Gambling relapse and working away from home


Even if you have successfully managed a gambling problem, some gamblers have acknowledged the ongoing risk for relapse when working away from home. This is because it generally means moving away from your supports, having more spare time, and being in an environment where those around you may be gambling heavily.

See Shane’s story:

Shane lived with his partner and one year old daughter.  He took a job in a remote mining community on 12 month contract to make some additional money for a house deposit.

Shane found living away from his family difficult as the environment was very different to home. The schedule at the camp was tough – working 7 days on and 3 days off and spending a lot of the day underground working alone. At night he was exhausted and only had the energy to eat and go to sleep. There were no opportunities for him to engage in his usual fitness program with his friends which added to his of feelings isolation.

The culture around drinking and gambling was excessive, since it was one of the only things to do. Shane eventually started gambling again despite previously having gained some control over his punting.

As time went by his gambling increased with this additional income but he soon stated to gamble on credit to try and win back his losses. It was at this time that he realised gambling had become a problem again so he contacted the Gambling Helpline.

Talking to a counsellor at the Helpline provided Shane with a clearer picture of his gambling problems. He identified gambling as a way to cope with feeling bored, lonely and frustrated. He’d been taken away from all his supports and put in an environment that encouraged gambling and drinking.  With help from a gambling counsellor Shane started to put things into place and he found that his day to day life improved. Instead of feeling anxious and down a lot of the time, he felt more connected and took enjoyment out of doing things differently such as engaging in online chats with friends and family and doing short courses.

Perhaps there are some things in Shane’s story that remind you of yourself, or someone you know. Give the Gambling Helpline a call on 1800 858 858 to speak confidentially to someone who will be able to help. Remember you can access a free service where a Gambling Help counsellor can support you over the telephone even when you are based in a remote region.

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