Gambling Addiction

Gambling addiction is an ongoing problem that afflicts thousands every year and it works very much the same way as an addiction to alcohol, cocaine or meth. Although unless gambling is a secondary addiction no substances are involved.


In fact, gambling addiction is highly correlated with stimulant drugs or ‘uppers’ such as cocaine and methamphetamines, both giving people that rush and exhilaration that comes with those types of drugs.




You’re sweating and your hands are trembling. This could be it, you think. This one will help get me out of the hole, you say to yourself. One more time, and I will hit it big, even though you know you have said that the last 15 times and you have lost the mortgage payment several hands ago. You are likely struggling with a gambling addiction.




In terms of addiction gambling is more of a behavioural problem. Diagnosing gambling addiction, or compulsive gambling, follows the same types of symptoms that come with other addictions. The diagnostic criteria looks at four basic categories of behaviour, or how a person is functioning and how well they are living.

What is often found with behavioral addictions like compulsive gambling is that they often come with sacrifices beyond just money. A person with a gambling disorder will be spending more time gambling and doing things related to gambling, and spending less time with family, working, or other social functions.

Another thing that they may experience, is that they will suffer socially from gambling. Their friends and family will start talking with them about their gambling, and this will cause stress, fights, and hurt feelings.

Also, a person with a gambling addiction will feel a lot of stress when they are not gambling. Stress may be in many different forms, like anger, anxiety, stress, trembling, or other symptoms of distress. They will likely have tried several times to quit gambling, but struggled with this, and relapsed. The thoughts of going back and gambling, the cravings to take those risks with money, will come intrusively into their minds.

One of the dangers of gambling is that it starts out with small, fun experiences. The rush for some becomes too much to ignore eventually. The small games, sports, or other ways to gamble become habit, or a distract, or just a great rush trying to beat the house. The rush becomes addictive.

For others it serves as a great distraction from what is going on in their lives, or a means of escape in other words. It could be that one big score (?) don’t understand this phrase away from paying off their mortgage, or some other dream that keeps them going, even as they lose everything.

The reality is that casinos, sports betting and even simple scratch off lottery tickets have many, many more losers than winners. Yet they all find ways that encourage and aid in the creation of a gambling addiction. Small amounts given out at unpredictable intervals are deadly at hooking people into continuing; large amounts given out rarely give people enough to keep moving forward. (again not sure about this – large amounts – what £18 million? Rarely give people enough to keep moving forward – I think this needs re-writing.

Gambling also very rarely involves the use of money, now it is just chips or cards with balances on them, which makes a person feel less like they are using their own hard earned money. Casinos offer many incentive packages and deals for people who continue to gamble more, and with more losers than winners make it very economical for them to continue these practices.

New technologies and means of gambling have also made the issue worse, and made the need for gambling treatment more vital than ever. Gambling sites and sports betting can now occur in the palm of a person’s hand. Sports betting and gambling in many places are illegal, but can now happen with offshore betting and sites hosted in countries with much less stringent laws and regulations. A person can lose the house payment with a few clicks on a phone.

Gambling has become more problematic and dangerous with the rise of certain technologies. This change, and the recent change to the view of compulsive gambling as a disease, has led to a rise in how governments across the world treat gambling. Laws have been enacted that help limit gambling, as well as help those struggling with the addiction to find treatment for a gambling disorder.


Get Help For Gambling Addiction


While there are many dangers to gambling, addiction is a treatable condition. Gambling treatment is available and hope and help are there for anyone.

Treatment often includes cognitive behavioural therapy to help identify and change the habits and thoughts that helped cause the addiction in the first place, as well as individual and family counselling to help everyone heal from the damage done by compulsive gambling. If you or someone you love is struggling with gambling, and losing more and more money, more than they can afford, seek help now.


The Sooner Gambling Addiction Is Treated, The Easier It Is To Overcome.


Online Counselling offering confidential help and support for those suffering from gambling addiction and whose lives and lives of those around them have been affected by compulsive gambling with both financial and emotional consequences.

Like any addiction the most effective way to treat gambling addiction is through counselling and support groups. How to Treat Addiction offers this through online counselling and group therapy with addiction counsellors with both professional and personal experience of problem gambling.



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Gambling Addiction


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