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Gambling Addiction & Problem Gambling

Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment

 
Whether you bet on horses, sports, scratch cards, roulette, poker, or slots machines in a casino or even online, problem gambling can strain relationships, interfere with work, and could lead to financial downfall. You may even experience things you never thought you would, like stealing money to gamble or pay off your debts. You may think you can’t stop but, with the right help and guidance, you can overcome a gambling problem or addiction, and regain control of your life. The first step is recognising and acknowledging there is a problem.


Understanding Gambling Addiction & Problem Gambling


Gambling addiction, also known as compulsive gambling, is a type of impulse-control disorder. Compulsive gamblers can’t control the impulse to gamble, even when they know their gambling is hurting themselves or their loved ones. Gambling is all they can think about and all they want to do, no matter what or where the consequences may lead to. Compulsive gamblers keep gambling whether they’re winning or losing, broke or flush, happy or depressed. Even when they know the odds are against them, even when they can’t afford to lose, people with a gambling addiction can’t “say no to a bet?.”


Gamblers can have a problem, however, without being totally out of control. Problem Gambling is any gambling behaviour that disrupts your own or someone else’s life. If you’re preoccupied with gambling, spending more and more time and money on it, chasing losses, or gambling despite serious consequences, you have a gambling problem.


Treatment for Problem Gambling


Every gambler is unique and requires a recovery program tailored specifically to him or her. What works for one gambler won’t necessarily work for another. The biggest step towards treatment and recovery is realising you have a problem with gambling. It takes tremendous strength and courage to acknowledge this, especially if you have lost a lot of money and strained or broken relationships along the way. Don’t despair, and don’t try to go it alone. Many others have sought advice, and have been able to break the habit.


Overcoming a gambling addiction or problem is never easy.


“Recovery is possible, with the right help and support”

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