Gambling Galore – How Easy To Get Carried Away

Articles, Australia, International, Understanding Addiction

There are countless ways for men and women to have an occasional flutter. Millions enjoy this pastime at sensible levels with associated stakes. However, these gambling galore opportunities have a darker side that leads many to become addicted.

Stereotype of a gambling addict:

There is not one! Gambling addicts can be male or female, although the majority are men. Age has no real say in it; those addicted come from all age groups, but more people develop this dependency during their 20’s and 30’s.

Gambling addiction is certainly not racist, it welcomes those of any nationality, colour or creed with betting slips waiting to be filled and different coloured chips of every amount waiting to be placed on the next ‘dead cert’.

Where does addiction begin?

Again, this is a very difficult thing to pinpoint because there are lots of different start points and triggers.

Some become addicted because their initial good fortune turns sour. They see this ‘temporary’ downturn in their luck as a mere blip and respond by gambling more heavily. This spiral into addiction quickly becomes a constant and futile attempt to turnaround their fortunes.

Some begin gambling because it is an effective distraction to personal or relationship difficulties, while many get deeper into dependency due to the constant and intense thrill they feel when placing that bet which is ‘sure’ to win them huge sums of money or generous prizes.

Gambling galore with very few restrictions:

Many governments across the world allow people to place a bet on whatever they wish, whenever they wish. If the bookmakers or casinos in that country will accept the bet then it is laid, but the laying of such bets is always at odds that are stacked in their favour.

The extensive range of gambling opportunities available, and the ever increasing rise in online gambling services is simply serving to increase the number of people who have and will fall foul to full-blown gambling addiction.

Unwanted consequences:

Financial ruin is an obvious, unwanted consequence for those addicted to gambling, but a whole raft of other potential issues are part and parcel of this problem.

Relationships with partners and family members will suffer, losing far more than you are winning puts a strain on your physical and mental health. Examples of this are the fact that anxiety, stress and depression are all part of a gambling addict’s make-up.

Performance at work can often take second place. This is because of the addict’s constant distractions relating to which of the day’s gambling galore opportunities will dig them out of the red financial hole they are currently sinking into.

Many become so desperate for money to ease their financial woes, and to maintain their habit that crime is often a vehicle used in an attempt to get them out of the mire. In this respect fraud or attempted fraud tops the list.

Does anyone care?

Non-gamblers have very little sympathy for those addicted. Bookmakers and casino operators will lose no sleep over the fact that their gain is your demise.

If your debts become insurmountable and family possessions or property have to be sold this quite naturally leaves a very bitter taste in everyone’s mouth.

While such sentiments are understandable, many without sympathy do not realise that those affected are actually suffering from a serious addictive disorder.

This medically classified condition displays many signs that are present in those with substance addictions.

It therefore follows that those who cannot resist the gambling galore opportunities which surround them must seek treatment as a matter of urgency.

What type of treatment is available?

Rehabilitation centers have been treating those with compulsive gambling tendencies for many years.

The majority base their treatment around in-depth counselling sessions that major on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), step-based programs such as the 12-step model that has long been adopted by the voluntary fellowship support group Gamblers Anonymous, and motivational interviewing techniques.

These forms of treatments are employed to help the addict understand and accept the issues their gambling is causing, to find ways of counteracting such impulses, and also strongly promote relapse prevention.

A difficult disorder to overcome but it can be achieved:

The opportunities for gambling galore are on the increase, those who are suffering from what is currently an unstoppable urge to gamble must accept they have a very complex disorder to deal with.

Overcoming this addiction requires qualified, professional rehab assistance with an emphasis on spending inpatient time at a well-established rehabilitation establishment.

Gambling addicts should also take full advantage of their local voluntary organisations, and consider consulting ‘online peers’ who have been in the dark place compulsive gambling creates and have successfully overcome their obsession.

The road to a future which is free from the devastating effects compulsive gambling bring is certainly not an easy one, but it is one that must be taken if you are to get your life back on track.

Acceptance, determination and a desire to beat this ruinous addiction should go hand in hand with professional rehabilitation services that will eventually allow you to declare “All bets are now off”.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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