Help with Gambling

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Help for Gambling Addictions.  If you have a gambling addiction, you are not alone. There are millions of men, woman, and teens who are in the same boat. The casinos make billions of dollars each year off people who have this compulsion.

An addiction is, a compulsion needs to use a substance or an activity, to ease emotional distress or change an emotional state of being. Statistics tell us that in America, almost 3 million adults have this problem. There are a growing number of women added to this number, and now 50% of people who gamble are women. Addiction destroys lives and destroys families.

Have a Gambling Addiction?

A gambling addiction can start as innocently as, going to Vegas with some friends for a weekend of fun. For some people, the feeling of power and excitement felt by unexpectedly winning money is exhilarating.  This “high” can lead to an uncontrollable need to try your luck or beat the odds until it becomes a vicious cycle. Addiction develops and progresses, as the activity or substance is repeatedly used as an escape or order to feel “better”.

This compulsive behavior can bring devastation and heartache to the lives of the person, and their families. A compulsive gambler will do anything they have to feed their addiction, much like a drug addict.  Often a person with this obsession must hit bottom, by losing family, friends, job or their freedom, before they are ready to admit they need help.  This is not to be seen as an ending or things, but a beginning of restoration.  *Take this test to see if you may have a problem with gambling.

  • Once the addict is ready to get help for their addiction, there are many options available
  • Ultimate success in recovery will lay in the commitment of the addict to get well
  • True recovery is possible when the addict themselves reaches out for help, rather than being in a situation  restraining them such as jail

Treatment Available for Gambling Addiction

Family therapy is necessary because a gambling addiction always disrupts the family dynamic especially if the person with the problem is also the head of the home. Family members are a great means of support for the addict.

Family counseling helps family members play a positive role in the addict’s recovery.   Places like Al-Anon and Gamblers Anonymous can help family members learn to recognize enabling behavior, that help their ones to continue their negative behavior.

Gambling compulsion can be treated with medications, such as anti-depressants, or re-uptake inhibitors. These medications have had great success with treating addictions by repression compulsive yearnings or to be involved in risky behavior. This with therapy can be very helpful.

Inpatient treatment can be very expensive if you do not have health insurance. Gamblers Anonymous substance abuse centers that will treat patients receiving Medicaid.

The National Council on Problem Gambling

This organization provides a list of location for those looking for help with their addiction.  Gambling addiction is associated with a mental disorder, but the good news is that it is treatable. This list will give you a starting point is where to start your journey for assistance.  Often gamblers also have problems with drugs or alcohol, so consider getting treatment for this as well. Find help in your state.

Gamblers Anonymous

Gamblers Anonymous is a place of support and accountability, where the addict’s sobriety is reinforced with symbolic tokens. It is an inexpensive resource, where gamblers can get help, in a non-judgmental environment for people with the same struggle.  Find a location.

Cognitive therapy can help uncover negative behavioral and emotional patterns that play a getting better. A plan of treatment, such as behavior modification and developing coping skills can be developed to help the addict break addiction triggering patterns, such as anger, stress or failure.

In group therapy, you may feel less threatened because everyone attending has a gambling addiction.  Being in a group leads to an open and be an honest exchange. Members of the group will also point out negative patterns the addict may not be aware of or is in denial about.

  • Al-Anon Family Groups – Help for family members
  • National Gamblers Hotline:  1-800-522-4700
  • National  Council on Problem Gambling – Chatline
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline   1-800-273-8255

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