There are many types of addiction, but most people think of chemical substances such as drugs and alcohol when they hear the term. Addiction is classed as a pattern of behaviour that has a negative impact on the life of the individual. This means that it is possible to become addicted to more or less anything; one type of illness that is becoming an ever-increasing problem is gambling addiction.
Known as a ‘secret’ addiction, gambling addiction has become a major issue for many people across the UK. It is much easier to gamble these days due to the fact that there are so many online gambling sites and that accessing the internet is possible through a smartphone or other mobile device. And with no outward signs, most of those affected can go undetected until their lives begin to spiral out of control.
One former gambling addict who is all too aware of the devastating consequences of this illness is Paul Buck, who was sent to jail because of his addiction. The chief executive of EPIC Risk Management was at Worcestershire County Cricket Club recently and was sharing his story with cricketers there. It was part of a gambling awareness workshop with similar events taking place at cricket clubs across the country, thanks to a grant to the Professional Cricketers’ Association from former cricket star Graham Gooch.
Buck was jailed in 2012 for two years and eight months for stealing more than £400,000 from a client at the Santander bank where he was a manager. He admitted that he had taken the money to repay a debt that had been accrued as a result of his crippling gambling addiction. He had placed around 14,750 bets online and had gambled almost £5 million.
He said, “£400,000 was the bank’s, not mine. I found a way of putting it into my own account. It was a completely hidden addiction. It was hidden from my family, friends, and work colleagues. That’s where the danger can be with drugs and drink, whereas with gambling you can keep it hidden. It’s the fastest growing addiction, and there is little help out there for it.”
Buck knows that certain groups of people are more vulnerable to gambling addictions, such as military personnel, sportsmen and women, and financial traders, so have focused his workshops on these groups.
Ben Twohig, who plays cricket for Worcestershire, was at the workshop. He said, “I heard about his story when I did a PCA Rookie Camp last year at Edgbaston. I found it so interesting how quickly it can spiral out of control. I think it’s important to raise awareness.”
With a grant of £50,000 from Graham Gooch, the PCA was able to fund these workshops by EPIC Risk Management and educate players on the dangers of gambling. EPIC Risk Management also held workshops for all the AVIVA Premiership rugby clubs last year, with more people becoming aware of the danger of addiction among sports stars.
However, it is not just sports stars who are vulnerable to gambling addictions. If you are worried about yourself or a loved one, contact us here at Primrose Lodge. We have helped many people to overcome all types of addiction, and we can help you too.
We offer excellent treatment programmes, and our success rates speak for themselves. Call today for more information on our clinic and our programmes. We have a team of friendly and dedicated staff who will instantly put you at ease and provide you with answers to any queries you may have.