How to Overcome a Gambling Addiction


Gambling is a form of entertainment that involves wagering something of value on an event with the chance of winning a prize. It is a form of addiction that can have psychological, personal, family, social, and professional impacts. Some people are able to gamble casually without becoming addicted. These individuals are referred to as social gamblers. However, others find it difficult to stop gambling even when they are losing money or causing problems in other areas of their lives. This type of gambling is called compulsive gambling or problem gambling.

Unlike a drug or alcohol addiction, there are no medically recognized cures for gambling addiction. However, treatment options are available to help individuals overcome the habit and regain control of their lives. Some of these treatments include behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Behavior therapy helps individuals change the way they think about gambling and how it affects their life, while CBT provides tools to cope with cravings and relapse.

Many individuals who are struggling with a gambling addiction also struggle with another substance or behavioral addiction. In some cases, the underlying cause of gambling addiction is a mental health disorder, such as anxiety or depression. In other cases, the person may have a predisposition to gambling addiction due to genetics or the use of certain medications. The use of some prescription medications has been linked to a higher risk of developing a gambling addiction.

The majority of studies on the impact of gambling have focused on monetary impacts, including labor and financial costs. These studies have ignored other social, community, and family/personal level impacts. The social and family/personal level impacts have been difficult to quantify and measure, but are just as real and important as monetary impacts. These impacts can have long-term effects that linger beyond the individual gambler, affecting his or her children and even future generations.

In order to overcome a gambling addiction, it is important to identify the people, places, and things that trigger gambling urges in you. This could include a group of friends who frequently visit a particular gambling venue or driving past a casino on your commute to work. It is also a good idea to spend more time with friends who don’t gamble or to find new ways to socialize that do not involve visiting casinos or online gambling sites.

Lastly, be sure to pay all of your bills and other expenses as soon as you get paid each week and to leave credit cards and other forms of debt at home when going out for gambling. If you are battling a gambling addiction, consider joining a support group such as Gamblers Anonymous, which follows a 12-step program similar to Alcoholics Anonymous. Finding a sponsor who is a former gambler who has successfully remained free from gambling can provide invaluable guidance and support as you begin to overcome your addiction. Also, if you are prone to gambling, try to avoid going out to restaurants or bars that offer gambling services.