Many people gamble for entertainment, unaware that this entertainment can quickly become an obsession that can destroy your life. Gambling can reap havoc in your life. If you or someone you know has a gambling addiction there is help available in the form of gambling addiction counseling.
Identifying the Need to Seek Gambling Addiction Counseling
When the impulse to gamble cannot be controlled, even when the gambler knows that their actions are harmful to themselves, their families and their loved ones it is known as compulsive gambling. The need to gamble takes over their life, no matter the consequences they will gamble because it is all they can think about. These people gamble even when the odds are stacked against them and they have no chance to win. Whether they can afford it or not, they are not able to withstand placing the bet.
If gambling is disrupting your life and changing you in such ways that you are always preoccupied with gambling, the money you spend on bets is steadily increasing, you are betting despite the many serious consequences, hiding your gambling from those your care about, chasing your losses and doing things you never would otherwise do to finance your gambling, then you have a problem. You should seek gambling addiction counseling.
Where to Find Gambling Addiction Counseling
The National Council on Problem Gambling has a confidential hotline you can call, 1-800-522-4700. This hotline offers advice and treatment referrals.
Another option for treatment is Gamblers Anonymous. This type of treatment follows the same principles as that of Alcoholics Anonymous, using a 12 step program, sponsors and meetings. The website for Gamblers anonymous is www.gamblersanonymous.org and the toll free number is 1-888-GA-HELPS (1-888-424-3577). There are no fees for Gamblers Anonymous. They also offer Gam-Anon to help those affected by an addicted gambler.
There are other treatments for gambling addiction counseling available such as cognitive behavior therapy. The focus of this type therapy is to change the way the addicted gambler behaves and thinks about gambling. It offers training in techniques to help fight the urge to gamble. Therapy can help in finding underlying causes that lead to gambling and help with the problems gambling has caused.
Gambling Addiction Recovery
Overcoming the addiction for gambling is like overcoming any addiction, is not easy. It takes time and commitment. You cannot force anyone to change if they do not want to change. The first step in recovering is admitting that there is a problem.
Once the problem is admitted and treatment has begun there is still a long road ahead. Changes in lifestyle may be implemented to maintain recovery. Enlist the support of family and friends to whom you can be accountable, you may need to give up control of your finances while you gain control of your problem, avoid environments that increase temptation and explore other activities that you enjoy to replace gambling in your life.