When it comes to addiction of any type, it’s incredibly difficult for the victim to understand that they are indeed addicted in the first place, let alone that they are in the middle of a pit that, should they receive no help, will consume and overwhelm them. We all define addiction differently; it’s often marked by obsessive behaviour with a certain form of entertainment, or escapism, but what we rarely see is the real life effect this has on not only the addict, but those close to them. Harder still is the ability to determine what it is exactly that warrants interference, if we see somebody play a game of bingo once too often or have a bottle or two of beer per night, then that’s not a problem right? But when those two bottles become three, and those Mecca bingo visits start to increase to once every other day, that’s when it’s time to start taking some action and suggest some countermeasures.
It’s a hard decision to make, as the addict in question is often someone very close to us – be it a loved one, a friend, or even an acquaintance that we worry about. The true key is to understand that you are only interfering for the good of the addict, it’s not about you, it’s about them, and if you start to see their life being negatively affected then what should have been a little recreational fun has obviously gone a step too far and become an impediment. That’s not ok, and it’s certainly not in any way harmless – it’s downright dangerous, and that danger can become incredibly potent in ways you would probably never dream of, and often, will utterly shock you in their manifestation. A recent example is one Susan Warne, who racked up a £20,000 gambling debt in an online bingo loss spree that put her in an absolutely dire and desperate situation – as a result, she became hell bent on fixing things and finding a way out in any way she could. This lead to her contacting her uncle John Proctor.
After making contact with Proctor, she then entered his home, explaining that her husband had kicked her out following an ugly break up – having absolutely no place to stay and now being officially homeless, John took pity and showed her to a spare room that she may stay in. Immediately after being lead into the room, Warne shoved Mr Proctor down the stairs, almost immediately killing him. Upon finding that he was in fact still alive, Mrs Warne then stabbed him in the throat. What reason could she possible have for this attack? She wanted to steal £300 from him – she was later filmed on CCTV using this money in local slot machines, no doubt to try and claw back some winnings to pay off her immense debts.
This is a very extreme example of how volatile addiction can become, but it is sadly a very real one – this situation is not unique, and drug addicts, alcohol addicts and just about ANY addict you can think of can end up taking part in heinous crimes of this type IF they are not rescued early enough. More now than ever, please, when you log into your next game of online bingo – Gamble aware. For your sake, and others.