Both Melissa and Laurie said their addiction started casually by playing video poker or slot machines. For a moment, I had a hard time understanding why they continued after losing so much money. However, I began playing video poker and slot games from applications on my phone. This is nothing serious, and everything I play is with fake money earned through tasks such as downloading another free application or waiting so many minutes to collect free chips. I have played until I lose all of my chips, and I have been upset trying to find different ways to earn chips faster. I can see that I am losing chips, but I have a hard time stopping when I set a time limit for myself, because I keep thinking that if I playing I will hit big and win back everything I lost. Melissa said she was hooked on gambling when she won a $9,000 jackpot and continued playing hoping to win big again. I understand gambling addiction better now after Melissa and Laurie spoke to our class. Listening to them allowed me to reflect on my opinions and experiences while relating them to the experiences of Melissa and Laurie. Gambling is a real and destructive addiction, similar to substance abuse. Chelsey spoke to us about her experience as a LPC in a harm reduction clinic, which really brought the themes we have been discussing in class together. Chelsey works for a medical clinic while still working from the wellness model. She practices MI and advocates harm reduction for her clients. The guest speakers provided a wealth of information. They gave resource lists I one day hope to use, while sharing their opinions and experiences. I believe I have a better understanding of harm reduction clinics after hearing Chelsey speak. I can also empathize with the struggles of gambling addicts after hearing Melissa and Laurie. They showed that gambling may be just as destructive as substance abuse.
9. Text books a. Narrative Means to Sober Ends is about the substance abuser’s personal journey to sobriety and eventual recovery. The road to sobriety and recovery can be difficult, and the journey will not begin until the addict is ready to commit to a lifestyle change. Addiction is a life changing event; so, recovery is also a life changing event. Recovery requires a lifestyle change, just as decision to begin using drugs or alcohol. Those unwilling to commit to a lifestyle change will be unable to move into recovery. The change requires the addict to disconnect from those people or things that will tempt him easily back into substance abuse. The book reflects on the importance of personal motivation to change. b. The Alcoholic Family in Recovery stresses the importance of the family of the recovering substance abuser. As someone who lost multiple family members to addiction, I believe it is important to view and consider the family dynamics of the addict when preparing for counseling. The road to recovery is a process for everyone involved, including the alcoholic’s family. The recovery process affects everyone, and therefore the family should be involved in the therapeutic process.
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- Spring '14