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Compulsive Gambling: Treatment and Recovery

 In Addiction, Addiction Recovery, Mental Health, Recovery

Gambling is an addiction where an individual compulsively bets on an item or items of value to gain something of greater value. It is highly addictive because it stimulates the reward system in the brain. Some statistics show that gambling addiction is the most common impulse control disorder worldwide. A gambling addiction can be damaging not only to the addict’s wallet, but it can have negative consequences on the addict both emotionally and physically. If you are battling an excessive gambling addiction, treatment programs are available to help you overcome compulsive gambling. Residential treatment centers are out there, with the primary focus of helping with your gambling addiction recovery. 

Signs and Effects of a Gambling Addiction

Common signs of gambling disorders include:

  • Obsessive preoccupation with gambling or an obsessive-compulsive disorder diagnosis
  • Lack of control 
  • Irritable when unable to gamble
  • Using gambling to escape problems
  • Gambling more to gain back lost money 
  • Jeopardizing essential relationships for the sake of gambling 
  • Resorting to theft or fraud for gambling money 
  • Frequent urge to gamble

Effects of gambling may include the following:

  • Massive amounts of debt
  • Lost jobs
  • Financial stress
  • Ulcers
  • Stomach problems
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Drug abuse or drug addictions 
  • Alcohol abuse 
  • Marijuana addiction 

If you are compulsively gambling, recovery is a possibility. Reach out for help, and start your journey to being free of addiction. 

Types of Treatment for Pathological Gambling 

There are multiple options for gambling addiction treatment. If you feel your gambling addiction is severe, an inpatient rehabilitation center may be most beneficial to get you back on track. At these centers, you can focus on recovery without the distraction of the outside world. The fully trained staff helps you learn coping skills, life skills, and healthy alternatives to gambling to help you avoid gambling once back on your own. Some of the other gambling treatment options include:

  • Outpatient rehab
  • Behavioral therapy 
  • Family therapy 
  • Pharmacological and psychosocial treatment
  • Support groups
  • Intensive outpatient program
  • Relapse prevention program
  • 12step programs
  • Substance abuse treatment 

If you or a loved one is struggling with addictive behaviors like gambling, talk to a trusted behavioral health professional and see what your next steps are in the process for addiction recovery.

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