Dating a compulsive gambler I went on to write a novel ‘Gambling Broke Us’ and this drew me to the shocking headlines splashed across British newspapers in recent months–Gambling On The Increase. But what help is out there for recovering gamblers and what is the success rate?
Gambling recovery programmes are woefully lacking and very patchy across the country and shockingly–given that there are well in excess of 400,000 compulsive gamblers in the UK–the NHS has only one specialist gambling clinic, which is in London. Around 15 problem gamblers are referred to the clinic every week, from around the country. The biggest problem is that by the time the clinic sees them they have lost their jobs, homes and relationships. They join a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy programme, talk about their problem and are given strategies to avoid temptation. Six months later about 60% of gamblers have managed to stay away from gambling. If there was a specialist clinic in every town think what progress could be made.
The clinic has been trialing a craving suppressant drug called naltrexone. Maybe this is the way forward but we all know how reluctant the NHS is to take on new drugs, given the cost involved. This drug is seen as a last resort treatment. If the clinic’s trial is successful she wants the NHS to fund a clinical trial.
Is this drug the new breakthrough to tackle this nasty illness that blights so many lives or is the problem much more complex? My gripping new novel “Gambling Broke Us”available on Amazon will give you a good insight into this terrible addiction.