Gambling Rehab – when a game is no longer a game.

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Gambling Rehab – when a game is no longer a game.

20 August, 2021Articles, News

Compulsive gambling has been recognised as a definable behavioural disorder. It is a serious condition that can destroy lives. Although treating compulsive gambling can be challenging, many people who struggle with compulsive gambling have found help through professional treatment, mostly in an inpatient gambling rehab setting.

As gambling addiction has become recognised as a behavioural problem, and its prevalence has grown, so rehabs have introduced programmes to deal with this process addiction using similar approaches to handling any other addiction.

What is a gambling disorder?

“Unlike most casual gamblers who stop when losing or set a loss limit, people with a compulsive gambling problem are compelled to keep playing to recover their money — a pattern that becomes increasingly destructive over time”- Mayo Clinic.

A “compulsive, or pathological, problem gambler” are terms that have been used to describe an individual who is unable to manage or stop or control his or her impulses in terms of gambling. Gambling disorders can lead to serious emotional, financial, relationship and other social consequences if there is no intervention to arrest the problem.

Gambling can stimulate the brain’s reward system much like drugs or alcohol and this turns into addiction. If you have a problem with compulsive gambling, you may continually want to persist with the behaviour regardless of the outcome. Gamblers often take bets that lead to losses, hide their behaviour, deplete savings, accumulate debt, or even resort to theft or fraud to support their addiction.

It is apparent that people who suffer severely from the disorder are unable to stop by using their usual coping mechanisms and need the help of a certified and registered gambling rehab.

How do you know that you may have a problem with gambling disorder?
According to specialists in this area from the Mayo Clinic , if the following apply to you, you could be suffering from a gambling disorder and may need to consider entering a gambling rehab.

  • Being preoccupied with gambling, such as constantly planning how to get more money to gamble
  • Needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money to get the same thrill
  • Trying to control, cut back or stop gambling, without success
  • Feeling restless or irritable when you try to cut down on gambling
  • Gambling to escape problems or relieve feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety or depression
  • Trying to get back lost money by gambling more (chasing losses)
  • Lying to family members or others to hide the extent of your gambling
  • Jeopardizing or losing important relationships, a job, or school or work opportunities because of gambling
  • Resorting to theft or fraud to get gambling money
  • Asking others to bail you out of financial trouble because you gambled money away


Compulsive gambling addiction is not related to morality or values issues- it is fraught with complex motivations and often related to trauma of some sort. It is also very much a systemic family disorder, or rather its consequences almost always impact the family system of the gambler. Compulsive gambling can have many consequences on financial resources and interpersonal relationships. Often the gambler is rejected by the people that he or she has hurt as a result of the behaviour and it becomes increasingly difficult for the person to find the support, they need in order to recover in the family context. Hence the need for a focussed gambling rehabilitation.

Gambling addiction requires a specialised, customised and holistic approach as the issues are specific and the risks of later relapse are just as high as any other form of addiction. Bearing this in mind there is a distinct focus on family dynamics during the treatment process.

It is often accompanied by cross addiction such as alcoholism, drug addiction or sex addiction.

The treatment modalities include :

  • Behaviour therapy or cognitive behavioural therapy may be helpful in the treatment of this disorder. “Cognitive behavioural therapy focuses on identifying unhealthy, irrational and negative beliefs and replacing them with healthy, positive ones.”
  • Medications. Antidepressants and mood stabilizers may help problems that often go along with compulsive gambling — such as depression, OCD or ADHD.
  • Self-help groups. Some people find that talking with others who have a gambling problem may be a helpful part of treatment. Self-help groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous and other resources.
  • Lastly, and in many cases the most appropriate, is a 12-step oriented in-house treatment process.

Treatment approach often depends on the severity of the disorder.

Crossroads Recovery Centre has specialist staff and programmes that help to deal with these complex issues. Our process is a 12-step programme which is specifically focused on the problem of gambling. Family support is also an integral part of the treatment and Crossroads runs a family support group every second week to help the family members and loved ones going through the process.

Treatment for compulsive gambling may involve an outpatient programme or inpatient programme in a gambling rehab, depending on the severity needs and resources available. Treatment for substance abuse, depression, anxiety or any other mental health disorder may be part of your treatment plan for compulsive 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.

Free Addiction Assessment

Book a FREE Confidential Assessment at your nearest Treatment Centre Today.

Johannesburg Admissions: +27 74 895 1043
Pretoria Admissions: +27 82 653 3311
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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 VG
    Read 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 B
    Read 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 S
    Read 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 J
    Read more
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Cross Addiction in Recovery

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Home / Posts tagged "gambling addiction"

Cross Addiction in Recovery

30 July, 2021Articles, News

Cross addiction is when two addictions (behavioural or substances) occur in one individual, or when a person who is in recovery from one addiction, acts out with a different substance or behaviour. The theory of cross addiction though, is not yet scientifically proven. The evidence is more anecdotal, or confined to small studies. The movie, Thanks for Sharing, gives an indication of how addicts in recovery, struggle with more than one addictive substance or behaviour.

Addiction based on behaviour rather than a specific substance may manifest in a variety of forms. The five most common forms of addiction are drugs, alcohol, sex, food and gambling, although new recognised forms of addictions include social media, co-dependency and compulsive behavior such as exercise or spending. There are many different 12-step meetings and support groups for different types of addiction and these may be valuable assets to any persons recovery.

Misconceptions around different types of Addiction

There are a great many misconceptions around addiction. For example, when someone comes into treatment, there may be denial about the fact that they may be able to still do certain things or substances because they are only in treatment for one substance. Here are some examples: ‘I only drink, I can still take prescription medication.’ ‘My problem is only drugs, and I can still drink, right?’ ‘I’m only an alcoholic, I’m not nearly as bad as other people.’ These are common sayings amongst inpatients. Anything that is mind or mood altering may fill a void. It is important for someone undergoing treatment to work on the root cause of their behavior before they can fix the actual addiction.

How to manage Cross Addiction?

12-Step treatment can be a great way to manage and/or prevent cross-addiction from occurring. Appropriate therapy can allow individuals to work on themselves, as well as their behaviour, which could allow them to find a balance within themselves and their lives.

Addressing the addiction through integrated treatment is usually the most effective way of treating cross addiction. It is also important to reduce triggers such as dangerous people, places and things and work on the behaviour through CBT therapy. This allows for thought patterns and emotions that contribute substantially towards substance abuse and destructive behaviour, to be managed and slowly changed over time .

If you or a loved one needs assistance with addiction – 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 is 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

www.crossroadsrecovery.co.za

074 89 51043 JHB

012 450 5033 PTA

-Dominique Le Claire Rossouw

Free Addiction Assessment

Book a FREE Confidential Assessment at your nearest Treatment Centre Today.

Johannesburg Admissions: +27 74 895 1043
Pretoria Admissions: +27 82 653 3311
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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 VG
    Read 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 B
    Read 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 S
    Read 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 J
    Read more
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Gambling Addiction-The House Always Wins

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Home / Posts tagged "gambling addiction"

Gambling Addiction-The House Always Wins

09 July, 2021Articles, News

Gambling addiction is often misunderstood as it manifests itself in ways that are slightly uncommon to the more conventional addictions such as substance abuse or alcohol use. A lot of gamblers are often not aware of the fact that they suffer from an addiction and as a result, many are misdiagnosed and often mistreated. A common assumption is that those who suffer from a gambling addiction are depressed and act out on it by gambling and pursuing high-risk lifestyles and activities. This assumption has the potential to create a stigmatic attitude of self-disgust and disappointment, which many who eventually find themselves in addiction treatment centres for gambling- bring into treatment with them. This stigma often presents additional difficulties as it flares up during the treatment process and is sometimes used by the addict as a justification for their behaviour.

Gambling addicts have difficulties in setting clear priorities and goals as they are preoccupied by their addiction. Their ability to be responsible and accountable has been degraded. Externally, gamblers seem much more stable than most other addicts for whom the physical effects of their addiction are manifest. Chronic disregard becomes common place amongst these individuals as they continuously place their indulgence before the welfare of themselves and their loved ones.

Another characteristic of the gambling addict is an over-reliance on money, financial success and control to establish a sense of self-worth. If probed further than the most superficial symptoms of their
addiction, one sometimes finds that gambling addicts live very ordinary lives until they are introduced to the power of money for the first time. These individuals often go from being resigned to a mundane life to frequently indulging in high-risk behaviour.

On a psychic level, these individuals seem to be chasing an unending sense of purpose, confidence and security, which they feel when they have money. Thus to the gambler- money is often both the means and the ends. This all too natural drive for financial and material security is warped by their minds as their disease progresses. Sooner or later, in the life of a gambler, high-stake decision-making becomes the norm as gambling takes precedence in their lives. Money is the key to life for a gambler in the same way as heroin is to the heroin addict. It is important to understand how this form of addiction manifests itself in order for treatment to be effective. It often requires extraordinary measures to get gamblers to commit to their treatment and recovery.

The gambling addicts’ belief that their self-worth is related to their material wealth, needs to be addressed in their treatment programme, as does their impulsive thinking. They need to be held accountable for their behaviour and take responsibility for their consequences. This encourages them to take charge of their lives and often when approached in this manner, they begin to become less reliant on money to make decisions and become more conscious and aware of how they spend their time and energy.

Similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, there is a peer-supported network for gamblers – Gamblers Anonymous. These groups help to establish a sense of belonging in these individuals and encourage them to pursue full measures of accountability and responsibility in their lives. Dishonesty is commonplace amongst gambling addicts and they develop thick skins in order to avoid experiencing the disappointment associated with their actions in addiction. To address this, it is necessary to be assertive with the gambling addict. Various goal-setting as well as self-esteem building activities, are also necessary in order to establish a healthy sense of self-worth. This, coupled with the ability of the 12 steps to help an individual identify the root causes of their behaviour, makes it possible to effectively help these individuals recover from their addition to 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.

Free Addiction Assessment

Book a FREE Confidential Assessment at your nearest Treatment Centre Today.

Johannesburg Admissions: +27 74 895 1043
Pretoria Admissions: +27 82 653 3311
Close

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 VG
    Read 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 B
    Read 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 S
    Read 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 J
    Read more
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Gambling Rehab -When to Seek it ?

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Home / Posts tagged "gambling addiction"

Gambling Rehab -When to Seek it ?

05 May, 2021Articles, News


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.

Resources:

  • 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)

Free Addiction Assessment

Book a FREE Confidential Assessment at your nearest Treatment Centre Today.

Johannesburg Admissions: +27 74 895 1043
Pretoria Admissions: +27 82 653 3311
Close

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 VG
    Read 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 B
    Read 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 S
    Read 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 J
    Read more
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