There has been an outbreak of smashing fruit machines in Liverpool: this week a man was given a 12 month suspended sentence for wrecking a well known Bookmakers machines, he protested that they were not helping him overcome his addiction! This followed hot on the heels of the brilliant fictional TV series ‘Broken’ (filmed in Liverpool) which showed identical behaviour in the wake of the suicide of a gambling addict.
A person I saw recently Mr X ,with a lifelong gambling addiction told me that the longest period he had been without gambling was when he bet a fellow gambler who would last longest, he lasted 2 weeks. Sadly his experience of IAPT was woeful he was introduced to the discredited stop technique to distract himself when he had the urge to gamble. He said that he had a few sessions with the therapist but the therapist left and he was given a new therapist. Mr X said that a questionnaire was then administered and because he got below certain thresholds it was deemed that he did not need counselling and the therapy was terminated. He said that he was alarmed at this because he felt suicidal and he wrote a letter of complaint and was then offered further sessions but declined them because he had lost trust in the enterprise.
Addiction services have been managed by local authorities since 2012 , but with typical cuts of 30% many services struggle. People can fall between services as a tender is often times switched after 3 years.