Gambling addiction, often termed “problem gambling” or “compulsive gambling,” is an uncontrollable urge to gamble despite negative consequences or a desire to stop. Similar to substance abuse, gambling can be so compelling that individuals continue to chase bets that lead to losses, hide their behavior, deplete their savings, accumulate debt, or even resort to theft or fraud to support their addiction. It can be a devastating addiction that can lead to derailed futures and ruined relationships.
Who Suffers From Gambling Addiction?
According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, “2 million U.S. adults (1%) are estimated to meet the criteria for severe gambling problems in a given year.”
Gambling addiction is not restricted to any age, gender, or socioeconomic class. While some people might be more predisposed to a gambling addiction due to personal or family history, anyone who gambles can fall prey to the compulsion. Often, the individual’s friends, family, and loved ones suffer too, by witnessing the deterioration of their loved one and facing financial and emotional challenges.
Signs of Gambling Addiction
According to the Mayo Clinic, some signs that you or a loved one may have a gambling addiction include:
“Being preoccupied with gambling, such as constantly planning gambling activities and how to get more gambling money
Needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money to get the same thrill
Trying to control, cut back or stop gambling, without success
Feeling restless or irritable when you try to cut down on gambling
Gambling to escape problems or relieve feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety or depression
Trying to get back lost money by gambling more (chasing losses)
Lying to family members or others to hide the extent of your gambling
Risking or losing important relationships, a job, or school or work opportunities because of gambling
Asking others to bail you out of financial trouble because you gambled money away.”
The Rise in Gambling Addiction With Online Sports Betting
The behavioral health industry has seen a rise in gambling addiction admissions with online sports betting. With its ease of access, convenience, and allure of “quick wins” on online platforms, sports betting is becoming increasingly attractive to both seasoned and new gamblers. With just a few clicks, bets can be placed without the physical presence at a betting location, making it harder to monitor and control.
Risks & Treatment Options for Gambling Addiction
Gambling is an emotionally-based issue with financial consequences. The risks go beyond financial distress—they can include severe mental health problems, relationship breakdowns, and even legal issues. If you or a loved one has a gambling problem that’s impacting their mental health or finances, it’s essential to consult a professional to determine the best approach.
How To Treat Gambling Addiction
Treatment starts with recognizing the problem. Once identified, it may be necessary to seek professional treatment. There are several approaches a treatment center may take, including:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This helps individuals recognize and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to their addiction.
Medication: Some drugs can reduce the urge to gamble and alleviate symptoms of depression or anxiety that might trigger a gambling spree.
Self-help Groups: Groups like Gamblers Anonymous offer a support network that can be extremely helpful.
Counseling: Personal or family counseling can address underlying issues that might contribute to gambling addiction.
How Restore Can Help
Restore Detox Centers in Poway, California near San Diego, offers compassionate and professional residential treatment and outpatient programs based on the principles of 12-step recovery. We are accredited by The Joint Commission and fully equipped to address any situation with care and expertise. Most importantly, we believe wholeheartedly in what we do and we live to see our clients recover and heal.
At Restore Detox Centers, residents experience:
- Heated pool overlooking the valley with distant ocean view
- Full service outdoor kitchen and recreation area
- Chef prepared meals
- Upscale Accommodations
- Exceptional clinical and support staff
- Private Medical transport
- Forty minute drive from San Diego International Airport
- Private bathroom for each room
- Transportation to and from our location
- Secluded four acre estate for privacy
- Twenty-four hour intake and care
If you’re ready to take the next step toward a life free from gambling addiction, reach out to us today. Our admissions team is here to make your transition into treatment smooth and easy, so you can focus on what matters: your recovery.