According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, 2-3% of Americans partake in problem gambling. This addiction is associated with other mood and behavioral disorders.
Oftentimes, gambling as an addiction isn’t taken seriously because it doesn’t have obvious physical symptoms like a drug use addiction. Nonetheless, those who suffer from a gambling addiction need to seek proper treatment.
Gambling Addiction Symptoms
Are you unsure if you are a loved one have this kind of addiction? Here are 3 gambling addiction symptoms to look out for:
- Telling Lies: If a gambler lies about the extent of his or her spending habits, they likely have an addiction. Some betters will go even further and deny their habits altogether when inquired about them.
- Neglecting Other Responsibilities: Someone with a gambling addiction will prioritize gambling over everything else in their lives. They’ll neglect other responsibilities, like their career and family life, to partake in betting.
- Always Seeking More Money: Pathological gamblers tend to seek more money to fuel their addiction. At the start, they may be satisfied with bets of low amounts. Eventually, they’ll want to increase the amount they bet each time they visit the casino.
When money runs low, they will get it from:
- Personal loans: They’ll ask friends, family, and acquaintances for money. These personal loans become too much to pay back over time.
- Stealing: Whether it be from loved ones or strangers, some compulsive gamblers will resort to stealing so they can have money to spend at the casino.
If you’ve determined that you or a loved one has a gambling addiction, here are 3 treatment options to consider:
1. Adopt a Different Habit:
People often gamble to:
- Experience an adrenaline rush.
- Alleviate feelings of boredom or loneliness.
- Partake in social activities.
- Relax after a stressful workday.
- Solve their financial problems.
Consider the main reason you’re gambling. If it’s to experience an adrenaline rush, find a healthy replacement. You can participate in a sport or challenging hobby, like mountain biking or Go-Kart racing. If you’re betting habits are out of control because you’re trying to improve your financial situation, set up an appointment with a financial advisor. This type of professional can help you better your financial situation without the risk that gambling brings.
2. Build Your Support System
Surround yourself with people who will support you through your recovery. Rely on family members and close friends for emotional support. If your social network is limited, make new friends by reaching out to colleagues at work or chatting with neighbors.
3. Enroll in a Rehab Program
For some gamblers, especially those with coinciding behavioral disorders, enrolling in a rehab program is the most effective course of treatment. Inpatient rehabilitation programs offer patients around-the-clock supervision and support. They’ll learn how to implement healthier alternatives in their daily lives. These programs will also address any co-occurring substance use disorders or other issues. Check out the rehab programs in your area to find one that fits your needs.
Get The Help You Need
Now, you should be aware of the signs of gambling addiction and how to treat it. Seek help today if you or a loved one suffer from a gambling addiction.