With the increasing popularity of online gambling, gambling addiction is gathering alarming scope. The problem with this addiction is the way it presents itself in forms of several behavioral dysfunctions when not treated properly.
Professional help and gambling addiction treatment options like gamblers anonymous program are available for addicts. The only way to protect your loved ones whether it’s your gambling addiction teen or adult is by being aware of the facts surrounding the addiction. Here is some information that may be valuable.
What is Gambling Addiction?
This form of addiction also includes the condition known as compulsive or pathological gambling but it is not limited to the same. Compulsive gambling increases the addicts’ preoccupation with gambling and creates an uncontrollable urge to engage in gambling despite the negative effects it might have in their lives. Addicts continue to chase best in spite of continuous loss, lie, cheat or even steal to support the habit of gambling.
A recent research reveals that in America, approximately 2.5 million adults suffer from compulsive gambling, about 3 million are considered problem gamblers, around 15 million adults are under the risk of becoming problem gamblers and 148 million fall under the low risk gambler category. Gambling becomes a compulsive need that could be devastating not only to the addict but also to his/her family.
Gambling addiction index shows that 80 percent and above of the nation’s adults have engaged in gambling at least once in their lives.
It also reveals that more than $500 billion is spent annually on wagers. According to statistics, in any given year, at least 2.9 percent of the adult population falls under either problem gamblers or pathological gamblers category. Reports of studies conducted on co-occurrence of gambling and alcohol show that problem drinkers are at increased risk of developing addiction to gambling. This addiction is more common among Caucasian Americans in comparison to Hispanic Americans or African Americans.
For an addict, compulsive gambling cannot be viewed as a problem, but it is the addict’s perspective of solving some other underlying problem of a serious nature. Gambling cannot be blamed for an addiction because if it’s the case, then the addict will have to focus solely on treatment rather than personality change. Addiction largely is associated with other problems like mood disorder, anti-social personality disorder and depression. A majority of gambling addicts also have problems of drug and alcohol abuse. Ongoing researches are trying to ascertain the exact causes of compulsive gambling.
Help for Addicts
You can find gambling addiction help at the Gamblers Anonymous Assembly, a help group for gamblers begun in the year 1949 in West Coast. Jim W and Sam J in 1957 found what is now known as Gamblers Anonymous to render support to people who need help in recovering from gambling addiction. In the year 1972, The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) was established.
The first ever treatment program for pathological gamblers was started by Robert Custer, M.D. Edited by Henry Lesieur, Ph.D., in 1985 a journal for gambling named as “Journal of Gambling Behavior” was published. Gamblers Anonymous members can obtain extensive help from the association. There are various chapters of this support system and addiction help centre, established with an intention to help addicts all over the United States. Should you need assistance in diagnosis and treatment, Gamblers Anonymous offers that as well.
Putting an End to the Habit
Although progressive in nature, gambling addiction definitely can be deterred. People affected by this addiction, consider themselves weak in the area of morality.
The only solution for people to recover is to accept their weakness and have a strong desire to let go of the habit.
There are many who go through frightening experiences prior to accepting that fact that they need help.
Studies conducted in this areas show that a compulsive gambler can never be a normal gambler again and the old habit of obsession returns. So the only solution is to put an end to this habit gradually.
For a gambling addiction patient, treatments are available in the form of medications and psychotherapy just like a drug rehab center would work. Therapies dealing with cognitive behavior work well by instilling positive beliefs and eliminating the negative ones. Group support and activities involved in the same serve as a medium for advice, discussion and feedback.
Medications provided for addiction are usually anti-depressants. It is important that you explore various options of treatment available for gambling addiction and choose the one most suitable keeping in mind factors like severity of the problem, age of the addict among other things.