Beacon Counselling Trust in Clubmoor has just launched a number of free clinics in Liverpool city centre aimed at helping those suffering with gambling addiction. Gambling is a serious problem on Merseyside, with around 12,000 people in the problem gambler category and another 60,000 in the at-risk category.

Director of the Beacon Counselling Trust, Neil Platt said that treatment is provided for the addiction as well as the underlying cause of the addiction. The importance of doing this is so that addicts will receive a more effective recovery plan. He said, “We recognise that when dealing with gambling addiction, for a more positive and enduring outcome, we must look at the problem holistically.”

Support from Betting Industry

Many of the big names in the betting industry, including Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, William Hill, Coral, and Betfred, are offering their support to the free clinics. A spokesperson from the Association of British Bookmakers said that the project was exciting as it gave them a chance to reach to customers and to help those who were experiencing problems with gambling. She also said that there are many people who do not actually realise that there is help and counselling support in their area, and that this new project will help to get that message across.

Drop-In Clinics

Those who need help for gambling problems will be able to access the free drop-in clinics from 12pm to 4pm from Monday to Saturday at the Liverpool Quaker Meeting House. The drop-in clinics will run seven days a week at the same times at the headquarters of the Beacon Counselling Trust in Townsend Lane.

Increase in Gambling Addiction

Gambling is becoming a serious problem in areas all over the UK, not just Merseyside. Campaigners are calling for a change in the limit of stakes in fixed odds betting terminals. Many believe that these machines, found in betting shops across the country, are contributing to the current increase in problem gamblers.

Gamblers can spend thousands of pounds in a very short space of time on these machines as they can bet up to £100 per spin. They are easily accessible in betting shops and those with compulsive gambling tendencies can lose large sums of money playing them.

The Effect of Gambling on the Family

Gambling addiction is a serious illness that not only affects the person with the addiction, but also their families. Gambling can lead to serious financial problems and is an expensive habit. Those with a compulsion to gamble may find that they simply cannot stop, even when they run out of available funds. They will often begin to borrow to fund their habit and will even spend the money they need to pay for rent or bills. This can then lead to large debts and, in some cases, people will find themselves homeless.

Families living with gambling addicts may find that their affected loved ones become secretive and even aggressive when they are not winning. Gamblers will often try to chase their losses and will be convinced that they are about to win big. This is when they tend to lose large amounts of money. Moreover, if they do win, they may plough their winnings back in because they are convinced that they are going to win again. Gambling addicts cannot walk away even when they are losing big money.

Help for Addiction

Gambling addiction is an illness that needs to be treated; at Addiction Helper, we have a team of expert therapists and counsellors who can provide the help and support required. We have access to a large network of rehabilitation centres all over the country and can put you in touch with a suitable one.

Source: The Liverpool Echo 

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