For many people who gamble, it is a form of entertainment and harmless. However, four to six percent of those who gamble will develop an addiction.
This is a mental illness that can be devastating and ruin lives. When a person has developed a gambling addiction, they should seek professional help at a gambling addiction treatment facility. Here, the addict will receive the help and support needed to overcome the addiction. Out of the many people who attend a treatment facility, 93 percent will leave the facility without a gambling addiction. In addition, 85 percent of those people will continue to live an addiction-free life.
- Gambling addictions can do a lot of damage, not only to the addict, but to all other people who are connected to that person.
- Gambling addiction effects personal, social and financial aspects of life.
- The only way to recover from a gambling addiction is to seek treatment.
- Gambling addictions cause people to lose control of what they risk when gambling. This often has a negative impact on the gambler’s life.
What Constitutes an Addiction?
Before seeking gambling addiction help through treatment, the person must realize they have a gambling addiction. More than 75 percent of addicts do not make this realization on their own. It is often pointed out by a family member, co-worker or close friend.
A gambling addiction is defined as the person having at least five of these 10 criteria:
- Loss of control
- Illegal acts
- Risking an important relationship
When the criteria are met, the person would get some of the gambling addiction treatment benefits. Without treatment, more than 80 percent of people with a gambling addiction will lose everything that has meaning in their life, including jobs, social status, children and friends.
What are Your Options
There are two options available to gambling addicts who are seeking treatment at a facility.
For gamblers who have a severe addition, residential treatment facilities are suggested. These are programs that are designed to offer support and services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While at the treatment facility, addicts will receive a variety of services, including counseling and group therapy to address their addiction.
Outpatient rehab facilities can also be beneficial. In fact, more than 80 percent of gambling addicts who receive treatment on an outpatient basis have recovered from their addiction. Outpatient programs allow the addict to reside in their own home and continue to live their normal lives. However, each patient must report to daily therapy sessions and attend support group meetings.
Choosing a Gambling Addiction Treatment Facility
Not every addict will respond in the same way to treatment. It is important to take the time to choose treatment options carefully, making sure the addict will benefit the most from the selected form of treatment.
When considering a treatment facility, there are some questions that should be asked.
- Are counselors and staff trained in treating gambling addictions?
- How many hours during the day are dedicated to specific treatment for gambling?
- Is insurance accepted and are there payment plans available?
- Does the offered program include assessment and treatment for the individual and the family?
- Does the treatment facility offer other services related to age, culture and gender?
- Is there long-term support available?
- Is there an ongoing assessment of treatment plans?
- Are strategies used to engage and keep addicts in treatment?
- Is counseling offered? Individual and group?
- In the case of possible relapse, is there ongoing monitoring?
- Are services offered to other family members who have felt the effects of the gambling addiction?
Getting professional help for a gambling addiction is the number one way to overcome the addiction. With a 97 percent success rate, gambling treatment facilities are available to provide services to help people beat their addiction and avoid becoming addicted again in the future. Facilities that offer ongoing support and services to family members should be considered. It is important to remember that gambling addictions not only affect the gambler. In some cases where the addict denies having an addiction, family members will seek their own form of treatment. It is common for a spouse to seek treatment for a gambling addiction in hopes of being able to help the addict later on.