Gambling Rehab -When to Seek it ?
Seeking treatment and help for substance addiction is often a lot easier than seeking help for an addiction to gambling. The first step would be to accept that gambling is an addiction no different to other addictions such as alcoholism. Once this has been accepted, it follows that help may be sought out at a gambling rehab.
One of the primary reasons making it difficult to identify that gambling rehab is necessary is that substance addiction affects the body and has serious visible health consequences, whilst gambling addiction does not present itself with obvious effects on the body’s health, which makes admitting to having a gambling addiction even more difficult and entering a treatment facility challenges.
The simple explanation of addiction is:
Addiction disrupts regions of the brain that are responsible for reward, motivation, learning, judgment and memory. It damages various biological systems as well as families, relationships and careers.
Addiction is characterised by :
- An inability to abstain from a substance or gambling.
- Impairment in behavioural control, continual use of a substance or gambling regardless of consequences.
- Craving or increased need for a substance or gambling.
- Diminished recognition of significant problems relating to using or gambling behaviours and interpersonal relationships.
- Dysfunctional emotional responses, relating to using or gambling behaviour.
Gambling addiction occurs when an individual becomes pathologically focused on pursuing rewards from engaging in the behaviour, whilst simultaneously being distressed by the consequences of repeatedly gambling. Often the individual struggles to refrain from gambling, experiences intense craving, has difficulty resisting and has minimal awareness of the problems and or consequences that arise as a result of their addiction, including loss of time and loss of the ability to prioritise other life functions and responsibilities. For someone with a gambling addiction, the feeling of gambling is equivalent to taking a drug or having a drink. At this point gambling rehab is needed.
Gambling behaviour alters the person’s mood and state of mind. It is difficult to seek help or treatment if you are not sure that there is a problem. Identifying your gambling addiction and understanding the consequences of it and deciding to seek help are the first steps to recovery and seeking treatment in a facility.
Similar to other behavioural or substance addictions, it has been found that compulsive gamblers respond positively to treatment which includes psychosocial support. Cognitive behavioural therapy has also been shown to be particularly effective in addressing gambling addictions, as it teaches relapse prevention skills and how to change behaviours and thinking around the addiction. 12 Step based treatment and behavioural modification which aims at addressing the symptoms and causes of the addiction often leads to total abstinence from gambling.
If you or a loved one needs assistance with an addiction to gambling – know that help is readily available. The road to recovery is not always an easy one but getting yourself or your loved one the best possible care from the team at Crossroads Recovery Centre, provides you with a map to sober, healthy living. No matter how bad things seem, there is hope and it’s only a phone call away. If you or anyone close to you needs help with an addiction to sex, gambling, substances, alcohol or food, please contact us for a free assessment.
- American Psychiatric Association www.mentalhelp.net
- World Health Organization: ICD 10 classification of behavioral disorders (www.nlm.nih.gov)
- Goodman A: Addiction definition and implications (www.researchgate.net)
- American Society of Addiction Medicine policy (www.asam.org)
Stories of Recovery
- The encouragement, love and support from the team at Crossroads allowed me to eventually see that I was worth something - that my life could be turned around and that I could accomplish the things that had long been a forgotten dream.Oliver VGRead more
- On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.Johan BRead more
- I was lost and my soul was broken until I ended up at Crossroads and was introduced to the Twelve Steps. With the help of their excellent staff and amazing support I have recently been clean for 18 months, I could not have done it without them!Carla SRead more
- "Just for today I am more than three years in recovery. I have Cross Roads to thank for this wonderful gift. Cross Roads helped me to set a firm foundation in my recovery on which I can continue to build."Angelique JRead more