How to Overcome a Gambling Addiction


The amount of money wagered legally on gambling events is estimated at about $10 trillion (illegal gambling may exceed this). Gambling is the wagering of something of value, usually money, on an event whose outcome is uncertain with the intent to win more than what is lost. Examples of gambling include lottery, casino games, and organized sports betting on football, horse racing, and other events. While gambling can be a fun pastime, it can also be addictive. If you are a compulsive gambler, treatment is available.

The first step is admitting you have a problem. This can be hard, especially if you have lost a lot of money and strained relationships as a result of your addiction. However, many people have overcome gambling problems and rebuilt their lives. There are several treatments available, including psychotherapy and medication. In addition to taking your prescribed medications, it is important to find healthy ways to cope with stress. Having strong family support can also help, as well as finding new activities that keep you from gambling.

If you have a family member or friend who is suffering from gambling addiction, try to reach out and help them. Be sure to set boundaries in managing their finances, and make it clear that you will not tolerate their urges to gamble. You should also seek out a peer support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which is modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous. The group can provide valuable support and guidance for overcoming an addiction to gambling.

Research on gambling has traditionally been conducted using cross-sectional surveys, but there is growing interest in longitudinal studies. These are designed to examine the effects of gambling over a long period of time, and can be more powerful than cross-sectional data because they allow researchers to infer causality. Longitudinal data can be used to investigate both factors that moderate and exacerbate gambling behavior, such as age, gender, and sex.

When you’re gambling, never use money that you need to pay bills or rent. Instead, only gamble with disposable income that you can afford to lose. This will prevent you from chasing your losses or getting into debt. You should also avoid drinking too much at casinos, and never try to win back your losses by chasing your winnings. This is known as the gambler’s fallacy, and it can be very dangerous.

If you are struggling with a gambling disorder, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. There are a number of treatment options, including medication and psychotherapy. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t approve any medications to treat gambling disorder, there are several types of psychotherapy that can help you identify unhealthy emotions and thoughts. These therapies are typically provided by licensed mental health professionals, such as psychologists and clinical social workers. If you’re unable to get ahold of a therapist in your area, you can try the world’s largest therapy service online and get matched with a vetted and licensed therapist within 48 hours.