Suicide ends lives, but it also creates new beginnings for those who attempt to kill themselves but live, and those who must find the will to go on without lost loved ones.
May 16, 2019 - 1:20 pm
The neon lights of Reno’s casi
Aikens, who now lives in the Las Vegas Valley, vividly remembers being a 28-year-old real estate broker in San Francisco unable to resist the siren call of Nevada’s gambling emporiums. Her finances were in shambles; so was her marriage. She couldn’t think straight.
But winning back her losses wasn’t what kept her coming back. It was the adrenaline rush fro
“Money is not the drug,”
Aikens got help in January 1996, enrolling in a 12-step program followed with three months of therapy, and kicked her addiction. Later she founded a nonprofit that helps those in recovery from problem gambling.
The group is named Lanie’s Hope, after her sister, Lanie Shaffer, who died by suicide in 2008 after recovering from a gambling addiction only to relapse. She was 52.
Aikens didn’t know her sister
“She survived cancer, and she
Access increases risk
The National Center for Responsible Gaming, which uses contributions from casino companies to fund gambling research, says most studies estimate that roughly 1 percent of the U.S. adult population meets diagnostic criteria for the most severe form of gambling disorder. The National Council on
It’s not clear how many follow through on their destructive impulses, said Carol O’Hare, executive
But there is evidence that proximity increases the risk of developing the disorder, according to Mary Drexler,
A state report in the early 2000s estimated that Nevada has a rate of problem
Since then, however, legal gambling has steadily grown and entered new U.S. markets. That extends beyond brick-and-
And in Nevada and some other states, bettors who set up accounts with a local
“The more we expand into
The ‘hidden addiction’
Problem gambling is a
The stigma surrounding problem gambling and the shame many feel for
As a result, “gambling is much more a
When suicide and problem
“If you continue to add these
As the longtime bastion of legal gambling in the U.S., Nevada has many resources for problem gamblers. In Las Vegas alone,
Nevada’s casinos also train employees to recognize
“All Nevada (casinos) must
Still, that’s not enough.
“While we’re treating the