Dealing With Gambling Addiction


Gambling is an activity where participants place a bet or stake on an event, game or other entity with the hope of winning money or other valuable prizes. This activity can be fun and exciting in moderation but for some it can become a dangerous addiction that causes financial and personal issues. While there are many negative aspects to gambling, there are also some positive aspects and societal contributions when regulated responsibly.

If you struggle with gambling addiction, identifying your triggers is a great starting point for recovery. This includes recognizing people, places and things that encourage the desire to gamble. Whether it is your regular route home from work, watching sports or hanging out with friends who gamble, make the decision to change these habits.

Other helpful strategies include focusing on stress-reduction techniques, such as breathing exercises and mindfulness. In addition, physical exercise can help release endorphins that improve mood and reduce cravings for gambling. Additionally, expressing emotions through creative pursuits, such as writing, painting or playing music can prevent the need to seek relief from stress and anxiety through gambling.

Family members of a person with gambling addiction can benefit from seeking support and setting boundaries. This may include limiting the amount of credit cards and nonessential cash that is carried, leaving cell phones at home and avoiding social activities where gambling is present. If a loved one is spending more than they can afford, taking over their finances and putting them on a budget can help keep them from running up debt.