What Is Gambling Addiction?

While it may seem self-explanatory, there is a bit of nuance to the description of addiction. Generally, it refers to when a habitual behavior is causing problems to the normal functionality of a person. This can happen whether or not the person in question is aware of the problems they are causing to themselves and others. There are multiple types of gambling addiction that range from compulsive gambling to binge gambling.

Warning Signs Of Gambling Addiction

You may notice some, all, or none of the below warning signs in someone you suspect to be suffering from gambling addiction. Please be mindful of them, especially if you notice them in yourself - gambling addiction can be a severely negative force in your life.

  • Continuing to gamble even if losses would be ruinous
  • Making wagers one cannot afford to lose
  • Chasing losses, looking to make up for gambling with more gambling
  • Emotional betting
  • Losing control of bankroll management
  • Breaking budgetary constraints placed on yourself
  • Reshuffling money to allow for more gambling

There are many signs of gambling addiction, and these are only some of them, but please be mindful of them, and other similar symptoms. In effect, the only question you need to ask is “does my gambling hurt myself or others”, but it’s hard to be honest with yourself about questions like that.

Gambling Addiction Resources

If you find that you might be suffering from a gambling addiction, there are plenty of resources to help you on your path to problem gambling recovery. Here are some that might be of use:

Gamblers Anonymous

Gamblers Anonymous is an organization founded similarly to Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. It relies on peer-group discussions and a 12 step program to help addicts recover. Gamblers Anonymous relies on slightly different terminology from most mainstream academic organizations, although those organizations do agree that group and peer sharing can be helpful to those navigating gambling addictions.

National Council On Problem Gambling

The National Council on Problem Gambling offers various resources for those who wish to reach out. They have a 24 hour confidential help line, along with the option to talk via text or web chat. They also provide other resources to compulsive and problem gamblers to help resolve their issues. The National Problem Gambling Helpline is 1-800-522-4700, and you can call to receive a referral throughout the United States.

How To Help With A Gambling Addiction

This page is not only for the use of those who worry that they themselves have a gambling addiction, but also for those who worry about their friends who may struggle with responsible gambling as well. The resources above can be helpful to those who are worried, and it is important to remember that it takes an educated professional to diagnose gambling addiction. Still, in cases wh ere worry takes hold, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

It’s important to remember not to enable the addiction, but to help the person. In order to help the person, you should focus on not being judgmental about their problem, but instead constructively working to solve it. At the same time, it is important to not allow their addiction to walk all over you. This is a tough line to walk, and because of this, educating yourself on the situation is a good goal to have.

One resource that could be useful is the National Council On Problem Gambling. This organization seeks to help gamblers with their issues, and it can help to provide context for what a person with a gambling addiction is going through. The National Problem Gambling Helpline number is 1-800-522-4700.