Cass says she had never had a gambling problem until her doctor prescribed Requip for Restless Leg Syndrome. " My doctor gave me the Requip multi-pack to determine the right dosage and I was taking 1mg, 3 times a day," says Cass. "It definitely helped stop my legs from twitching but I started going to Bingo a lot (I used to go twice a week and now I was going 6 days a week). I was buying lottery tickets as well and then I started going to the casino. All I could think about was gambling, every hour, every minute…
In March 2008 my doctor upped the dosage to 2 mg and that is when it got worse.
I opened credit cards in my boyfriend's name and he found out. He asked me why $300 was taken out of our bank account and I would just lie, saying I had to lend it to someone or just pay a bill. Instead I had spent it at the casino.
I went to Gamblers Anonymous but that only lasted a few weeks-gambling was always on my mind. Then my boyfriend's daughter moved in. I maxed out her credit card and her checking account and now she wants to press charges against me; I don't blame her because she had to file bankruptcy. I ruined their credit—and there is nothing I can do.
My last day of gambling was March 14th; that is when everything hit the fan. My sister caught me red-handed and my family also found out about my boyfriend's daughter's credit cards.
I have lied to everyone and that is just not me. They don't understand that it was because of Requip; they wonder how I could have done this to them. (At this point Cass can't talk—she is crying and distraught)…
I kept seeing a commercial on TV about the Requip side effects but it still didn't register. Just a few weeks ago I went back to Gamblers Anonymous—I promised my family that I would go 3 times a week. I met a pharmacy technician (another gambler) at one of the meetings; we started talking and I asked if she knew about any side effects of Requip.
'Ohmigod don't tell me you take that,' she said. 'Yes, I am taking it now,' I replied.
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I would rather go through the agony of the pain in my legs than go through the pain of hurting my family like I did. I am scheduled to call my doctor tomorrow and I hope that I can get an alternative drug or come off Requip quickly. I am hopeful that once I come off Requip I will pull myself together and try to make amends with my family. I'm not sure if I can ever get their trust back; my boyfriend told me that I am dead to him right now because I hurt him and his daughter so much."