A Happy 4th Special Article About Wexler & Associates And The Tireless Work They Do To Help Addicted Gamblers.

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends & Happy 4th July Weekend!!

I have a very special recovery holiday post for the 4th weekend! A resent article sent to me to share with all of you.
My dear friends Arnie & Sheila Wexler help so many reclaim their lives from addicted gambling. They were interviewed & written about in a wonderful article courtesy of, “Addiction Professional” Driving Clinical Excellence magazine.

Yes, I do share a lot about The Wexler’s here on my Gambling Recovery blog. Why? Because even though they live and help many in the New York and New Jersey area’s, and now live part-time in Florida and helping others there as well, Arnie is well-connected with addiction recovery professionals all over the United States, so if you need help from gambling addiction and don’t live near them? I’m sure Arnie can find help or some clinical treatment some how no matter where you live.

He’s JUST THAT GOOD and CARES THAT MUCH. They both do.

Visit their Web site at: http://www.aswexler.com and explore all the resources available.
So here is the Special Article about Wexler & Associates!

Couple tirelessly pursues help for gamblers ~ by Gary A. Enos, Editor


Arnie and Sheila Wexler have worked as a team for more than two decades to help people overcome the pain and family destruction wrought by gambling addiction. They have seen numerous changes across the landscape, from society’s somewhat begrudging acceptance of problem gambling as a disease to an increasing prevalence of women directly affected by gambling addiction’s devastation. Their commitment to giving back has never wavered.

“The only people who stay in recovery are those who reach their hand out and help other people,” says Arnie Wexler, a recovering compulsive gambler (last bet: April 10, 1968) whose numerous roles in recovery have included executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey and senior vice president of the National Council on Problem Gambling.

Wexler in 2014 joined with former New York sportswriter Steve Jacobson to release All Bets Are Off: Losers, Liars, and Recovery From Gambling Addiction (Central Recovery Press), which chronicles Wexler’s addiction and recovery but perhaps more importantly offers a window into how his journey affected his wife, who for years now has counseled gamblers (among her efforts, she introduced a program for compulsive gamblers at the New Hope Foundation inpatient treatment facility in Marlboro, N.J.). The passages drawn from Jacobson’s interviews with Sheila Wexler offer one of the most detailed looks to date at gambling’s effect on a loved one.

“I couldn’t read too much of that at one time,” Arnie Wexler says in reference to the book sections labeled “Sheila’s experience.” He explains, “It blew me away. Sometimes it felt like I had been through a session.”

Early exposure

As described in the book, Arnie Wexler got his initial rush from playing pinball machines, then while still in his teens graduated to trading stocks. He and Sheila went to the movies on their first date (he was 21 and she was 16), and then to the racetrack every other time after that.

Arnie promised Sheila he would quit gambling once they were married. But on their honeymoon they got into a fight when he realized that a longshot horse on whom he didn’t bet because of his promise won the Belmont Stakes, yielding a hefty payout. Arnie’s gambling would continue for seven trying years in which he went into paralyzing debt and ceded the roles of husband and father.

“The obvious question is, Why didn’t I walk out?” Sheila Wexler states in the book. “Well, in the ’60s, not many women felt they could walk out of marriages. What could I do? My husband didn’t beat me but I was a beaten-down woman. … I didn’t even consider leaving him because I felt totally dependent on him. The saddest thing is I had resigned myself to this way of life.”

Arnie stopped gambling shortly after he attended his first 12-Step meeting on the advice of a boss; he agreed to do so only because he mistakenly thought the boss had told him that the 12-Step group would help him erase his gambling debts. He and Sheila eventually would counsel other gamblers, first in separate efforts and later as partners who also trained thousands of casino workers and addiction counselors along the way. They are now working with the Palm Beach County, Fla., treatment facility Recovery Road, which has developed a niche in treating gambling addiction. Arnie says he also answers five to 10 calls a day on a toll-free gambling helpline (1-888-LASTBET).

“We don’t share our story [with clients] right off the bat,” Arnie says. “A great key is getting someone to trust you.”

He continues to see numerous examples of the extreme behaviors individuals will engage in to support their addiction. He matter-of-factly describes one woman from Europe who had such an urge to gamble that she would chain herself to the radiator in her home and throw her keys into the street, where a neighbor would pick them up in the morning and set her free.

Demographic changes

The profile of the gambling addict has changed considerably over the past two decades, say the Wexler’s. Back then only about one in five of the individuals they were helping were women. That percentage has continued to grow as more “escape gamblers” attracted to slot machines have experienced problems.

Many programs that treat alcohol use disorders fail to detect a co-occurring issue with gambling, and that’s the behavior an individual will turn back to upon leaving treatment. It’s difficult these days to identify an individual who is not affected by some cross-addiction, the Wexler’s say.

The Foundation for Recovery last spring honored the couple, whom Central Recovery Press refers to in its book materials as “the foremost leaders addressing the devastation of gambling addiction today,” with its Robert Rehmar Addiction Professional Award. The award is presented to professionals “who have helped raise public awareness of the need for treatment and prevention, or who have made breakthroughs in the treatment/prevention of addiction and support for recovery,” the foundation states.

So was that not a fabulous article on Arnie and Sheila? I’m very honored and blessed to be able to call them both my friends and recovery supporters! Please visit their website if you or someone you care about has a gambling problem. It’s time to shine a spotlight on this cunning addiction. . .
Pick up a copy of Arnie’s New Book Today!

Product Details 

Kindle Edition

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Paperback $13.56

God Bless and have a Happy & Safe 4th Everyone!
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Recovery Advocate



Today Is The Last Day Of “Problem Gambling Awareness Month” Are You A Problem Gambler?

How does one know if they have a Gambling Problem?

One of the best ways you can find if you’re a “Problem Gambler” is to visit http://www.gamblersanonymous.org and take the “20 Questions Quiz”…

Gamblers Anonymous 20 Questions…

Please answer the following questions.

1. Did you ever lose time from work due to gambling?

__________yes__________ no

2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?

__________yes__________ no

3. Did gambling affect your reputation?

__________yes__________ no

4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?

__________yes__________ no

5. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?

__________yes__________ no

6. Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?

__________yes__________ no

7. After losing, did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?

__________yes__________ no

8. After a win, did you ever have a strong urge to return and win more?

__________yes__________ no

9. Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?

__________yes__________ no

10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?

__________yes__________ no

11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?

__________yes__________ no

12. Were you reluctant to use gambling money for normal expenditures?

__________yes__________ no

13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?

__________yes__________ no

14. Did you ever gamble longer than you planned?

__________yes__________ no

15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?

__________yes__________ no

16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance your gambling?

__________yes__________ no

17. Did gambling cause you to have difficulty sleeping?

__________yes__________ no

18. Do arguments, disappointments, or frustration create within you an urge to gamble?

__________yes__________ no

19. Did you have an urge to celebrate good fortune by a few hours of gambling?

__________yes__________ no

20. Have you ever considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?

__________yes__________ no


*Most compulsive (problem) gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions.

If client answers “yes” to at least seven of the 20 questions, the client may have a gambling problem.*
Here is the definition of ‘Problem Gambling’ by the helpful friends Of “The National Council Of Problem Gambling” http://www.ncpgambling.org/

Problem gambling is gambling behavior which causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational. The term “Problem Gambling” includes, but is not limited to, the condition known as “Pathological”, or “Compulsive” Gambling, a progressive addiction characterized by increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences.
Please note the statistics below are generally estimates on a national basis, and in most cases are based on compilations of various state or regional studies. Therefore, these figures should be taken as broad generalizations, and not specific scientific findings. It is the purpose of the NCPG to encourage the development of more and better research on this issue and to be able to provide the public, government, industry and decision makers with this type of information. Additional information may be found in the literature and links on our Resources page. For information specific to a state, contact our State Affiliate council members. To find a National Certified Gambling Counselor (NCGC), please search our counselor database.
Pathological Gambling Criteria:

 10 Questions About Gambling Behavior

1. You have often gambled longer than you had planned.
2. You have often gambled until your last dollar was gone.
3. Thoughts of gambling have caused you to lose sleep.
4. You have used your income or savings to gamble while letting bills go unpaid.
5. You have made repeated, unsuccessful attempts to stop gambling.
6. You have broken the law or considered breaking the law to finance your gambling.
7. You have borrowed money to finance your gambling.
8. You have felt depressed or suicidal because of your gambling losses.
9. You have been remorseful after gambling.
10. You have gambled to get money to meet your financial obligations.
AGAIN: If you or someone you know answers “Yes” to any of these questions, consider seeking help from a professional regarding this gambling behavior by calling the National Problem Gambling Help-Line Network (800.522.4700) toll-free and confidential throughout the U.S…..

Besides my OWN VOICE of the dangers of problem and addicted gambling, here are a few more “Real Voices” of those who have had gambling problems. Our stories can be “Powerful” to help others who may suffer and need to reach out for HELP!
In order to get beyond the statistics and provide a more personal and individual picture of this issue, this section features the stories of individuals who have been affected by problem gambling, including problem gamblers and their family members, friends, colleagues and employers; treatment providers; advocates; and any others….

Roger is a gambling addict. Once he starts gambling, his repeated experience is that he can’t stop. His addiction takes over. He cannot gamble sensibly. He is a compulsive gambler, an addict.

His gambling problems do not begin with a  bookmaker or in a casino. His gambling addiction is part of him. He has a compulsive nature.

He is highly talented. In the rag trade, he had made a million by the age of 25. He had a trophy wife, a fine home, a posh car and loads a money to spend on ‘toys’, the ‘must have’ trinkets that made him feel special.

Roulette WheelBut then he discovered casinos and bookmakers and his gambling problem took off. He tried to control his betting but his stakes increased. He was soon clearly addicted to gambling, and possibly to alcohol and cigarette smoking as well, although he would not admit it. He complained that he was stressed.

Playing poker online started to take over from other gambling experiences. He hoped he would be safe, out of the clutches of the bookies and croupiers, but the amount he lost grew with each game. His problems increased.

He lost the support of his wife when he emptied their joint account at the bank. It had been intended to be used for school fees and holidays.
He then gambled with cash taken from his work. But soon he would lose more than he could earn. So he began to steal. As an addicted gambler who had lost control, he could not stop.

Sheila was an alcoholic for many years and had discovered Alcoholics Anonymous. She met other addicts who also dealt with other addictions through similar anonymous groups. She began to see that anything can be addictive. Using a drug or alcohol, primarily to change feelings, was no less dangerous than eating excessively or using obsessive sex or other compulsive relationships.


online gamblingShe began to gamble on the Internet, just an occasional punt here or there. But, for her, a card was a drug. She went from two bets a week to two bets a day and then, later, to twenty bets a day. She knew that this was problem gambling. Now she recoganized that she was a problem gambler.


She had legal problems when she couldn’t pay her bills and she got further into debt.


Like any other addict, she was eventually in so much pain, emotionally, financially and socially, that she asked for counciling. She wanted advice on how she could learn to gamble, or drink or use other addictive substances, sensibly.


I explained that there was no way back. She had crossed the line. She felt under attack and said that all she wanted was to be able to have the occasional tipple or flutter. I said that her own experience showed that this had not been possible in the past and was unlikely to be possible in the future.


Her parents allowed her to borrow money so she could get the help she needed, or she would continue to switch one addiction for another……

*These are just a couple of stories from those who became addicted to gambling. It’s truly why I published my book of my own story od addicted gambling. So others can know that you can recover from this “destructive disease.” There is NO SHAME in asking for help! Your first step is just picking up the phone and call for help. That’s really HALF the BATTLE of your RECOVERY!*
*National Gambling Help Line ~ 1-800-522-4700
*National Suicide Hotline ~ 1-800-273-8255
May God Bless You All,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
REMEMBER, It’s Not about “Perfection” in Recovery….it’s about “Progress”!! ODAAT Recovery Friends…