Thursday, July 19, 2012
When is gambling a problem?

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

As states look at ways of making revenue, they often consider gambling as a source of revenue. There are several different ways that people spend money on gambling. Some of them are healthy, some are not. Probably the most common form of gambling is a state run lottery system. Tickets are inexpensive. They are also easy to come by. In some cases, the individual will only bet when the prize gets large. In those instances, the amount spent is small. The purchases are not frequent. The likelihood of winning is low. However, the overall impact on the individual's budget is not very significant. This is one of the healthy ways of gambling. Other individuals who do not have a lot of money may buy lottery tickets with every spare dollar. These individuals tend to buy tickets that pay off more frequently. Their goal is to get a quick win to get more spending money. However, the system is set up such that in the long run, you will lose more money than you win. This type of gambling will have a significant impact on their budget. This is a less healthy way of gambling. Some individuals will view gambling as a form of entertainment. They will take excess funds and use them for gambling. These individuals will decide in advance how much money they are going to spend on a gambling activity. When they reach that point, they quit. The result is that the money they spend during the period of time that they are gambling is like spending that money on any other form of entertainment. For example, one individual might decide to spend $100 to go see a professional football game. For that money, the individual would get about 3 hours of entertainment. Another individual might decide to spend three hours in a casino gambling. That individual might lose $100 during that three hour period of time. The result is that both individuals spend $100 for about three hours of entertainment. They just do it in different ways. Another example is the individual who goes to the race track. That individual might bet $2 on each race and spend 90 minutes watching 6 races. This is a total of $12 for 90 minutes of entertainment. Another individual might go to see a movie and spend $12 for admission for a 90 minute movie. Both individuals are getting 90 minutes of entertainment for about $12. These kinds of entertainment are also healthy forms of gambling. However, there are other individuals who see gambling as an activity that they have a calling to do. They find the need to do it often. They find the need to take time away from more important activities to do it. They use money that they need to spend elsewhere to do it. These individuals have an unhealthy obsession with gambling. These individuals are problem gamblers who are hard to treat. Most people do not go from occasional gambling to problem gambling all of a sudden. It is something that happens over time. The easiest way to get it treated is to address it early. People may find themselves moving from a healthy to an unhealthy kind of gambling. They need to recognize that and get help early. Like most addictions, the individual is often the last one to realize it. That is why it is important for friends and relatives to help recognize it so they can assist the individual in seeking the help that is necessary. When states set up gambling activities to increase revenues, they create opportunities for individuals to become problem gamblers. However, those opportunities are already there in other forms. It is the individual that has the problem and not the state government that provided just one more opportunity for that individual to develop the problem. We all have a responsibility to help those we know and love avoid having the types of problems that can occur when someone gets overly involved in a gambling activity.

Alex's Applebee's Fundraiser Twelve years ago, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) grew from the front yard of 4-year-old cancer patient Alexandra "Alex" Scott to become one of the nation's leading philanthropic organizations in support of pediatric cancer research. In 2004, Philadelphia-based franchisee, The Rose Group, partnered with the largest Applebee's franchisee, Apple American Group, to launch the Alex's Applebee's Fundraiser, which to-date has raised over $2.7 million. This year, The Rose Group and Apple American Group along with Apple By The Bay and Bloomin' Apple set a goal to reach $3 million dollars with fundraising efforts running in-stores from July 9 thru Aug. 12. Participating Applebee's restaurants across the country will be selling $5 paper lemonade stands, as well as donating $.25 from all varieties of lemonade sold towards the ALSF fundraising efforts. With a $5 donation, customers will receive a $5 dollar coupon for a free kid's meal or free frozen lemonade at their next visit, and be offered entry into the Free Applebee's for a Year contest. There will be a minimum of 5 winners chosen. For more information on this year's Alex's Lemonade Stand Fundraiser, visit your local Applebee's.

Center welcomes Dr. Siddique Nanticoke Health Services welcomes Dr. Muhammad Siddique, MD, FACP to the position of medical oncologist at Nanticoke Cancer Care Services. Dr. Siddique is a graduate of Nishtar Medical College, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Pakistan and completed an internship in internal medicine at Michigan State University and served as chief resident at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Siddique completed his hematology and medical oncology fellowship at Michigan State University. He is board certified in medical oncology, hematology, internal medicine and hospice & palliative medicine. Dr. Siddique has several years of experience in the healthcare industry as a medical oncologist and hematologist, most recently at the Mahr Cancer Center, Trover Health System in Madisonville, Ky. He is a fellow in the American College of Physicians and a registered investigator with the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Siddique is a member of the American Society of Hematology, the American Federation for Medical Research, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

He recently published research on ovarian cancer, breast cancer and leukemia. Dr. Siddique will be joining the medical oncology physicians from Tunnell Cancer Center and will be providing care for patients at Nanticoke Cancer Care Services in Seaford.

Summer celebration of hope On Aug. 14, "A Summertime Beach Party" will be held to benefit patients at the Nanticoke Cancer Care Center. Enjoy this Longaberger Breast Cancer fundraiser, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Heritage Shores with friends, family and Pink Sand Premier sponsor Sussex County Federal Credit Union. In addition to celebrating survivors and honoring loved ones, each attendee will receive a 2012 Horizon of Hope Basket and dinner while also enjoying fun activities, a silent auction as well as a premiere of Longaberger holiday products. For tickets call 628-1132.

BIAD hosts annual Crab Feast The Brain Injury Association of Delaware (BIAD) is hosting its fifth annual Crab Feast Fundraiser on Saturday, Aug. 11 from 4 to 8 p.m. The menu includes all you can eat crabs, corn on the cob, chicken tenders, french fries, and non-alcoholic beverages. A cash bar will be available and benefits the Leipsic Fire Company. Cost is $32 per person, $8 for kids ages 5 to 12 and free for kids under 5. The event will also feature an "Extreme Bake Sale." There will also be a 50/50, door prizes, and merchandise raffle. Buy tickets online at or call 1-800-411-0505 for more information.

Free to Breathe Delmarva run/walk Register today for the third annual Free to Breathe Delmarva 5K Run/Walk, 1 Mile Walk and Kids' Dash, a fun event for the entire family that brings the community together to inspire hope and create change for everyone impacted by lung cancer. The event will be held on Sunday morning, Aug. 12 at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes. Online registration ends Aug. 8. All proceeds support the National Lung Cancer Partnership's vital research, education and awareness programs. For more information, to register or donate, visit

Breast cancer support group Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc. (DBCC) has expanded its Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey, a program for women newly-diagnosed with breast cancer, by partnering with Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center in Seaford. The free, monthly program is offered at the Cancer Center located at 801 Middleford Road, Seaford, the third Thursday of each month from 3 to 4 p.m. To learn more, call Lois Wilkinson at 672-6435. Registration is required and light refreshments and small gifts are provided.

HIV/AIDS Support Group A new support group for HIV/AIDS will meet every other Wednesday, at 7 p.m., in the Branford Lounge at Epworth United Methodist Church at 19285 Holland Glade Rd., Rehoboth Beach. The group is sponsored by Epworth UMC, CAMP Rehoboth, the AIDs Delaware and Delaware HIV Consortium. For more information, contact David at

NMH offers CPR classes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will offer community CPR classes to anyone interested in learning CPR at the Nanticoke Training Center located on Water Street in Seaford. Participants will learn how to perform the basic skills of CPR on adults, children, and infants and how to help an adult, child, or infant who is choking and use of the AED. This classroom-based, video, and instructor-led CPR course offers families, friends, and community members the opportunity to learn CPR and need a course completion card. Classes are open to participants ages 12 and up. Cost is $40. Payment and registration is required by no later than five business days prior to the class. Late registrations may be accepted if seating is available. To register contact the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Training Center office at 629-6611, ext. 8919. Pre-registration is required.

Parkinson's Support Group A Parkinson's Support Group is being held in Seaford on the third Monday of each month from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Nanticoke Senior Center. The group focuses on educating members about Parkinson's through guest speakers and small group discussions. Persons with other movement disorders are welcome to join the group as much of what is discussed is not limited to Parkinson's. The value of exercise is continually stressed. Reservations or advance notification is not required. For more information, call Dennis Leebel at 302-644-3465.

Summer Blood Challenge begins Where else can you save lives and possibly drive away in a new car? This year's theme is "Roll Up Your Sleeve & Roll Away a Winner!" Grand Prize is a 2 year lease on a Fiat 500 courtesy of Carman Fiat on DuPont Highway, New Castle. Other major prizes include a $2,000 and $1,000 TD Bank Visa Gift Card along with weekly prizes of $50 gas cards courtesy of TD Bank. More than 200 businesses and organizations are expected to participate in this competition among local employers to recruit the most Blood Bank members and donors during the summer when fewer people tend to give blood. This year's competition runs from May 21 to Sept. 15. "The Blood Bank needs 350 donors every day to maintain the local blood supply and the SBC helps us to maintain that level of giving," said Roy Roper, Blood Bank president and CEO. SBC participants earn points by giving blood or becoming a Blood Bank member. Those under the age of 35 will receive two bonus points to encourage involvement among this important age group. Less than 7% of all Blood Bank members are under the age of 35. For more information on this year's Summer Blood Challenge, visit