Gambling Addiction Treatment Options

Gambling Addiction Treatment Options

January 11, 2017

Problem gambling is an issue that affects millions of people all over the United States each year. Problem gambling is an equal opportunity condition; it knows no race, color, or creed. Truth is, gambling addicts come from all walks of life.

Among all addictions, gambling is most unique. It is a process addiction, meaning that there is no outside chemical being consumed or taken into the body. Gambling becomes a problem when it begins to negatively interfere with jobs, relationships, self-esteem or any area of one’s life. Often times, people become consumed by their gambling and begin doing things they never thought they would do in order to fuel the addiction.

While no two problem gamblers are the same, there are some tried and true ways in how the treatment and recovery community can help problem gamblers.

If you are wondering what type of treatment options are available to gamblers, we are here to fill you in.

The most common treatment option is often the most ill advised. Many people who suffer from addiction reject the idea of getting professional help. Instead they try to find their own solutions, often relying on “will power.” All too often people only turn to professional help when they hit rock bottom, a phrase often used in the addiction arena to describe a person’s lowest point.

One of the most common forms of treatment are self-help options. Groups like Gambler’s Anonymous provide people the support and structure needed to begin the road to recovery. Self-help groups often meet once a week and provide much needed structure and support to members. Self-help groups are found to be just as helpful as individual counseling in many outcome studies.  Being connected to other individuals and leaning on each other for support is an important part of the recovery process.

Although self-help options are viable, more gambling addicts would certainly benefit from entering counseling with a certified treatment professional. Because debt is such a big factor in the gambling equation, most problem gamblers don’t have the funds necessary to take advantage of counseling. Luckily, the FCCG’s Recovery Path Treatment Program offers free counseling to callers who contact the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine.

Mindfulness is another intervention that people often use to gain control of their gambling. Mindfulness is often a misunderstood mental health intervention that has a wide array of useful applications, especially for gamblers.

These are just a few of the many options problem gamblers have available to them. For more information on how to get help and what programs are available, call the FCCG HelpLine, 888-ADMIT-IT or visit the website at www.gamblinghelp.org.

 

About the Author

Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling