When addiction is mentioned the primary focus is usually turned on those who abuse substances such as alcohol, cocaine and heroin. Many people overlook addiction issues such as gambling. When an individual is gambling it triggers the same parts of the brain as many drugs. Gambling addicts describe their experiences as a “rush”, just as a heroin addict would describe their high. While yes, there is a difference, the same mentality when active in the addiction is maintained. The individual struggles with the same problem – they cannot stop. The addict is chasing the rush of adrenaline and uncertainty. Feeling pure ecstasy if they were to win and feeling demoralized and depressed when they have burnt through all their funds. The cycle of destruction looks very familiar; it’s the same cycle in which substance abusing addicts and alcoholics go through. Most people who are not educated about addiction don’t realize that it’s an actual disease, a disease that affects the mind and marks will power, in certain situations, nearly obsolete. Gambling can deteriorate an individual’s life just as quickly as substance abuse can, and sometimes more rapidly. Some gamble in casinos while others put their money on horses or other sporting events. It may seem harmless at first, but the more they gamble the more they lose, which leads to continued gambling to try and make up for the deficit. Before long entire savings accounts can be drained, assets lost, and families separated.
In 2009, Nicholas Cosmo was arrested on charges of running a Ponzi scheme worth well over 300 million dollars. He was later sentenced in 2011 to serve 25 years in a federal penitentiary. Cosmo was the owner of Agape World Incorporated, which was promoted as a way to make money through commercial bridge loaning. It turned out to be one big Ponzi scheme. This all happened not long after Burney Madoff had been arrested for the biggest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history. What is special about the Cosmo case is that Cosmo was a compulsive gambler, a gambling addict. Even while he was bringing in millions of dollars he still did not seem to live the lifestyle of an individual with all that money, he had such a large gambling habit. Cosmo gambled away large sums of money throughout his life, which in my opinion fed his appetite for greed even after he had already done a prison sentence for fraud in the nineties. This addiction and an overwhelming sense of greed drove Cosmo to forget about the consequences and long term repercussions of his actions in order to live a life packed with adrenaline. Not only did his addiction cost him his freedom for 25 years but it also cost him all his assets and more importantly his family. Nicholas Cosmo destroyed many lives by conning hard working Americans into investing in his company. He did all this because of his lust for money and his problem with compulsive gambling. Nicholas Cosmo himself would probably consider himself an addict when it comes to gambling.
Many people have lost it all due to an addiction to gambling. There are treatment centers and resources for people who suffer from this disease, but they are few and far between compared to treatment centers that specialize in substance abuse. Like substance abuse, there is a 12 step anonymous program dedicated to helping those with an addiction to gambling. This program has helped thousands recover from the grips of insanity. Gambling addiction is a disease, just as substance abuse is. Treatment is the only way to arrest this cunning, baffling, and powerful disease. Without help from an anonymous programor professionals it can be nearly impossible to stop the compulsion to gamble.
Filed under: Addiction, Featured · Tags: 12-step, 12-step programs, addict, Addiction, adrenaline, Agape, Agape World Incorporated, alcohol, Alcohol and Drugs, behavior, Burney Madoff, compulsive, compulsive behavior, disease, gambling, gambling addict, gambling addiction, money, Nicholas Cosmo, Ponzi, Ponzi scheme, program, rush, substance abuse, Treatment