How to Overcome a Gambling Addiction
Gambling is becoming more commonplace and accepted, and is more accessible than ever before. Nearly four out of five adults have gambled at least once in their lives. Every state has some type of legalized gambling, and you can even gamble from home with the help of an internet connection and a mobile phone. However, there is a serious downside to gambling. Some estimates suggest that around two million people in the U.S. are addicted to it, and an additional 20 million people are affected by gambling problems.
It’s very important to take control of your gambling habits. Gambling causes feelings of excitement, euphoria, and even guilt. The problem with gambling is that the odds are against you. Therefore, gambling should only be an occasional treat, not a source of income. In Canada, the Responsible Gambling Council promotes safer gambling practices and advances responsible gambling standards. By taking a stand against gambling, you can change your life and the lives of others.
In order to overcome a gambling addiction, problem gamblers must make a permanent commitment to quit. Since gambling is now available on the internet, anyone with a computer has access to it. People who want to break their addiction need to surround themselves with accountability and seek out healthier ways to spend their time. Gambling addiction treatment will include therapy that can help you develop new habits. Aside from therapy, you may also want to consider joining a gambling support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous. This 12-step program is modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous, but you’ll need to have a sponsor – someone who has been in the same situation as you are.
The psychiatric community has changed its understanding of gambling. While it used to be classified as a compulsion, today it is considered a psychological disorder primarily motivated by a craving for intense pleasure. The American Psychiatric Association, for example, classified gambling as an impulse-control disorder in the 1980s. It is now grouped with addictions, including alcoholism, kleptomania, pyromania, and trichotillomania.
While the stigma surrounding gambling addiction was a taboo ten years ago, it is now widely accepted that it can be a real disease. The problem is that most people who become addicted to gambling never seek treatment and return to the gaming hall. In the United States, however, casinos are finally taking it seriously and training employees to be more aware of the problem. Casinos can now offer a ban option to problem gamblers and prominently display the brochures of Gamblers Anonymous.
There are many different reasons why people engage in gambling. It can relieve stress, stimulate social interaction, or even be a way to relieve the pressure of daily life. Gambling can also be an intellectual challenge. The possibility of winning millions of dollars is appealing enough to a person who would otherwise not gamble. When millions of dollars are at stake, even those who do not normally gamble will buy a lottery ticket or gamble on a high-stakes game.