Part of the treatment  that compulsive gamblers get at Castle Craig includes regular visits to local Gamblers Anonymous (GA) meetings. Involvement in GA is a vital part of the recovery process. The feeling that a recovering gambler, or gamer, gets from being part of a group who are successfully confronting their addiction is powerful.
It was therefore a big moment on Sunday 17th February 2013 when we welcomed, for the first time, members of Gamblers Anonymous who held a fellowship meeting at Castle Craig’s Extended Care Unit. The meeting was well attended by both patients and local GA members and the discussion afterwards was very positive indeed.
For many people suffering from a substance abuse addiction, gambling and computer gaming can be a second addiction. It often seems to be the case that gambling and gaming are not fully addressed by addicts when they give up their drug of choice. They tend to minimise these behavioural addictions or hold onto them as secret addictions that they justify to themselves (for example, “I still smoke cigarettes so why shouldn’t I have a flutter now and again?’). They do so at their peril.
There are two reasons for saying this. Firstly, when you take away one addiction, such as alcohol, another can quickly take its place. Secondly, behaviour such as gambling or gaming can quickly lead a person who is in early recovery from substance dependence, back to their drug of choice. This was a message that several people took on board at the meeting on Sunday, which was for them their first attendance at a GA fellowship meeting.
Following the success of the first GA meeting, we are glad to announce that they will be held regularly at Castle Craig, held on a monthly basis. Our next meeting will be on Sunday April 7th at 3pm. We are most grateful for the support and enthusiasm of local GA fellowship members in making this possible.
 The full name of the gambling treatment programme at Castle Craig is “Compulsive Gambling, Gaming and Internet Use Recovery Programme”. To find out more, please visit our page on Gambling Addiction Treatment .