Mrs. Maria Perez is a 53 year old Puerto Rican female who presents to your office today due to a rather “embarrassing problem.”
Mrs. Perez admits that she has had “problems” with alcohol since her father died in her late teens. She reports that she has struggled with alcohol since her 20’s and has been involved with Alcoholics Anonymous “on and off” for the past 25 years. She states that for the past two years, she has been having more and more difficulty maintaining her sobriety since they opened the new “Rising Sun” casino near her home. Mrs. Perez states that she and a friend went to visit the new casino during their grand opening at which point she was “hooked.” She states that she gets “such a high” when she is gambling. While gambling, she “enjoys a drink or two” to help calm her during high-stakes games. She states that this often gives way to more drinking and more reckless gambling. She also reports that her cigarette smoking has increased over the past two years and she is concerned about the negative effects of the cigarette smoking on her health.
She states that she attempts to abstain from drinking but that she gets such a “high” from the act of gambling that she needs a few drinks to “even out.” She also notices that when she drinks, she doesn’t smoke “as much” but enjoys smoking when she is playing at the slot machines. She also reports that she has gained weight from drinking so much- she currently weights 122 lbs., which represents a 7 lb. weight gain from her usual 115 lb. weight.
Mrs. Perez is quite concerned today because she has borrowed over $50,000 from her retirement account to pay off her gambling debts. She is very concerned because her husband does not know that she has spent this much money.