Guide on Problem Gambling Signs, Help and Treatment

Gambling, like any form of entertainment, it meant to be fun and recreational. Like anything else however, too much of a good thing can easily become a bad thing. Statistically, most gamblers gamble within their means (i.e., only with money that they have to lose) and enjoy gambling in the same way as they enjoy shopping, going to the movies, eating out at a nice restaurant, etc. A small percentage take gambling to the extreme, in the same way that compulsive shoppers take shopping to the extreme. From one moment to the next, casual/recreation gambling can turn into addictive gambling, a serious problem.

 


Crossing over that line is not something that most people have to worry about. However, those that indeed to have a problem should become more aware of it and learn how to get help. Serious gambling problems can lead to very harsh consequences and most problem gamblers don't realize that their habits are destructive until it's too late. Even people who feel that they have a lot of self-control can slip into problem gambling habits. Some say it's genetic (in the same way that any other addiction is) but that doesn't mean that regardless of your background, that you can't keep your gambling in check.


Keeping an Eye on Family and Friends


Knowing your own gambling habits is important and if you're already on this page reading about problem gambling then most likely you're a responsible gambler. However, not everyone is so aware of his or her gambling issues and they're not interested in seeking out help. As a responsible friend or family member, it's important to keep an eye out for those around you. Below are a list of potential signs to look out for that might signal problem gambling:


1. Gambling is taking up too much of your time. If gambling is taking priority over other important things in your life (especially family and work responsibilities) then your gambling could be problematic.
2. You're gambling with money you don't have.
3. You're gambling to pay off debts.
4. You're gambling under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
5. When you start gambling and you lose money you feel a compulsive urge to play to win it back, an urge that you can't control.


If you or someone you know can identify with even one of those items then it's time to seek out help. The good news is that there are many great organizations that allow you to seek out free help anonymously.

Helpful Links


United States:
www.gamblersanonymous.org
www.ncpgambling.org

United Kingdom:
www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk
www.gamcare.org.uk

Canada:
www.responsiblegambling.org
www.problemgambling.ca

Australia:
www.gansw.org.au
www.problemgambling.gov.au

Germany:
www.anonyme-spieler.org
www.spielen-mit-verantwortung.de

 




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