Compulsive gambling is a difficult and growing addiction in our society. It requires specific knowledge in treatment not available from other addiction therapies. Compulsive gambling is an urge or addiction to gamble despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop. A preferred term among many professionals is problem gambling, as few people described by the term experience true compulsions in the clinical sense of the word.
Gamblers can have a problem, however, without being totally out of control. Long before an addiction has fully developed, gambling can have a negative impact. Gamblers Anonymous is a worldwide association of other problem gamblers devoted to helping themselves, and others towards solving their gambling problem. Gamblers can find the real thrill in their hometowns these days.
Support groups tailored to the patient’s particular life situation will enhance the patient’s ability to make friends who are in a similar situation and decrease their dependence upon on-line cohorts. If a patient leads one of the above mentioned “lonely lifestyles” then perhaps the patient may join a local interpersonal growth group, a singles group, ceramics class, a bowling league, or church group to help meet new people. Support groups often require you to follow very strict rules and regulations. They also require very long, sometimes lifelong, commitments to attendance and participation.
Financial issues become a way of life for the problem gambler. Official government figures indicate the average gambling debt was over $23,000. Financial Management is one of the most difficult areas in life. Most of us, especially myself, need help to get it right.
Remember we are human – Every person who struggles with the demon of gambling addiction must remember we are only human, and we will struggle and fall on our face at times. However, every day we go without gambling, some of the temptations will fade away. Remember 90% of patients that work our program stay clean and sober.