Gambling addiction is not a topic that comes up often, but when it does, it can devastate the lives of those afflicted. Casinos, arcades, and bookmakers are businesses built on luck, so how could you become addicted to the losing end of the game? The short answer is that gambling addiction starts with something enjoyable and builds from there-so what made you lose your way?
Have you ever had the urge to gamble but could not stop yourself? Have you ever put so much into winning but never won? Have you ever lost all your money and been left heartbroken? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, you may have a problem. Gambling addiction is a huge problem, and there are lots of ways you can help yourself.
Understand the Problem
Gambling addiction can be detrimental to your health, relationships, and finances, so it’s important to understand the problem fully if you’re concerned about yourself. Gambling addiction is medically considered a “behavioral addiction,” a type of addiction that does not involve the release of a chemical substance in the brain. Instead, most behavioral addictions involve psychological factors that create a compulsion to gamble even though you recognize that you may be spending more money than you should; that gambling is negatively affecting other aspects of your life; and that you don’t have to gamble to be entertained.
Join a Support Group
One in ten Americans struggles with gambling addiction. Unfortunately, it is hard to quit on your own, which is why gambling addiction support groups can be helpful. People who struggle with a gambling addiction may participate in a variety of support groups, ranging from Gamblers Anonymous (GA) to faith-based groups to online support groups. For gamblers struggling with addiction, joining a support group can be a powerful way to gain support, find accountability, and help others cope with their gambling addiction. Studies have shown that gamblers who join a support group experience lower relapse rates, an increased commitment to recovery, and higher levels of satisfaction with their treatment.
If you seriously want to stop gambling, avoid everything that connects to it. Just like the places where casinos are located, don’t drive near the road of any casino when you are from work. Get rid of the contact with the people who gamble and other things. Because even if you always say to yourself that you want to stop gambling, you always see that the temptation draws you back again and again to your addiction.
Getting rid of your gambling addiction is no easy task since the urge to gamble is extremely strong. Most gamblers feel the need to gamble to avoid their negative emotions, and gambling becomes an addiction when this behavior causes problems in other areas of life. In order to stop your gambling addiction, you have first to recognize the behavior. When the time that you recognize the behavior, it will be easy to postpone gambling.
Find Alternatives to Gambling
Gambling is an addiction that can cost you more money than you can afford to lose. For most people, gambling becomes a problem when they spend more money than they earn, run up debts, or gamble more than they can handle. If you’re ready to kick the habit, it’s important to find alternatives, so you aren’t tempted to start gambling again. There are many alternatives to gambling, including joining a support group, attending a counseling session, or taking part in a Bible study. Among these alternatives, Bible study could help you grow spiritually and calm your mind. Maybe you’ll develop an interest in devoutness in the future, and you’ll want to take Continuing Education for Clergy courses.
Seek Professional Help to treat gambling addiction
To kick a gambling addiction, it’s important to seek professional help. Gambling addiction is a very serious problem; according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 8.6 million Americans are struggling with addiction to gambling-but only 27 percent of those people receive treatment. Even those lucky enough to receive treatment might not get past a gambling habit since many gambling addictions require treatment beyond 12-step programs.
Symptoms of being addicted to gambling:
- There is no time for a break, and they are always irritated if you stop them from gambling
- Tried to stop, control, or reduce gambling but always failed
- Always making plans to gamble and thinking about it
- When distressed, gambling is the friend
- After losing money from gambling, they return to play another set
- There are many relationships or work problems that they experience because of gambling
- They can even depend on others to spend their money on gambling
Many people get addicted to gambling because it triggers:
- Job-related stress
- The presence of other addiction
- Traumatic circumstances
- Environmental factors, like friends or available opportunities
It is much easier to do the things that help you cope with and reduce your addiction, than ruin the rest of your life. Make your move now before you get addicted to gambling if you’re doing it. Take a break if you feel that you’re going to be addicted to it. There’s no harm in gambling on some fun games once a while, but don’t let it become your coping mechanism.