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by Abigail Van Buren

Visiting Family in Las Vegas May Tempt Compulsive Gamblers

DEAR ABBY: My family and I moved to Las Vegas seven months ago, and we love it here. We are not heavy gamblers, but we occasionally like to hit a local casino (once, maybe twice, a month) and never spend more than $50. We consider it paying for entertainment rather than a chance at winning it big.

My parents are coming to visit soon and, unfortunately, they have had a history of compulsive gambling. They admit they have a problem and have been going to support groups off and on for the past year.

We have lots of off-strip fun planned, but I know they will want to visit a casino because, well, it's Vegas! Would I be enabling them if I went with them to a casino? Could this trigger more compulsive gambling when they return home? Are there any boundaries I should set? I don't want to see them spiral into their addiction again, but I also want us all to enjoy the "What happens in Vegas ..." vacation mentality during their visit. -- GAMBLING WITH THEIR ADDICTION

DEAR GAMBLING: The "what happens in Vegas (stays in Vegas)" mentality means that what happened in Vegas was not something to be proud of. It would absolutely challenge your parents' "sobriety" if you take them to a casino, and your fear that it could jump-start a relapse is well-founded. Keep them busy, but don't take them to places where they are tempted to gamble. If they decide to do it on their own, you won't have anything to feel guilty about.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Addiction