Based on recent research, there are currently 2.5 million Americans who have a gambling addiction and an additional three million are considered to be problem gamblers.
A gambling addiction is a compulsion and the end result can be devastating for the gambler as well as their family. More than 80 percent of the population in the United States has reported gambling at some point and studies have revealed that $500 billion is spent annually on wagers. Gambling addictions can lead to other serious effects, including loss of jobs, failed relationships and severe debt.
- Gambling addictions are often associated with mental health problems, including depression, mood disorders and anti-social personality disorders.
- There is treatment available for gambling addicts.
- Treatment has been successful in helping more than 80 percent of gambling addicts.
When discussing a gambling addiction, it is important for people to realize it causes social and economic effects. The National Gambling Impact Study Commission conducts studies on a regular basis to determine the cost to society for gambling addicts. You can get gambling addiction help here.
Studies have shown that more than $5 billion has been lost each year to gambling addictions. In addition, $40 billion has been spent on social services and creditor losses. These studies go on to state that two out of three gambling addicts will engage in illegal acts to pay for their gambling debts. The effect is that the addiction places a severe hardship on prison systems, public assistance programs and legal systems. There are many consequences of gambling addictions that result in economic costs.
Some gambling addiction dangers
- Increased rates of unemployment
- Fraud and check forgery
- Forced home sales
- Increased alcohol and drug abuse
- Poor mental and physical health of the addict
While the addict will definitely suffer, the family also faces challenges when there is a gambling addiction.
Family members suffer physical and psychological abuse. More than 85 percent of families with a gambling addict have reported receiving threats from creditors and bill collectors.
There is also an increased rate of divorce. In the United States, 65 percent of couples that consist of one spouse with a gambling addiction, end up divorced. There is also an extreme amount of stress placed on the family to repay debts and bills that the addict has accumulated as a result of gambling. Research has shown that three out of five gambling addicts have a family with children.
The children also suffer the effects of the addiction in many ways, including:
- Experiencing physical and emotional abandonment.
- Children of gambling addicts are commonly left in cars while their parent gambles. This causes the child to miss out on the nurturing they should be receiving.
- Children of gambling addicts are often verbally, physically and mentally abused by the person with the addiction.
- Children of gambling addicts have a very high chance of developing a gambling addiction later in life. Out of the people who have a gambling addiction, more than half have stated that their parents were also addicts..
When a person is a compulsive gambler or an addict, the effects are devastating immediately. A large number of addicts will use credit cards and debit cards to pay for their addiction or internet gambling addiction. The result places them in debt to the point of losing homes, jobs, vehicles and even their families.
There are many ways in which a gambling addiction can have an effect on people.
- Family problems are very common. Almost 90 percent of gambling addicts around the world have issues at home with their family because of their addiction.
- Financial devastation is unavoidable. People with a gambling addiction will go to extreme measures to get money to gamble. More than one-third of people with this addiction have stolen to support it.
- Job loss is very high among gambling addicts. These people tend to miss many days at work, causing problems and loss of jobs. Gambling addictions will interfere with work relations. Only 20 percent of gambling addicts are able to maintain their jobs as well as their addiction.
The various effects of gambling addictions do not just apply to the person with the addiction. People who are in close contact with the addict also suffer. In addition, there are serious social and economic effects that are caused by compulsive gambling.
Treatment centers are available for these types of addiction and recommended for anyone who has a problem controlling their urges to gamble.