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Recovery in Gamblers Anonymous

Peter Ferentzy, Wayne Skinner, Paul Antze


This article was written to provide an overview of recovery in Gamblers Anonymous (GA). How GA's approach reflects the distinctive needs of compulsive gamblers is a central theme. GA is a mutual aid organization modeled upon Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), though differing in some ways from that organization. One notable feature of GA is its emphasis on patience in the recovery process, reflected even in its approach to the 12 Steps, which are "worked" at a slow pace for this reason. Another feature that distinguishes GA is a seemingly more rigorous approach to avoiding potential triggers, notably gambling establishments. Whereas AA leaves it up to the individual to decide whether or not it is safe to enter establishments where alcohol is served, GA's official stand on such questions is uncompromising: members should not enter, or even go near, gambling establishments. Reasons for these differences are discussed.


addiction; gambling; Gamblers Anonymous; mutual aid

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