Why all social workers need to think about gambling addiction.

I'm asking all social workers to support me in signing and sharing my petition.
This small simple ask could make such a massive difference.
https://www.change.org/p/theresa-may-mp-help-protect-our-communities-from-gambling-harm-with-sufficient-self-exclusion


As both a care leaver and someone that grew up on the streets, for most of my life I'd thought of myself as extremely fortunate and thanked my lucky stars that despite a few cigarettes, I'd never thought of myself as having any other addiction.

That was until around 2009, at the age of 24 after I walked into a betting shop to get dry out of the rain, and had casually inserted one or two coins into the electronic roulette machine and had kept winning, walking out an hour or so later with £500.

Immediately a whole new world had opened up for me. The world of gambling addiction and betting shops, and before I knew it I'd be spending a lot of my time and money in them.

It had gripped me so hard in fact, that I had started to notice how the effects of it were leeching into my every day life. So one weekend, whilst having a gathering with some friends and having developed a form of anxiety that made me feel unable to socialise properly, I headed into my room and laid down on my bed for a moment.

After a few minutes of wondering why my head felt so fuzzy, and having not yet linked it with my gambling addiction, I opened up my laptop and typed in on google 'Inner Conflict'and read through various university and research psychology websites.
That was when I found out about how Dopamine works in the brain, and how gambling machines (now conveniently dubbed 'gaming' machines) can create severe impacts on mental health. Such as in the video below.

In short, I believe that gambling addiction is more widespread than often understood, and is also creating mass mental health and community issues such as Schizophrenia type symptoms, crime, poverty and family breakdown.
It's one of those things that's turning Britain into a mess.
(Article continues below)


(Petition in film no longer running)

It's not only affected my life personally, but many others including a few care leavers I know.
And of course it always has a knock on effect down the line.

During my research I found the whole way that gambling addiction seemed to be discussed in parliament has felt a little corrupt. I feel that many of us have been let down by the same story spinned for years that the government and the gambling industry plan to reduce the stakes on the roulette machines to £2 a spin to help curb gambling addiction, but until they've turned their actions into words then I'm simply not buying it, its been to long.

After spending a few years on the Neuroliberation Campaign , I took a break to write my book about my childhood - Poems From a Runaway.

I spent much of my time and money on campaigning to raise awareness about how widespread gambling addiction was causing a massive impact on our communities, although I didn't have the know how so much to get the word out there as I do today.
So as I still people and families are still being affected by the knock-on effects caused by this, I've decided to try and make a difference again.

I'm asking you all to please sign and share my petition which calls for a small yet much needed efficient change to the way the self-excluding policies work in betting shops.
Currently, once someone has lost control, and all of their money, in order to self exclude they have to go and get two passport photos. This isn't always as realistic as it sounds, especially when you've just lost all of your money.
I am simply proposing that betting shops have small cameras that they can plug into a USB onto the computer system in order for those with gambling problems to be able to self-exclude on-site.
How much is a small camera to take photos with going to cost again? Point taken?

Please sign my petition and help spread it far and wide by sharing the heck out of it. At -
https://www.change.org/p/theresa-may-mp-help-protect-our-communities-from-gambling-harm-with-sufficient-self-exclusion

To find out more about what's spurred me on to start campaigning about this again, then you can check out my latest blog post HERE

Adios folks.
Let's make a difference.

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