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Danner says that was a relief. Women develop gambling problems almost exclusively with slot machines, researchers say. Danner was living in Montana when she hit bottom. She had lost a major client at work. She had gambled away at least some of the money. For women at risk of becoming problem gamblers, being between the ages of 45 and 54 and playing slot machines are strong indicators that they may develop the disorder, research has found. The Associated Press. Connect with the definitive source for global and local news. She says she goes to casinos because she is lonely. New Mexico legalized slots at American Indian casinos, horse-racing tracks, and veterans and fraternal clubs in the s, putting a slot machine within a short drive of most people in the state. Only her faith, Cathy says, has kept her from taking her life. Now she helps run group meetings for recovering gamblers. Researchers also have found female problem gamblers have more difficult times recovering than men. Maryann, 60, says her boyfriend was deported to Mexico and her four children are out of the house. I was feeling sorry for myself. Now 73, Amalia has been back in the workplace for five years. Maryann says she has been gambling for about three years and has sought counseling through the New Mexico Council on Problem Gambling. Her credit cards were maxed out. Female problem gamblers often are victims of abuse, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling. Nearly 50 percent of at-risk women have experienced trauma or hardship, a study found. Today, at age 63, she has lost much. Many middle-age women have settled down in the world of work or family or both. Women at risk of becoming problem gamblers are much more likely than their male counterparts to be single parents, according to researchers. She says her gambling was a contributing factor in her divorce. Daniel Blackwood, executive director of The Evolution Group in Albuquerque, which provides counseling to problem gamblers, says both men and women at risk of problems are gambling to escape into fantasy. It was the only gambling-specific residential program in the state. Chris Danner recalls the hardships she overcame and her history of gambling addiction Tuesday at her home in Albuquerque. Experts estimate there are thousands of at-risk women in New Mexico, and thousands more who already have developed the affliction. She has a free mental health counselor through the New Mexico Council on Problem Gambling and, also through the council, tells her story at training sessions for casino workers so they can better spot problem gamblers. There are signs that Cathy may be turning her life around. She also has been paying off gambling debts but says that will take several years. A woman in a gambling addiction group had given Danner a card for Daniel Blackwood, executive director of The Evolution Group in Albuquerque. Amalia says she was there about 16 to 18 months. Her two children were out of the house and had their own lives. Danner says problem gamblers are still good people; they just made bad decisions — decisions that led to a hellish existence not only for themselves, but also for friends and family. Blackwood says a lack of funding and a shortage of clientele willing to commit to the rigors of the program were factors in the closing. When she told a friend of her plan to kill herself, the friend took her to a hospital emergency room. Tens of thousands more New Mexicans, both men and women, were estimated to be at risk. She went to Gamblers Anonymous meetings every day for a year and also sought help at The Evolution Group. That was May Her husband filed for divorce while she was in Integrity House. She played bingo, then blackjack, then slot machines. But for those whose lives have been rocked by lifestyle changes, such as divorce or death of a spouse or another family member, social gambling can take a bad turn. Also, for the first time, she bought a car on her own. Female gamblers prefer nonstrategic forms of wagering, like slot machines, which have a fast pace of winning and losing that is associated with increased risk of problem gambling, researchers have found. When Integrity House closed last year, Danner took in its last two residents, both women. Amalia says she was a closet gambler in the beginning, but the secret got out eventually. Dianna Duran resigned as secretary of state in and pleaded guilty to charges stemming from her use of campaign donations to feed her gambling habit at casinos in northern New Mexico and elsewhere across the state. And female gamblers are much more likely than male gamblers to have mental health issues. For much of the past year, she has been homeless, sleeping on the front seat of her Chevy pickup and showering at a community center. She went from there to a mental health unit. Things are good with her children and the grandson. Donna says she gambled away the money she needed to pay bills in hopes of making more money. She moved that year into Integrity House, a residential program for problem gamblers operated by The Evolution Group. She still attends Gamblers Anonymous. She called and was accepted for treatment at Integrity House. Still, Cathy is uncertain whether she will ever make a full recovery from her gambling problem. She spent 11 months at the house. Blackwood says some female problem gamblers who seek help at The Evolution Group also have other mental health issues, such as depression, grief, anxiety and trauma. Yontz was under investigation for committing check and credit card fraud to finance her gambling addiction. Danner never followed through on suicide, but her story is a common one when it comes to female problem gamblers. Donna, 45, says her relationship with her daughter has survived. At the age of 64, Danner decided suicide was her only way out. Sometimes, when she was at a casino, family members would leave written messages on her car. Maryann — a Grants gambling addict who asked that her real name not be used — also says she was sexually abused as a child by a family member, then endured 25 years of marriage to a verbally abusive husband. She got a job in December and rented a room in a house in August. She feared her husband would have her charged with forgery. And women can access the devices much easier today because of the explosion in legalized slot machine gambling in the United States and around the world.

AP — Chris Danner, like a lot of slot machine players, started gambling to win money. It was the first time she had ever lived by herself. Kandace Blanchard, a founder and clinical director at the New Mexico Council on Problem Gambling, which operates a telephone helpline and provides counseling, says women can disassociate from any physical or mental pain while playing slot machines.

Her relationships with her son and other family members have gambling addiction stories slots shattered.

His firm offers women-specific treatment, including group services, in addition to counseling for men. The last major study of gamblers in New Mexico, inestimated as many as 15, women and 24, men were problem gamblers or had progressed to be pathological gamblers.

Not all stories have such a positive trajectory. Danner, 70, is retired now and helps run gambling addiction stories slots meetings for recovering gamblers. Eventually, she played the slots to escape.

Some men also develop an addiction to the devices, but research shows male problem gamblers typically branch out to wager on table games, races, sports and lotteries.

She got a job in Albuquerque and boat tropical schedule gambling breeze apartment.

There was family turmoil. When seated in front of a slot machine, Danner thought only of winning a gambling addiction stories slots jackpot. She gambled away the money and had no way to cover the losses. She forgot about the controlling husband who always was concerned about money, her escalating gambling losses, her feelings of shame and guilt.

You hear that a lot from gambling addicts. In Aprilafter about three years, Danner hit bottom.

She decided to get help in when she ran out of money and considered prostitution to finance her addiction. She was single. Gambling addiction stories slots at-risk women may escape to slot machines for relief, those in the throes of the addiction often find a dark, painful existence from which there seems to be no way out.

When she did go home, she says, she prayed to God every night that she would die in her sleep.

Women, in general, seek relief and relaxation, he says; men are looking for action, power and gambling addiction stories slots. It was a convertible sports car. Cathy says she first sought help for her gambling problem nearly a decade ago but continued to play slots.

Although men are by no means immune, most of the big stories about problem gambling in New Mexico have involved women since the legalization of slot machines and other casino gambling in the mids.

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Danner, 70, moved to New Mexico for treatment and has been free from gambling for nearly six years.