Many people think that because it doesn’t involve drugs or alcohol that gambling addiction is somehow less harmful that other, similar psychological conditions.
While it is true that one can’t “overdose” on gambling, compulsive gambling still carries with it many risks to the well being of the individual and his or her family. Before understanding the dangers of this compulsion, it is important to know the actual definition of gambling addiction.
What is Gambling Addiction?
Gambling addiction is classified as being unable to stop gambling activity despite a clear understanding of the damage it is causing. Like alcoholics who cannot simply have one drink, gambling addicts are unable to play a couple hands of blackjack and simply walk away from the table. They will not likely stop playing until they have lost all the money at their disposal. There is gambling addiction help available, so there is hope.
The Financial Dangers
The chief problem associated with gambling addiction relates to an individual’s finances. Men and women will run through all of their savings in order to keep playing. They may become so consumed with gambling that they lose their jobs – thus destroying their family’s primary source of income.
It is not uncommon for gambling addicts to borrow money from friends and family members. They may even steal or turn to other criminal activity in order to support their habit. This is one major gambling addiction sign
you may see in a loved one.
Many people lose much more than their money when they become addicted to gambling. Relationships are often lost as well. Gambling compulsively usually involves lying to one’s spouse or significant other about money, jobs or one’s whereabouts. When this trust is damaged it is very difficult to repair. That is one reason why family and spousal therapy is such an important part of gambling addiction rehab. The sessions are where healing begins – and it often takes a professional to help things improve.
Many people might think that there are no health risks associated with gambling addiction. Although there not as many medical problems as found in alcohol and drug addicts, individuals can still experience high levels of stress as a result of gambling or gambling debts. This stress can lead to heart problems, high blood pressure and other serious health issues.
Getting Professional Help
Before any of these dangers impact the life of the gambling addict too severely, they will need to attend a professional treatment program. The fact is that most compulsive gamblers will not quit on their own accord, nor will they seek out treatment without the urging of loved ones. That means it is up to those who care to get the treatment process started, performing an intervention if necessary.
Once in gambling addiction treatment
, the individual will learn the root causes of their addiction. And since the behavior often occurs in response to some stress or environmental factor, they will discover how to respond to the triggers that bring about the compulsive behavior.
Gambling addiction treatment benefits may take time, patience is the key. The individual should plan on spending two months or more in rehab – giving them a chance to see how life feels without gambling and begin to develop healthier alternatives to replace time previously spent engaged in this destructive behavior.