Gambling Addiction


Gambling is when people risk something of value (usually money) in an attempt to predict the outcome of a game or event that involves chance. It can be as simple as betting with friends on a sports game or buying lottery tickets. However, when people start betting more than they can afford to lose and find themselves chasing their losses it is considered to be gambling addiction. Gambling addiction is not just about money, it is often used as a form of escapism and a source of thrill as well as a way to meet some basic needs.

Most people who gamble do so socially and for fun, but there is a small percentage of the population that develops an underlying problem. This is known as pathological gambling and it has become increasingly recognised in the medical community. It is now a recognized mental health disorder in the DSM-IV and is a leading cause of suicide.

Problem gambling can affect a person’s emotional, physical and financial health. It can also have a negative impact on relationships with family members and colleagues. People who have a gambling problem may not be able to control their impulses and may feel the need to hide their gambling habits. They may even lie to family and friends about how much they are spending on gambling or how much they have won.

There are many ways that a person can help to stop gambling addiction, such as attending group therapy, marriage or family counselling and credit counseling. Medications can also be used to help control urges and improve motivation. However, the best way to stop gambling is to make a conscious decision not to gamble and to stick to it. It is important to set a budget for gambling, and to only gamble with that amount. It is also useful to stop gambling when you win, and never chase your losses by putting more money on the table in an attempt to recoup what you have lost.

People who have a gambling problem should also learn to relieve unpleasant feelings in healthier ways, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, and taking up new hobbies. It is also important to avoid gambling while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In addition, it is a good idea to always tip casino dealers and cocktail waitresses in cash or chips, rather than just leaving a tip on the bill. The casino industry is a lucrative business and the tips that customers leave are vital to the casino’s bottom line. The casinos also do not want to encourage people to gamble while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The use of alcohol and drugs will result in higher gambling losses and a greater likelihood of a negative outcome from the game.