Gambling is exciting for many people, but it is also potentially addictive. Sadly, some players lose control of their own behaviour. Compulsive betting ruins lives. If you suspect that your friend or family member may have a problem, here is what to do.
How to Tell There Is a Problem
The causes of compulsive gambling are still vague. Many factors may be to blame, from genes to the environment. If someone close to you always visits the website about online games, gambling or betting — this means he or she is addicted. In addition, a problem gambler:
- spends more money on bets than they can afford;
- is preoccupied with gambling;
- has difficulties in personal relationships and problems at work because of it;
- cannot cut back or stop it;
- spends more time in casinos than before;
- tries to hide gambling from others;
- asking for loans to cover the debts.
Steps You Can Take
Gambling addiction requires help from experts. Remember that the person may not be ready for a change. Express support and seek professional help. Here are a few tips to help you.
1. Talk to the Problem Gambler
Asking the person about their gambling is the first step. Make sure you do this in a non-confrontational manner. You may not get a straight answer, but the reaction will be telling. Remember that to get an honest reply, you should be honest yourself.
Let them know you are worried because you suspect a problem. You need to sound supportive and concerned. At all costs, avoid being judgmental, aggressive, or deceptive. Focus on your feelings and observations.
Some problem gamblers feel relieved when the subject is brought up because they really want to discuss it. Others do not want to talk out of shame. Even if the person lies, you can still say that you care about them and give information on where to get help.
2. Help Them Cope
Getting rid of addiction is difficult because gambling is everywhere. With so many websites and apps, it is literally at our fingertips. Having a sponsor or a designated person is helpful.
The problem gambler should understand that even a single bet may trigger a relapse. They should consciously avoid any people and situations encouraging this behaviour. Your loved one must feel that asking for help is perfectly normal.
3. Find Treatment
- medication and
- support groups.
Call the gambling addiction hotline in your area for assistance. Today, facilities offer inpatient and outpatient care. There are three main options:
Note that treatment that works for one patient may be ineffective for someone else, so professional evaluation is crucial. Not only the problem gambler, but their friends and family members may also receive therapy to cope with the stress.