The Ripple Effect

Harmful gambling, problem gambling, and compulsive gambling have a massive impact on the both the addict and their wider network of family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances… just like the impact of a pebble hitting water, and the subsequent ripples it then produces.

When someone is in the grip of addiction, nothing else matters, and no one else matters. 

You just want to gamble, gamble, gamble, gamble, and then gamble again.

Friends start to drift away, unless they are gambling with you. 

But you won’t care.

Family relationships become neglected, starved of your love and attention, your addiction pushing them further and further away.

But you won’t care. 

Precious relationships will end. You’ll become distant from your children.

But you won’t care.

Your career will suffer, you’ll clock-watch until you’re free to gamble again. You’ll miss out on progression and promotion; you might even lose your job altogether.

But you won’t care. 

No job means very little money at your disposal. There’s probably not enough to cover household expenses because gambling will be prioritised over essential bills. 

But you won’t care.

You could lose your home. 

You could lose your family. 

You could lose your health. 


Crime could be an answer. It eventually leads to prison, putting a roof back over your head, and food in your belly. 

And if you’re lucky, your family might just pay a visit. 

Or maybe the solution lies in ultimate self-destruction. 

For many there simply is no ripple-effect. A bet is a bet, a bit of fun, and life carries on.

For others it’s the beginning of the end. 

For me, it was the beginning of the end, but thankfully, help came before the ripples stopped. 

Now it’s my turn to help rescue others.

Sam Irwin
Recovering Gambling Addict
[email protected]