Addiction to gambling is a very real problem requiring a very real solution. Both men and women can suffer from problems with gambling and become addicted. Although gambling is currently more prevalent among men than women, this gap has narrowed significantly with the introduction of online gambling. Gambling addiction is described as an uncontrollable compulsion to gamble despite the negative consequences and it is the fastest growing addiction problem in the UK. There are very few differences between being addicted to gambling and suffering from drug or alcohol addiction – in both cases the addiction takes over the addict’s life and dictates all their actions.
If you are a compulsive gambler it is extremely difficult to stop gambling without becoming part of a gambling addiction treatment programme. Successful gambling addiction treatment options are designed to help addicts stop gambling and develop the skills and strategies needed for long term recovery.
The Negative Effects of Gambling Addiction
Sadly, there are many negative side effects to gambling addiction including financial problems, growing debt, legal trouble, employment problems, mental health issues, physical health problems like tachycardia and angina, relationship issues, marital trouble, domestic violence, substance abuse and social problems. In severe cases, gambling addiction can lead to suicidal thoughts and even suicide attempts.
Signs of a gambling problem or addiction
Gambling addiction does not have the physical signs that you typically associate with other forms of addiction and this makes it crucial for you to be able to spot potential behavioural warning signs. These include;
-A compulsion to gamble that is so great you will gamble away all your money and when you lose you will chase your losses to try and win back some of the money.
-Sneaking away to gamble and not telling your family, friends or work colleagues where you are going or what you are doing.
-Mastering the art of hiding your gambling from others and lying about your gambling activities.
-Gambling becoming the main focus and priority of your life, leading to financial and relationship problems.
-Spending money on gambling that you do not have or that you need for rent, your mortgage, groceries, credit card bills, car payments or household necessities. Ultimately you may even lose your home, car, job and other possessions to your addiction.
-A wide range of emotional and mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, anger, frustration, restlessness and insomnia.
-Suffering from a compulsion to gamble and not being able to stop gambling even though you know that it is doing irreparable harm to your family, relationships and financial wellbeing.
Gambling Rehab Assessment
There are many forms of gambling including, horse racing, greyhound racing, online gambling, Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, slots, bingo and casino table games. Before entering a gambling rehab treatment programme, you will need a rehab assessment. The assessment will help identify the extent and severity of your addiction to gambling so that you can find the best treatment programme for your condition. During the rehab assessment process, you will discuss the following issues;
-your gambling history,
-the type of gambling that you enjoy,
-your gambling patterns and frequency,
-the impact that gambling is having on your life and family,
-what gambling is costing you in financial terms,
-and any antisocial behaviour associated with your gambling.
Once you have completed the gambling rehab assessment process a qualified counsellor will be able to establish whether you will benefit most from counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, group therapy, Gamblers Anonymous or an intensive residential rehab programme.
Making the right choices about gambling rehab
After your gambling rehab assessment has been completed, you will need to make some decisions about your treatment options, and you will face some tough choices. If you have a severe gambling problem, you will need to be admitted to a residential gambling addiction treatment centre. This is a matter that you need to discuss with your family members as gambling rehab is intensive and will affect your life as well as theirs.
Your decision to enter a residential treatment programme will hopefully be the first step on your road to recovery. At Action Rehab we can assist you on that journey by doing a gambling rehab assessment, helping you find a suitable rehab facility that can treat gambling addiction and assisting you with admissions process in a supportive and confidential manner.
What to expect from gambling rehab
When you are admitted to a gambling rehab programme, the entire process will be clearly explained to you so that you understand what is going to happen and what to expect. You will meet your counselling team and begin the orientation process; you will be given a tour of the facility and introduced to the staff and other clients. Your entire programme will be explained to you, including the therapies, support groups, counselling sessions and other activities that will be part of your specific gambling rehab programme.
Gambling rehab can be extremely intense, and you may suffer from withdrawal symptoms during the detox phase of your treatment. You can expect to experience both physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms including;
-depression and anxiety
-feelings of sadness, helplessness and hopelessness
-a loss of interest in healthy activities and hobbies
-insomnia and changes in sleep patterns
Gambling Addiction Treatment Programmes
An intensive residential gambling rehab programme typically relies on counselling, support group work, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), group therapy and a range of other activities to ensure a holistic approach to treating your gambling addiction.
During therapy sessions the counsellors will analyse and discuss your gambling compulsion, exploring the underlying issues including low self-esteem, unhealthy relationships, anger management, compulsive behaviour, lack of self-control, drug or alcohol abuse, family dynamics and potential triggers. The programme will also focus on setting boundaries, managing your finances, relapse prevention and dealing with the consequences of your gambling addiction.
Gambling rehab has many benefits, most significantly the opportunity to break the cycle of addiction and get your life back on track. A gambling addiction treatment programme can help you save your family, financial future and career.
Once you have learnt to manage your gambling problem in rehab you will have the opportunity to focus on dealing with your financial problems, rebuilding damaged relationships and developing the skills that you need to remain gambling free in the long term. Once you leave the rehab facility, it is important to have a strong support network and attend regular support group sessions.
Call Action Rehab today for a gambling rehab assessment. It could be the first step on your road to recovery.
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