How To Stop Gambling
It is therefore thought that people who engage in breaking laws in the year before treatment begins need more intensive treatment for a longer period of time, sometimes even requiring inpatient or residential treatment, often referred to as rehab. Another important fact to consider in treatment for a gambling addiction is that up to 70% of people with this disorder also have another psychiatric problem. Therefore, it is not enough to just treat the gambling problem but any coexisting mental-health condition should be addressed as well in order to give the person with a gambling addiction his or her best chance for recovery from both conditions.
But for others, the consistent need to bet irresponsible amounts in hopes of winning money can lead to, or be a symptom of, gambling addiction, a condition that negatively impacts people’s lives. With the right treatment, it is possible to prevent a gambling addiction from escalating to this stage. Although it can be difficult for sufferers to admit to their problem and seek help, those who do have a good chance of regaining control of their lives. Gambling is an activity where people take part in a game by placing something of monetary value at risk in order to win money or a prize. There are many different forms of gambling – from scratch cards, lotteries and bingo, to betting on sports or events or playing casino games and arcade machines. It is estimated that over seven billion pounds a year is spent on these activities.
People with a gambling addiction will be under a lot of stress – constantly worrying about money – and may experience depression and anxiety. They may also face difficulties in their working life and relationships. Despite this, unlike other addictions such as alcohol or drug addiction, people who compulsively gamble will not have easily visible physical effects.
Based on recent research, medications such as antidepressants and mood stabilizers may help. SSRIs show positive results by decreasing cravings and helping in abstinence Lithium carbonate and clomipramine have also been used to decrease cravings in such patients. Carbamazepine, which is an anticonvulsant, has been used as a mood stabilizer and for treating this addiction. Several other psychodynamic or psychoanalytic therapies are utilized, which help the gambler recognize the underlying source of his distress and confront it.
But, with the right treatment, recovery and finding alternative means of dealing with these urges is possible. In many cases, it is the compulsive gambler themselves that will notice the signs of gambling addiction, but many will attempt to ignore them despite knowing their habit is unhealthy and not sustainable. Others, however, may be completely unaware that their gambling has escalated until they are hit with a financial crisis that makes them consider the consequences and severity of their habit. The Gambling Disorder Help-line, facilitated by HMSA, is strictly confidential. Counselors provide immediate help to address issues related to gambling disorder, including screening services and referrals to treatment or support groups.
If you’re looking for help educating a young person about gambling, or need educational materials for a class or youth group, the Fast Forward Gambling Education Hub has a number of useful resources. There’s also support available if you have a loved one with a gambling problem. Talk to friends and family about your situation and your concerns, rather than ‘bottling up’ your feelings.