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While most people enjoy casino gambling, sports betting, lottery and bingo playing for the fun and excitement it provides, others may experience gambling as an addictive and distractive habit. Statistics show that while 85 percent of the adult population in the US enjoys some type of gambling every year, between 2 and 3 percent of will develop a gambling problem and 1 percent of them are diagnosed as pathological gamblers.
Where can you draw the line between harmless gambling to problem gambling? How can you tell if you or your friend are compulsive gamblers? Here you can find answers to these questions and other questions regarding problem gambling and gambling addiction.
What is the Meaning of Problem Gambling?
Problem gambling or compulsive gambling is defined as an uncontrollable urge to gamble despite the destructive effect of gambling on the gamblers life and despite feelings of guilt and remorse. Problem gambling tends to have a negative effect on the gamblers financial state, relationships and daily life. Severe cases of problem gambling can be defined as pathological gambling.
Am I a Compulsive Gambler?
1) Do you gamble until your last penny runs out?
2) Do you gamble to win back your former losses or debts?
3) Did you ever had to borrow money to continue gamble?
4) Did your gambling habit ever made you lie to your friends or family?
5) Did you ever skip work or other obligation to gamble?
6) Do you tend to gamble to forget about your personal problems or to celebrate happy occasions?
7) Does gambling have a negative affect on your daily life or relationships?
If you have answered yes on at least one of the questions listed above, then you have a problem.
Can Anyone Become a Compulsive Gambler?
Theoretically, yes. Any gambler can develop gambling problem regardless to the type of gambling he is occupied with, the amount of money and time he is spending on gambling. Researches show that slot machines that can be found in bars and convenient stores are the most addictive type of gambling activity, while lottery draws and bingo games are located on the other end of the scale. Gambling addiction is an emotional problem; its symptoms, causes and treatments are similar to any other form of addiction.
How Can I treat Gambling Addiction?
1) Group Therapy:
Gamblers Anonymous offers a 12 step self help program similar to the one offered to alcohol addicts in Alcoholics Anonymous. Group therapy also offers gambling addicts advice and support from professional counselors and other gambling addicts in different phases of their recovery process. Gambler Anonymous centers are available in more than 1,200 locations statewide.
2) Individual Therapy:
Cognitive or behavior therapy can help gambling addicts to identify their unaware thinking and acting patterns, which led them to gamble compulsively, and to replace them with controllable and healthier ways of thinking.
3) Psychiatric Medication:
It has recently been proven that antidepressant medications from the family of SSRIs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can be affective in treatment of gambling addicts.
Nestled in a valley and bordered to the east by the Irish Sea, the capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast, is a vibrant and lively Celtic city that lives up to its nickname of “The Hibernian Rio.” Situated on the River Lagan, the pedestrian-friendly city enjoys a focal point in Donegal Square where the architecturally stunning City Hall dominates the skyline, and elsewhere Victorian and Edwardian architecture can be enjoyed by visitors on foot.
Places of interest:
Belfast’s glorious seafaring history and place at the forefront of the industrial revolution is evident in the greatest shipyard in Great Britain, where the Titanic was built. The city’s name is derived from the Irish “beal feirste” which means “at the mouth of the sandpit” and nightlife, arts, festivals, dining and shopping are all in abundance in the city. The sea front in particular is now pedestrianised and visitors can enjoy the best of Irish culture in street musicians and theatre against the backdrop of the Irish Sea.
Standing 120 metres above sea level, Belfast Castle offers breathtaking and panoramic views of the city, bay and surrounding areas. Belfast Castle was the ancestral home of the Chichester, later Donegall, family who were descendants of Arthur Chichester who planted the land that was to become the city in the 1600s. The history of the castle, and city, are celebrated in the Cave Hill Visitor Centre in the castle grounds.
Ulster Museum, set over 8000 square metres of grounds, is likely to take up a full day, so extensive and fascinating are its archaeology, ethnography, art, history and natural sciences exhibits. The collections portray and celebrate the history, culture, artistic, scientific and industrial achievements: in short, the story of the Irish people from their ancient roots up until modern day. The museum houses both permanent and temporary collections, and regular, creatively planned tours are offered to distil some of the wonders of the museum into palatable chunks.
For stunning hiberno-romanesque architecture, the Belfast Cathedral is worth a visit, and the exciting, interactive and interpretive St. Patrick Centre tells the story of Ireland’s patron saint, in his own words.
The Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park and City of Belfast International Rose Garden, in the southern outskirts of Belfast features an International Rose Exhibition, as well as gardens, walks, a children’s playground and live music concerts.
The Linen Hall Library was established in 1788 and boasts a collection of over 20,000 volumes of Irish literature and an enviable Robert Burns collection.
Things to do:
Belfast will never leave tourists wondering how to entertain themselves! Plenty of things to do and see exist in Belfast.
The world class Belfast Zoo features plenty of don’t-miss attractions, including the monkey park, reptile house and children’s playground.
Walking Tours of Belfast include The Old Town, Titanic Trail and the City Centre Walk.
The oldest covered market in Ireland, St George’s Market offers a range of fish and speciality foods that are unrivalled in Europe.
The world’s largest dry dock, Haarland and Wolfe, is where the Titanic was built and its famous cranes, Samson and Goliath, can be seen from all over the city.
At the The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum a fascinating insight into the history and the daily lives of Ulster people can be found.
The Home Front Heritage Centre features collections that portray the Belfast experience of the Second World War, and is also home to the museum of the Royal Ulster Rifles.
W5 is a world renowned innovative and interactive centre of science and technology exploration, with activities, exhibits and demonstrations to expand and intrigue minds of all ages.
Food & Drink:
If it is excellent food the tourist seeks, they won’t have to look far in Belfast.
Traditional pub fare in a historical atmosphere is to be found at Belfast’s most famous pub, the Crown Liquor Saloon in the heart of the historical district.
Altos was rated number one by Yahoo travel for stylish and contemporary cuisine, serving cutting-edge Mediterranean food and featuring an extensive wine list and speciality coffee choices.
The Gypsy Queen Vegetarian Restaurant is on of Europe’s premier vegetarian dining destinations. All dishes are GMO approved, and organic wherever possible.
For the cuisine enthusiast, Deane’s Restaurant is a high end, luxurious dining experience, featuring dishes created by one of Ireland’s top chefs.
Live music pubs are a staple of Belfast nightlife, including the Duke of York, Morrisons and at the docks, Pat’s Bar Princes.
Belfast Hotels & Accommodation:
As befitting a major European destination, a full range of accommodation options are available in Belfast. Visitors can chose from cosy, family run bed and breakfast establishments, a variety of self catering options and luxury five star hotels to suit every taste, set of requirements and budget.
Ravenhill Guest House
The Crescent Townhouse
The Malone Lodge Hotel
The Park Avenue Hotel
The Stormont Hotel
The Chimney Corner Hotel
Jurys Inn Belfast
Nightlife is one of Belfast’s main attractions, with revellers enjoying everything from world class dance clubs to traditional pubs. The Potthouse, opened in November 2004 was built on the site of Belfast’s first pottery factory and comprises The Potthouse Bar & Grill, Sugar Nighclub, which plays Top 40, House and classic Disco, and the Soap Bar guestroom. The Fly and The Grill Room and Bar are also notable Belfast nightspots. The Movie House Cinema on the Golden Mile offers the latest cinema releases, as well as arthouse and independent films, and Ireland’s only 3D and 2D large format cinema, the SheridanIMAX is located on Queen’s Quay. Fantastic shopping is available in the city centre Donegall Place and the Waterfront Concert Hall hosts concerts and music tours from all over the world.
Belfast enjoys an enviable position at the forefront of Hibernian culture, scenery and history. With an ideal and unique combination of Celtic culture and British industrial influence, Belfast is an ideal seaside destination for family friendly events, educational and historical attractions and a nightlife that is second to none throughout Europe. In common with much of the British Isles, Belfast experiences a temperate and often wet climate, but is protected by the surrounding mountains of Divis Mountain, Black Mountain and Cave Hill.
Unless you have the dubious pleasure of living right next door to an airport one of the biggest downsides of going on holiday is catching a flight at an ungodly hour of the day. While driving half asleep at 4.00 am, with a nagging doubt you have forgot something may be some holidaymaker’s idea of fun – for most it sounds like a bad way to start your holiday. However, help is at hand in the form of Airport Hotels, where you can spend a relaxed evening – and even afford an extra hour or two in bed before leaving.
Airport hotels may not enjoy the best of reputations. In many peoples mind they are ranked alongside train station pubs – filled with chain smoking business men in cheap suits. However, while there is certainly a convincing argument to avoid train station pubs (you have to pay to get in the toilet for starters), airport hotels are a long way from their cheap and not-so-cheerful roots. These days the savvy traveller can pick up a great value deal at some excellent hotel accommodation situated close to their airport of departure.
One hotel that certainly fits this bill is the 4-star Arora International Hotel near Gatwick (http://www.gatwickairport.com). Situated a mere 8 minutes from the airport, the hotel boasts a health club, with state of the art facilities including a gym, jacuzzi, steam room and solarium. The quality of service and dining is also high with two bars, a deli and brassiere restaurant for those wishing to sample the culinary delights of this award winning hotel. For those using the hotel before they catch a flight there is every convenience with an Avis car rental desk within the hotel and an adjoining train station going directly to Gatwick.
Another big advantage of staying at airport hotels is many let you use their car park facilities – at often very reasonable rates. The Cottons Hotel and Spa situated near Manchester International Airport offers some excellent deals on up to 15 days parking for guests of their hotel. The hotel itself is also 4-star and comes equipped with pool, colour therapy sauna, steam room, gym, tennis courts and spa. While you may also be confused over what a colour therapy sauna is, you have to agree it sounds enticing and certainly beats crawling through Manchester traffic to catch an early morning flight.
If you really want to banish your negative image of airport hotels once and for all then you needn’t look much further than the completely re-vitalised Sheraton Skyline near Heathrow (http://www.heathrowairport.com). Visually stunning the Al Dente Ristorante is the ultimate experience of fine dining cuisine where Marco Di Tullio’s menus combine tradition, creativity and flavours based on perfect cooking techniques and obsessive research of the best market and imported products available in the UK. In the past airport hotels may have meant chicken in a basket – at the Skyline this type of dish is very much confined to memory.
As the world of airport hotels is such a competitive area there are always great deals to be had for those looking for accommodation pre or post flight. Websites such as airport hotel specialists http://www.superbreak.com or http://www.hotelnet.co.uk have an excellent selection of deals and are worth looking at before planning a stay near an airport.
Overall, airport hotels have changed significantly over the past ten years and are no longer the realm of the odourly challenged. However, it is still recommended that the world of train station pubs is avoided unless on the look out for recreational drugs – or at the very least have a 50p coin to get into the toilet.
More and more people are traveling, but vacations aren’t getting any cheaper. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to take a trip to an exotic place but never felt you could afford it. After all, luxury resorts are usually far beyond the average family’s price range, right? That’s why so many people are using online services to book vacations at a bargain. The Internet has become a world gateway to discriminating vacation and travel experiences.
One popular method travelers are using to get huge discounts on their vacation packages is to join with a company that offers an ongoing membership for travel and hotel savings opportunities. The company usually has both experience in travel and direct contact with resorts around the world. You can take advantage of years of travel experience without ever leaving your home. It’s like having your own travel agent on your personal computer!
Luxury Without the Expense
By creating a travel membership, you can expect to pay far less than normal rates for luxury resorts in places like Europe, Israel, Singapore, United States, and many other exotic destinations. Luxury resorts are typically four and five star resorts with beautiful decor, plenty of space, every amenity possible, and breathtaking scenery of the ocean, mountains, golf courses, and so forth.
The resorts have everything from fireplaces and fitness centers to pools and hot tubs. You can choose a destination according to the leisure activities you enjoy, such as golf, skiing, relaxing on the beach, family attractions, attending local events, and more.
You’ll discover that, by using the expertise of a travel company, you can often secure a luxury resort for your holiday for less than a regular hotel!
Secure Vacation Packages for Hot Holidays
Another advantage of allowing an expert to find discount vacations for you is you can book in advance for hot holidays when rates are usually “through the roof.” For instance, if you want to take a Caribbean cruise during Spring Break, you might be able to find a great deal. You can enjoy the cruise and tour the islands for only a fraction of the price.
Home Based Business in Travel
You can earn an extra income by introducing others to a luxury resort membership and savings. If you’re interested in travel or always wanted to be a travel agent, you’ll find this to be an exciting moneymaking opportunity. You can even recommend others via the Internet, and work at home. There are no limits!
Never spend your vacation in the same old place when you can enjoy a luxury vacation for the same price or less. Use the Web for research along with a company that is backed by years of travel experience to open your world gateway to discriminating travel and vacation experiences.
BEFORE YOU GO
Do a hotel research on the net looking not only for the cheapest rates but also considering the amenities and services provided, location, possible references from other people. Travel guidebooks can also be very helpful for choosing the hotel that suits you best. Be as much flexible with your trip schedule as possible. For example, business class hotels often have lower weekend rates.
As soon as you reserved the room(s) online, document all information about the hotel(s). The easiest way is to print out the whole page off your computer screen so you will have a clear statement that you can use as evidence in case of misplacing or incorrectly entering your information by a hotel clerk. Take a copy with you, make another one for your relatives so they will know when and where you are going to stay so they can contact you in emergency cases.
Learn the proper check-in and check-out times. Confirm the amenities and services the hotel provides. Ask for directions, a local map. Get a card with the hotel’s name, address and phone number so you can show it to a taxi driver or a passer-by in the street if you get lost.
Some hotels may provide extra services that you may not know about unless you ask for it:
– laundry service,
– hair dryers,
– voltage converters/ adaptors,
– newspaper service,
– complementary meals,
– access to fax machine, copier, printer, computer, Internet connection,
– cable TV, rental movies, video games,
– portable beds, baby cribs,
– complementary shuttle service to airport,
– rental safe for your money, jewellery, documents,
– telephone access charges,
– fees for using mini-bar,
– guided tours, excursions.
AT THE HOTEL
Safety should be a priority for everybody and you have to take some precautions. We devoted a whole separate page to travel safety including hotel safety measures so we will skip this part here. When you go out for the day, leave your key at the reception desk. Confirm closing time. Some hotels do lock up at night and you’re expected to keep the key if you stay out late.
BEFORE LEAVING YOUR HOTEL
Check out your room for left-behind items. If you need extra time for staying over the regular check-out time (usually it ranges from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m), make a request in advance or the hotel may charge you an additional night.
Review the hotel bill making sure that all charges are accurate.
We wish you a successful and safe trip!
I was backpacking in the Sleeping Bear Dunes. It was March, so when I made it through the woods and over the dunes, I’d have miles of beach to myself. It was an over-nighter, a chance to test new ultralight backpacking equipment. I hiked the wooded hills quickly, enjoying the cold air.
Halfway through the forest, I stopped to cook noodles. The cheap 3-ounce pot was from a dollar store, and it worked fine. I was happy, because from the catalog descriptions, the expensive titanium pots are all heavier, probably because they’re too thick and with too many gadgets.
I had to use a small twig-fire when my homemade alcohol stove didn’t provide enough heat. I later learned that isopropyl alcohol doesn’t burn as hot as the alcohol used for a gas additive, but the twigs worked in any case.
Backpacking On The Beach
After eating, I hiked to Lake Michigan, and sat up on a large sand dune. I watched the waves push ice up onto the empty beach. Coyotes began to howl in the distance, and the clouds rolled in. I was on the beach looking for petoskey stones when the snow began. Backpacking in March has its risks.
I was in running shoes, and it would be below freezing that night. In northern Michigan, March is definitely part of winter. My feet stayed warm while I hiked, but I hadn’t planned on them getting wet. At least I had a pair of warm, dry socks for sleeping.
Ultralight Backpacking Equipment
It was the first time I used my GoLite Breeze backpack, which weighed only 13 ounces. I was hiking with about nine pounds on my back, and that only because I threw in some canned food. I was going light, but I knew the forests here and felt comfortable with my abilities.
My down sleeping bag was a 17-ounce Western Mountaineering HighLite. It was the first time I would use it below freezing (It hit 25 degrees fahrenheit that night). Fortunately, it wasn’t too windy.
At the edge of the forest, behind the dunes, I set up my small tarp. I piled pine needles and dead bracken ferns under it, finishing just as it became dark. This made a warm mattress, and I slept well, listening to the coyotes, and to the waves pushing ice around in the lake.
In the morning I was happy to see only a dusting of snow. My one-pound sleeping bag had been warmer than my three-pounder – and I thought that was light. I poured alcohol in the cut-off bottom of a pepsi can (my 1/2-ounce backpacking stove) and made tea. After some crackers I was soon hiking in my mostly-dry shoes, along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
Backpacking Lessons Learned
I ended my trip that afternoon, with a hike to the village of Empire, seven miles away. I was mostly satisfied. Only two problems: My tarp was too small, and the alcohol I brought was the wrong type.
After backpacking in Michigan for years, I know it well. I know where to find dead grass and bracken ferns, for example, to make a warm mattress in a few minutes. Knowledge, obviously, can be as valuable as expensive backpacking gear.