Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Monday, May 14, 2007

No State Funds For Gambling Addicts

Addiction is addiction. Whether it's drugs, alcohol, or gambling it doesn't matter and the state should address those needs just like it should address the needs of substance abuse.

The Denver Post-In the throes of a week-long gambling binge, Larry all but forgot about food and drink until he collapsed on the flight home from Las Vegas.

At a Denver hospital, intravenous fluids revived him as emergency-room workers hooked him to a heart monitor. Later, after he had demanded his release and slipped into bed at home, his wife sleepily laid her hand on his chest - and was startled to find an electronic lead still taped there.

He assured her he was fine, that he just "overdid it" on his trip - grossly understating the gambling addiction that was just dawning on him.

"For one week, I'd lost all control, gambled away a lot of money and, more important, put myself in harm's way," he recalls. "I realized something pathologic was going on."

Larry, now a 41-year-old member of the recovery group Gamblers Anonymous, continued gambling hard for a decade more - from dog tracks to Powerball to Colorado's mountain casinos to Vegas to the Internet. He nearly lost everything, including his marriage, before confronting his problem.

His ordeal offers a glimpse of the collateral damage from legalized gambling in a state that reaps hundreds of millions of dollars from the increasingly popular pastime.

Denver Post

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