.

o Slot machines require little or no skill, making it easy to just sit there and push the buttons, without a thought, forethought, or contemplation.

o It is very easy to keep playing slot machines because all accept dollar bills, and give players coupons upon ending play. Money loses its’ value and becomes “monopoly” money.

o ATM Machines are usually in close proximity to the slot machines, again, encouraging continued play.

o Many slot machines use denominations of 1 cent to 5 cents. This fools the gambler into thinking that they are not spending much. What is not being said, however, is that the maximum bet can be as high as $15 to $20 per spin. Is this really a penny or nickel machine?

The Dangers Of Gambling Abuse And Addiction

So, how do you know if you or someone you love have a gambling problem?

First of all it’s important to note that compulsive gambling is a psychological condition that makes people unable to control their desire to gamble. Many crave the feeling they have when they gamble and seek this experience on a daily basis, no matter whether they’re on a winning or losing streak.

Compulsive gamblers may start betting small amounts, but sooner or later start to wager higher bets in order to get the same feelings of excitement they had when they first started playing. Compulsive gamblers often feel agitated and restless if they are unable to gamble and can feel a strong desire to gamble when other aspects of their lives are weighing them down. Compulsive gamblers may also believe that gambling is the only way to pay off debts and keep believing that it’s only a matter of time before they hit the elusive jackpot. Some compulsive gamblers may find themselves lying to friends and families and in some cases stealing money or goods to pay for their gambling habit.

Not all compulsive gamblers will exhibit each of these qualities, but if you recognise just a few of these in yourself or someone close to you then it could be time to seek help.

Compulsive gambling is treatable and there are a number of wonderful organisations set up to deal specifically with this problem.

Gamblers Anonymous is probably the most well-known and widespread and is based on a 12-step program similar to that of Alcoholics Anonymous. Members meet on a regular basis to share experiences and listen to each others stories and you will find that there are literally hundreds of Gamblers Anonymous groups situated all over the world. Go to the Gamblers Anonymous website for more information (www.gamblersanonymous.com) or check your local newspaper.

Gam-Anon is another well-respected self-help organization whose motto is “serenity, courage, wisdom. “Their website provides a solid resource into the issues surrounding compulsive gambling and meetings are held regularly. (www.gam-anon.org).

The National Council on Problem Gambling is a government sponsored organization with branches across the USA. The website also has a lot of information which you may find useful. (www.ncpgambling.org).

Other countries will also have their own groups and organizations which may be publicly or privately run. Again check your local newspaper or phone book for more information.

Remember, compulsive gambling is a mental health issue for which there is help and support. If you feel that gambling is dominating your life in a way that is harmful or unhealthy, then perhaps its time to talk to someone about it.

Gambling: Fun That Leads To Addiction?

Is gambling really just innocent fun? We all know that many are addicted and that casinos make billions of dollars. Every addicted gambler started out with the idea of risking a little bit of innocent money, with the idea in the back of their mind that they might rake in a big win. After all, the winners are advertised with a big smile on their faces. Why not me? And when you have beginner’s luck, then you want to experience that again. After so many losses you know that some luck is bound to come your way. And you start liking the clinging of the coins and every time that happens, you feel, or think to feel a bit of paradise. Your money for nothing and your chicks for free. Hooray! By then you stubbornly ignore the fact that you are beginning to get hooked. You do not count what the losses amount to. You do admit that in the end the house always wins, but you keep hoping for that one big bang. Except if that should occur, you would gamble with even greater antes. This may serve to illustrate what has happened to countless poor souls.

The combination of gambling and psychological pain is the most dangerous one. People lapse into spending sprees out of pain, or into binging. Others into alcoholism or a gaming addiction, or even an innocent looking sports mania. Again others start experimenting with drugs, or sex. Many develop dependencies of several of these. Once you are trapped, you are caught by a vicious circle of temporary relief and the subsequent hangover. Only to try it again. The longer this cycle persists, the harder it is to break. Realize that you are fleeing into a surrogate and seek help to get to the causes. In many cases an antidepressant might help. But get over your shame and find professional help. Above all pray to the Lord Jesus for rescue.

Gambling on websites at home is inviting the devil. People run up high costs on their credit cards and the owners laugh all the way to the bank. They do not care about your losing your home and even your wife and children. Many gamblers develop co-morbidities such as alcoholism and drug addictions. Prostitution is a ‘normal’ thing in such circles. Most governments have legalized some form of gambling and many clubs, charities and shops offer tickets to lure prospects to their goods or services. I do not condemn these forms of gambling. I myself once won an expensive computer with all kinds of accessories. Also I won some small prizes with bingo. But at a certain moment I began buying more and more lottery tickets. And from there the step was small to try my hand at one of those one armed thieves in restaurants. The next step was to try out the casino. After a number of years I realized that I ran the danger of getting dependent permanently. So I stopped abruptly and started praying for total deliverance and having somebody else pray for that. I felt that I got out no day too soon and I have to admit that when I see one of those machines, I experience that it still attracts me. Gambling is one of the most stubborn addictions. Stop radically while you can. Or else find help.

Let us analyze gambling from a Christian perspective. We lost paradise and now we desire to compensate. This is called the pursuit of happiness. However there is only lasting happiness in a close relationship with Christ Jesus. Most gamblers develop a superstitious habit or even think that they have found a way to beat the machine. Many books have been written that advertize supposedly clever ways to turn the odds around in your favor. Except the only person to benefit from such a book is the author. Then there is the autotheistic attitude that makes you believe that you can best the odds. Also gamblers play god as if they have all the money in the world. Let the money roll, you have enough of it! One gambler ran five machines automatically by jamming the buttons after having filled them with much cash. He let them run till all his money was gone and then he went home broke to beg his mother for some bucks to buy a pack of cigarettes. Like little gods they think they can transcend chance and machinery as if they were magicians. This is the sin of the garden of Eden in which Eve was made to believe she could be like God. People get used to the surroundings and all the gambling appurtenances in casinos. This is my home. Here I belong. Here is my family. In Vegas there is even a priest that blesses the gambling machines with holy water. Unholy! Talk about surrogate religion…

Many people gamble at the stock market. Others gamble at women. Some Christians claim that a game of cards is from the devil and even that when you have it in your home, you are not a Christian family. It is the devil’s picture book and the joker represents the devil and other such tales. This is a bounce reaction of course. Some even go so far as stating that playing yahtzee is evil as one uses dice. They claim that the soldiers that gambled over Christ’s robe at the cross, used dice. Some think that the Urim and Thumim of the high priest, used to consult God, were actually dice to determine a lot or decision. In this context one can also think of the stone with seven eyes in the book of Zachariah. However that may be gamblers start believing that life is a bet and that in fact everything is. Gambling as religion, philosophy and lifestyle.

Solomon stated that “wealth gotten out of vanity, diminishes; but he that gathers handful by handful, increases.” Money should go where it should go, but society has become sick with financial buggery. Many resort to chain letters. Others to pyramid schemes or other criminal activities. We must strive to build something up patiently, for most of us will not come up with something that turns into something big overnight. Paul warns: “Love of money is a root of all evil” and “They that desire to become rich, fall into a trap and many temptations.”

Instead of all this, let us direct our hearts heavenward and seek true and lasting joy. The prophet stated that our joy in the Lord is our strength. And we need strength to make it through this world. We have a race to run and therefore must not be distracted by unnecessary business, let alone sins. Also we are called upon to fight for the faith once delivered to the saints. Let us admonish, exhort and encourage each other!

Stop Compulsive Gambling Addiction With Education

Through proper education, society can develop programs to stop compulsive gambling addiction before it gets out of control. It’s unfortunate that people are willing to educate themselves only after they have been negatively affected by gambling. In most situations the damage has been done.

When most people think of education they think of schools and books. When in reality every day we are educating ourselves about life from the time we get up. To Learn about compulsive gamblers all we need to do is observe their patterns. Breaking the patterns will help in the recovery process. All the signs are there, all we have to do is face the truth. You start to ask yourself more and more questions. What are we going to do? We are going to find all the resources available and apply them to our situation. Through this knowledge we will help to accerlate the recovery. The first area to look at is your understanding of what you are going through. It dose not matter if you are the compulsive gambler, friend of the compulsive gambler or related to the compulsive gambler. Your life has been affected. It’s now time to focus. Educating yourself on compulsive gambling addiction will help you to plan for your future. You can have a wonderful future.

It’s first important to understand the definitions of compulsive, gambling and addiction. Through knowledge you will gain a better understanding of compulsive gambling addiction and find new alternative ways to treat it.

Compulsive is an uncontrollable desire to do something.

Gambling is the wagering of money where the end result is uncertain and the individual is willing to take a chance.

Addiction is a craving that develops into a dependency to repeat a certain behavior over and over with out regard for the outcome.

Combine these three words and you have an uncontrollable desire to gamble where the outcome is uncertain that develops into a dependency.

It’s unfortunate but most people can not tell that they have an addiction until they have developed a self destructive behavior that has negatively affected their life.

What causes a person to have a compulsive gambling addiction? No one knows for sure, but there are many similarities in the type of individual that have becomes addicted. If we can understand the type personality that is more susceptible to addiction, then we can at least safe guard ourselves. For example it’s an established fact that children of alcoholics have greater chance of becoming an alcoholic. Since there has been significant growth in the gambling industry more and more people have developed a compulsive gambling addiction.

Gambling is a common practice all over the world. It’s believed that gambling dates back to the ancient civilizations where people would gather to take a chance even though the odds were against them.

People who are close to you, who have developed a compulsive gambling addiction will not show signs until a majority of their resources have been depleted. However these people exhibited negative social behavior inside the gambling establishments.

The gambling establishments are not regulated by law to stop people from recklessly throwing away their money. Even though these places know what they are doing to people, they recklessly destroy people’s lives for profits.

The gambling establishments have seen gamblers stay up for two days straight gambling and have not turned them off. They have allowed these individuals and other to max out their credit cards. No one did anything to help them. A bar is required by law to turn someone off if they appear to be drunk. Gambling establishment’s can also identify people who are in trouble. I have taken the opportunity to interview employees at gambling establishments. The employees all stated that they could tell who had a compulsive gambling addiction based on their repetitive behavior patterns. For example they would continuously go back and forth to the cash machine, they are there at all hours of the day and night when rational people would be sleeping, been seen in the same clothes for more then two days and there are many more signs. Why doesn’t somebody do something about it?

When compulsive gamblers go out to the gambling establishments with friends or family they appear very conservative when they gamble at first. By the end of the night all the signs are there, but no one is paying any attention. A few signs are seeing them frequently go to the cash machine, not ready to leave when you are and they continually tell you that their luck is going to change with just one more bet.

You can find more information at I Stopped Gambling So Can You:

http://www.istoppedgambling.com/

Education is the key and increasing your knowledge will enable you to deal with your particular situation.