Lincoln man urges awareness, says gamblers go “unnoticed”

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN)- Holiday stress cause triggers for those suffering from addictions, one man sharing his own story to bring awareness.

Choices Treatment Center’s Education and Outreach Coordinator, Mike Sciandra, says his advocacy stemmed from his own struggle with gambling.

“I was just exhausted,” he said. “I was just done with this life of deceit and the financial issues and everything that came from it.”

Sciandra battled gambling addiction for nearly 25 years, now he’s educating others about it.

“For so many years, it was just a considered behavioral issue, without the addictive mindset to it,” Sciandra said.

Although Sciandra does say they’ve seen an increase in people seeking help, he notes C.T.C. is neutral on casino gambling.

“80-90 percent of people can gamble responsibly, and we don’t want to take that away from anyone,” he said.

“We just want to work with all stakeholders to ensure that everybody is receiving the treatment that they need.”

Holidays increase the need to gamble, he says, with financial stress and triggers at the center.

The road to recovery, Sciandra said, was not easy, but resources are widely available here in Lincoln.

“I thought for twenty-five years that I would never get to this place, but I can assure everyone recovery is possible.”

If you are seeking help with gambling addiction, you can contact Choices Treatment Center at 402-476-2300.

You can also contact the Nebraska Gamblers Assistance Program at  402-806-7344.

Categories: Lancaster, Money, Nebraska News, News