Are you worried that you or someone close to you is addicted to gambling? Help is at hand. Here we tell you a little about gambling addiction, what to look out for and how we can get you or a loved one the best possible treatment.
What is a gambling addiction?
Gambling addiction, or compulsive gambling, is what we call an impulse-control disorder. In today’s age of online gambling communities, gambling addiction is becoming increasingly prevalent. It’s never been so easy to partake in a game of poker, roulette or blackjack. Or to bet on sports. Scratchcard gambling is also becoming a significant problem. Compulsive gamblers can’t control the urge to gamble, no matter what the consequences. Gambling becomes a problem and an addiction when it takes over a person’s life, relationships and finances. If you or someone you know is gambling in secret, can’t walk away from a gambling situation or will gamble even when there are no finances available, then there’s a gambling problem.
Signs, symptoms and risks of gambling addiction
Gambling is a hidden illness as there are no obvious physical effects and gamblers can be incredibly secretive. The main effect of compulsive gambling is on the addict’s finances. They continue to play, however broke or flush they are. And there’s always a need to try to make up any losses incurred so gambling can be a vicious cycle. Gambling addicts become preoccupied with gambling and will put it in front of relationships and responsibilities. They may stay out all night at a casino or stay up all night on their computer. They may start stealing to pay for their addiction. Gambling can have a devastating effect on families. In the worst case scenario, a compulsive gambler may consider – or commit – suicide as a result of gambling-induced debts and the shame they bring.
Treating gambling addiction
Like with most addictions, the first step to getting treatment is admitting that there’s a gambling problem. There are a great many recovery programs and therapies available. Quitting gambling is relatively easy; staying away from gambling is harder and often requires the support of ongoing group therapy. At Addiction Helper, we can help you look at all the options available and provide all the support that you and your family will need.