Gambling Addiction

Problem gambling has both financial and emotional consequences. It becomes a problem when you cannot control your urges to gamble. It can negatively affect any area of your life, including relationships, finances, and social standing. Therapy can help to treat gambling addiction by changing your thinking patterns about gambling. Behavior therapy can reduce the urges to gamble, while cognitive behavioural therapy focuses on changing the way you think about gambling. The goal of both forms of therapy is to reduce the person’s compulsive urge to gamble.

Problem gambling is a social activity

Gambling is widely available in society, and advertisements often make it look like a fun way to make money. Online gambling is especially attractive to teens as it is social in nature and offers the potential for large wins. Teens may think that if they win a lot on ‘practice mode’, they can continue their winning streak once they start playing with real money. However, problem gamblers usually had a significant ‘win’ early in their gambling history.

It is a form of addiction

The National Council on Problem Gambling estimates that about 5 million Americans meet the criteria of compulsive gambling. However, only about 8 percent of these individuals seek professional treatment. The good news is that gambling addiction can be treated once it has been diagnosed. Inpatient treatment programs may be a good option if the gambling addict is unable to avoid the gambling venues. Outpatient rehab programs are also available. These programs may include individual, family, and group sessions, as well as cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic treatments.

It is not equally harmful

While gambling has long been associated with harm, it is also associated with many social costs, a fact that has prompted the alcohol, tobacco, and gambling industries to delay effective action. These costs can negatively impact individual, familial, and societal resilience. A third element to address is balance. While both industry and government argue that harm prevention is more important, both sides have a point. The precautionary principle encourages policymakers to act on evidence that is as robust as possible.

It may be related to drugs or alcohol

Signs of addiction to alcohol and drugs can be different in different people, but the basic symptoms can be the same. These include red eyes, persistent cough, and changes in eating and sleeping habits. People who use drugs or alcohol are more likely to drive while intoxicated or to commit suicide. They can have relationship problems and have custody issues as a result of their addiction. The effects of drug or alcohol use can be detrimental to a person’s performance at work and at school, as well as their personal life. Further, these people are more likely to engage in criminal activities and have more problems at work, school, and home.

It can lead to thoughts of suicide

According to the gambling charity, GambleAware, problem gamblers are six to 15 times more likely to have thoughts of suicide. This elevated risk remains even after taking into account other factors that may contribute to suicidal thoughts, including depression, substance abuse and financial difficulties. The research, however, does not prove that gambling is a direct cause of suicidal thoughts. Rather, it suggests that there are several factors that may be at play, including family and social circumstances, which can contribute to suicidal thoughts.

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