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Mar 5, 2019
by: Carrie Larsen
Problem Gambling: Find the Willingness to Seek Help

On November 12, 2016, Giovanni Carriero’s wife, sister and brother sat him down and conducted an intervention. They told him he had to choose – his family or his gambling addiction.

“I recognized (my gambling addiction) prior to that intervention, but wasn’t real strong in being able to talk about it. I tell my family every day that I’m glad they did that. They led me into a direction of recovery and I’ve been there ever since,” said Giovanni.

Three days after the intervention, Giovanni went to his first Gambling Anonymous (GA) meeting.

“My first GA meeting experience was terrifying. I was at the lowest point of my life, obviously, being in the first stage of recovery and the unknown was very scary.”

Giovanni continued to attend meetings and found help through Recovery Resources problem gambling treatment services. Gambling Counselor Ken Holt has seen between 10 and 15 people in two years and believes there is one key factor that helps his clients.

“I think the key to success in our program is really willingness. Having the willingness to take an honest look at yourself and your behavior. Really the core of any program of recovery is honesty,” said Ken.

Giovanni says he would tell someone struggling with a gambling addiction the exact same thing.

“For anybody that is on the fence or just hiding the fact that they have a problem, I know where you’re at and I know where you’ve been – we all do. The best advice that I can tell anybody would be to overcome your fears, take that step. Life is so much better once you’ve passed that threshold and undertaken the knowledge, culpability and understanding that you have a disease. You’re a compulsive gambler, you’re going to be a compulsive gambler your whole life. There’s no wrong time to shift your life and go down the path of recovery,” said Giovanni.

What to Expect from Recovery Resources Problem Gambling Treatment Program

Recovery Resources is always accepting new clients who need help. Our problem gambling treatment services are paid for by lottery and casino grants, which means they are free to the public. Just stop by our Recovery Resources Midtown location (3950 Chester Ave) for an assessment. Here’s what to expect from the program:

“Most of our gambling counselors will work with you at an individual level. The first step is really developing a sense of honesty – a sense of self-honesty and a sense of self-reflection. We also work on developing triggers. Learning what those triggers are that lead them to want to gamble and coming up with a new set of skills and support system to help us overcome those.  We do all of these things to create a change, to create a life that is more fulfilling than the life with gambling,” said Ken.

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