North East Derbyshire woman who lost thousands of pounds on slot machines writes book to help others overcome gambling addictions
A woman from North East Derbyshire who previously lost thousands of pounds through gambling, has written a book about her journey to overcoming her addiction to help others suffering in silence.
Stacey Goodwin, from Holmewood, has shared her story about how her gambling addiction started when she got a job in a betting shop at 18-years-old which then spiralled into an addiction which controlled her life.
The 28-year-old who works as a sales manager, has been in recovery for almost two years now after visiting a women’s retreat to help her overcome her addiction to slot machines and online gambling sites and documented her journey to overcoming her addiction in her new book ‘The Girl Gambler’.
She hopes opening up about her experience of loosing hundreds of thousands of pounds through betting will help other people, particularly women, who she fears are suffering in silence in lockdown – making the compulsion to gamble even worse.
"I wanted to help people stuck at home, trapped even worse with their addiction and triggers from adverts, I know how hard it is”, Stacey said.
"The first time I placed a bet I won and that's kind of what led me into continue doing it.
"I had only put a bit in and I got a bit of money out of it - but it was thought in my head that led me to spiral completely out of control."
The sales manager admitted she regularly spent her entire month’s wages on the same day she got paid, took out loans which plunged her into hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of debt and tried to take her own life several times.
She added: "I hid it for so long because I felt so guilty and ashamed about what I was doing.”
A lack of female focused support for gambling addictions was one of the barriers to her getting help earlier.
Stacey is now calling for there to be more support groups for women to help them open up about their gambling struggles.
"I went to groups before like gamblers anonymous but for a 22-year-old girl to be sat in a heavily male orientated group, generally much older than me put me off reaching out for help,” she said.
The sales manager advises other addicts to use website blocking software to prevent them from accessing gambling sites, use bank controls to limit spending, along with joining the Self-Enrolment National Self-Exclusion (SENSE) scheme which allows people to exclude themselves from casinos in the UK.
"I was trapped in the addiction like a bird in a cage but I feel like someone who stepped out now, I am not controlled by it anymore and I can do what I want”, Stacey said.
"I just feel amazing, it has absolutely changed my life.”
For information and advice about gambling addictions, call the free, 24/7 Be Gamble Aware helpline on 0808 8020 133.