Gambling addict who blew his entire student loan in 24 hours says rehab saved him

A man who spent his entire student loan within a day after receiving it thanks to his severe gambling addiction has explained how he is now addiction free after rehab.

Bray Ash’s addiction spiraled even further out of control after graduating while he was deep in debt from taking out loans to pay betting companies.

Thankfully Bray, 28, has now recovered and he hopes to help others struggling with the same addiction through his charity.

Gambling has always played a role in Bray’s life as he used to play slot machines as a kid and loved Nintendo casino games.

Credit: News Dog Media

But the problems really started in college when he found out he could legally gamble at the age of 18.

He recalls: “When I went to university, I had more money and free time.

“I was missing lectures, and I wasn’t even socializing much. I was also athletic as a kid, but in college, the game took over my life.”

Overall, Bray lost £40,000 ($53,824) betting on horse racing, dogs, tennis, darts and basketball.

His lowest point came when he lost his entire student loan in a single day.

“In the January term I got my £1,600 student loan and within 24 hours I had bet it all,” he said.

“I didn’t come out of my room for two days, I couldn’t speak, it was just awful. That’s when I knew something was seriously wrong.”

Credit: News Dog Media
Credit: News Dog Media

It even became a habit for Bray to go to the casino after a night out instead of going home with his friends.

However, he insists it’s not the amount of money he lost that he regrets the most: “At school I was athletic, popular and outgoing. But in college, my life changed and I changed.

“It took me a long time to relearn how to enjoy life, I’m back now playing football. I don’t care what money I lost, it’s time and opportunity. But I don’t dwell on it.”

Reflecting on the lost years, Bray said: “My mental health suffered a lot. It got to the point where I was 25, I went to rehab.

“I managed to get a place in the only residential drug rehab in the country and it really helped me.”

Credit: News Dog Media
Credit: News Dog Media

Now recovered, Bray is a member of the Gambling Commission’s Lived Experience Advisory Committee.

He said: “I’m not anti-gambling, I know a lot of people who gamble responsibly.

“One of the biggest things that excites me is that more money needs to be given to treat drug addicts and their families.

“Companies make profits but they don’t give back enough to the problem they cause.”

He continued: “Some of the advertising has to be kept under control as well. I don’t think gambling companies should be allowed to advertise anything other than sports. And it should be past 9pm. “

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