Gambling can be just as addictive as a drug. Because the person becomes addicted to a behaviour gambling is known as a process addiction rather than a substance addiction. The consequences of this addiction can be very severe. If you believe that a loved one is developing a gambling problem then please consider staging an intervention to place him/her into an appropriate gambling addiction treatment program.
Many gambling addicts will make failed attempts to stop before they finally seek help from a rehabilitation (rehab) clinic. This addiction is just as tricky to overcome as a substance addiction but attendance in an addiction treatment program will improve the chances of attaining long term recovery.
Action gamblers seek the excitement involved in risk-taking and get a rush from competing with other gamblers. They are more likely to abuse games of skill that offer them a sense of victory over somebody else and nourish the idea that it is their skill that helps them to win.
The other sort of gambler, the escape gambler, uses gambling as a way to tune out the problems of life. These gamblers prefer to play games that are repetitive, require little skill, and don’t require other people to be involved (e.g.: slot machines).
Being addicted to gambling may create physical and psychological problems. Maintaining the addiction and finding money to gamble is a very stressful endeavour that may cause hypertension. Seek a medical opinion if you have a gambling problem.
Gambling addiction can be treated in an addictions treatment center. The program will usually employ some form of cognitive-behavioural therapy along with a medical component to rule out complicating health concerns. The rehab will usually encourage the addict to start attending 12 step fellowship meetings such as Gamblers Anonymous.
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- National Responsible Gambling Hotline is a South African resource dedicated to helping gamblers by providing counselling and support.
- DSM-IV to DSM-5 Gambling Disorder Comparison Gambling now a recognised disorder in new DSM-5
- DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for Gambling Addiction
- National Council on Problem Gambling is an American non-profit agency that helps gamblers find treatment resources.
- National Academy Press: Pathological Gambling is an American study of pathological gambling.
- National Center for Responsible Gaming is an American national organization exclusively devoted to funding research that helps increase understanding of gambling disorder and youth gambling and find effective methods of treatment for the disorder.
- Gamblers Anonymous South Africa is a fellowship group based on the 12-step model for people with a gambling addiction.
- Pathological Gambling: A Critical Review (2003) is a comprehensive study of the effects and treatment of pathological gambling.
- National Gambling Impact Study Commission (1999) is an investigation into the social effects of the gambling industry.
- Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling is a non-profit health agency dedicated to reducing social, financial & emotional costs of a gambling disorder.
- National Opinion Research Center: Gambling Impact and Behavior Study (April 1999) is a study of how the gambling industry affects American society.
- Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming Established in 1989 as the first academically oriented program of its kind, the Institute has increased awareness about gambling and gaming issues.