Signs of a Gambling Addiction

People gamble every day. From betting on the game to playing online casino games, gambling can be a vice for many people. But when does gambling become a problem?

Gambling addictions affect all sorts of people, leaving them with little impulse control and unable to stop gambling. The compulsion to gamble can start impacting a person’s life and relationships, and can start to have serious financial consequences too.

Are you worried that you or someone you love might have a gambling addiction? Learn more about gambling addiction and the treatment available at Peaks Recovery in the following article.

What is a Gambling Addiction?

A gambling addiction is a type of process addiction, where an individual becomes unable to control their impulse to gamble. Gambling can produce some of the same addictive effects as substance addiction, caused by a release of dopamine that leaves a person on a high, and wanting to repeat that experience to continue to feel a thrill. But as not all gambles produce a win, the feeling can be difficult to replicate, with a person needing to gamble more and more in the hope of a win. This can preoccupy thoughts and influence other behaviors, leaving someone with no control over their gambling habit. 

What are the Signs of Symptoms of a Gambling Addiction?

People turn to gambling for all sorts of reasons, including to cope with stress or to alleviate boredom. Over time, however, gambling can start to become a problem, resulting in some of the same behaviors and symptoms as those who are addicted to substances and other forms of addiction.

Some of the main signs and symptoms of a gambling addiction include:

  • Being secretive about gambling, and lying about the frequency or the amount of money gambled.
  • Feeling out of control and being unable to resist the urge to gamble, even when the odds are against you or gambling poses a serious risk to your finances.
  • Becoming preoccupied with thoughts of gambling to the point where it affects your ability to focus at school or work. 
  • Neglecting responsibilities and relationships.
  • Turning to other behaviors to fund gambling, such as stealing.
  • Mental health effects such as anxiety, stress, and irritability.

While not everyone will experience all of the above, these are some of the most common signs of gambling addiction to look out for in yourself or a loved one. Millions of people are classed as problem gamblers, and between 1% and 2% will experience a gambling disorder at some point in their lives. However, many people fail to seek help for their addiction, which can lead to serious consequences for the individual and those around them.

If you’re concerned that you or someone you know is suffering from a gambling addiction, then it’s important to seek help as soon as possible.

How to Help Someone with a Gambling Addiction

A gambling addiction can cause a lot of worry for friends and family, and if you’ve started to notice some of the signs of gambling addiction, taking swift action can ensure your loved one gets the help they need to get their life back on track. 

As daunting as it may be, it’s important to have a conversation with your loved one and explain your concerns. There may be denial and anger at first, and it can help to explain the behaviors you’ve noticed and why you’re concerned. It may take some time to accept that they have a problem, but once they do, you can help them seek professional treatment to help overcome their addiction.

Types of Treatment For a Gambling Addiction

There are different ways to treat gambling addiction, but they are mostly focused on helping someone understand the factors that may have caused the addiction, and finding alternative ways to cope in the future. From individual therapy to group therapy, there are different options available to help those with a gambling addiction get the help they need.

Each person is different, and the treatment required for a gambling addiction will vary. But with a careful initial assessment, a treatment path will be implemented that gives the individual the best chance of overcoming their addiction and look toward a brighter future.

Gambling Addiction Treatment at Peaks Recovery

Peaks Recovery specializes in providing safe, effective treatment for gambling addiction in a comfortable and calm environment. We provide a range of treatments designed to help someone understand their condition and overcome it, helping to avoid recurrence in the future.

We offer many levels of care to help those with gambling addiction, including inpatient rehab, PHP day programs, and IOP Services. Our focus is on recovery and helping those who need it get the treatment they need to get their lives back on track.

Learn more about our mental health services or contact us for advice and support.

Medical Disclaimer: Peaks Recovery Centers uses fact-based content about recovery treatment, addiction medicine, and behavioral health conditions to improve the quality of life for those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction or mental health disorders. This information is not intended to replace professional medical guidance, diagnosis, care, or treatment. This information should not be used as a substitute for advice from a qualified healthcare provider and/or your physician.