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Taking Control

Gambling addiction can have devastating consequences, from personal financial loss to social isolation. Fortunately, there are ways to stop a gambling habit and take control before it becomes unmanageable.

Couples or family counseling can provide support as well as help identify any underlying issues that may be contributing to the problem. Setting realistic and achievable goals, such as gradually decreasing online casino usage until all online gambling is eliminated, can also be beneficial.

Having a gambling addiction treatment plan helps.

Gambling treatment therapy through medications may be an effective way of addressing a desire to gamble compulsively.

Finally, consider joining a support group that can provide moral and emotional reinforcement while giving individuals in the same situation an opportunity to exchange tips and advice on successfully managing a gambling addiction.

How to stop Gambling Addiction

The following are some other useful strategies that can help break a gambling addiction.

Plan Ahead to Avoid Boredom

Former gamblers, accustomed to the highs and lows of active addiction, struggle with spells of boredom. Schedule your days, so you are not tempted to gamble during your free time.

This is supported by data from research indicating that problem gamblers have a low boredom threshold. When faced with an unappealing assignment, individuals will invariably avoid or abandon it.

Take things as they Come and Enjoy Life.

Meaning you should put yesterday's gaming losses out of your mind. You won't be able to focus on your sobriety concerns if you're preoccupied with getting even with the bookies or casinos.

Taking things a day at a time allows you to avoid stressing out about the future. Focus on the steps you can do right now that will help you on the road to recovery.

Alter your Routine Drastically.

Your habitual gambling conditioned your brain to operate a certain way, and even though you've cut back, your mind still requires regular exercise. To that end, it's a good idea to challenge yourself with fresh objectives every day. Being solution-oriented will help you better manage gambling urges when they arise.

Take up an Old Pastime Again

Gambling addiction inevitably leads to a decline in other interests. It's crucial to pick up where you left off with past interests after a hiatus. This will serve as a daily reminder of your new lifestyle while simultaneously boosting your confidence.

Like other forms of addiction, harmful addiction requires replacement with something more beneficial. Instead of dwelling on what you no longer have access to, you should think about the positive aspects of your new lifestyle.

Take Extra Precautions in the Days Running up to Important Occasions

Recent studies have shown that gamblers have trouble controlling their impulses and waiting to feel satisfied. Be conscious of the need to strengthen your resolve before significant events.

If you're a bettor on sports, you know that big events like the World Cup or European Championships in soccer, Wimbledon, the Cheltenham Festival, Royal Ascot, or the Ryder Cup may be challenging. You should tune out the media frenzy that often ensues whenever one of these events is covered extensively, especially if bookmakers are offering incentives to do so.

Learn to Deal with Stress in Healthier Ways

Relapse from gambling rehabilitation is often influenced by stress, which is a good indicator of how well we handle our emotions. New, healthy methods of dealing with stress are essential. These can take the form of anything from regular exercise and meditation to hypnotherapy and simply talking things out with a good friend. There is a danger that when stress levels rise, the desire to gamble may increase.

Remind yourself that to Gamble is to Lose.

You should always keep in mind that no matter how well-thought-out your betting strategy is, if you lack the self-control necessary to stick to it, you will almost surely lose your money. This is the first and most important truth about gambling addiction.

When stressed about money, it's easy to give in to the allure of gambling. After all, most forms of gambling offer the possibility of great instantaneous rewards. You can manage your gambling cravings if you keep in mind that you can't quit once you start.

Recognize what Causes you to Sabotage your own Efforts

You should value your clean time highly. Consider any temptation to gambling as a short-term threat, and be on the lookout for it in the lead-up to big events like birthdays, wedding anniversaries, or exam time.

Imagine your Casino or Betting Business with a Derogatory Slogan

Think of a bad image when you think of the operator's logo and associate your betting platform with that. You can try to instill a prejudice towards gambling in this way subconsciously. Additionally, it will assist you in recalling precisely how hopeless and defeated you were when you stopped.

Compile a Daily List of Gratitude

Any relapse prevention plan must include regular reminders of how much better your life is without gambling. The better if this fits with your spiritual beliefs in some way. When we feel thankful, we are less inclined to be on the lookout for excitement. Try it; it's effective.

The inability to connect can be found in addictions. Because they couldn't bond as deeply with anything else, problem gamblers have formed bonds with gambling itself. Therefore, it might follow that social interaction rather than clean time is the opposite of addiction.

How to Help Someone with a Gambling Addiction?

Before you give your time and energy to helping someone you care about, make sure you take care of yourself and meet your own emotional needs. When you feel good about yourself, it's easier to help someone else.

When you're ready, here are some ways to help your loved one get off of gambling addiction:

1. Speak with them

Your loved one might not believe they have a problem, but if you talk to them, you can help them see how serious a gambling disorder is. Before you speak to someone, make sure you have a place to meet with them where you won't be interrupted. Also, ensure you both have enough time to discuss your concerns and challenges. To feel safe enough to talk, the person needs time to tell their story.

Here are some ways to talk to a loved one about your worries, depending on how close you are to them:


It's tough to be married to someone with a gambling disorder, especially if you have joint accounts. If you want to work on your marriage, you must talk to your partner immediately. Be ready to talk about how their addiction affects your finances and encourage them to get help. Let them know you mean business and won't put up with their bad behavior anymore.


If your mom or dad is addicted to gambling, you may feel like you've lost them and worry about how their money is doing. It can be hard to talk to your parents about how they spend their money, but it's okay to let them know you're worried. Assure them that you want to help them get help for their addiction, and think about asking to manage their bills.


Your approval or disapproval as a parent is important to your child, no matter how old they are. Talk to your child honestly about gambling problems and their effects, and let them know you'll help them get help. Remind your child that even though they are addicted, you still love them and will always be there for them.

Friend: Seeing a close friend lose everything because of gambling can be painful and make you feel helpless. If they have lied to you because of their addiction, your relationship could also be in danger. If you want to keep your friendship, talk to your friend about how you feel and suggest they get help. Your truthful words might convince them to change.

No matter how close you are to the person, you could start by asking them if they think they have a gambling problem. After they answer, tell them that you're worried and tell them why. Instead of telling them what to do, try to offer a solution. For example, you could ask them if it's okay for them to talk to a counselor about gambling.

2. Offer Your Support, Not Judgment

Don't come off as judgmental when you reassure your loved one of your commitment to helping them beat their gambling habit. Sentences that begin with "I" rather than "you" are less likely to be taken as judgmental. If you're worried about how much money someone is spending, you could say something like, "I'm concerned about your spending," instead of "You spend too much money."

You may also just be upfront and say that you'll do your best to avoid passing judgment and ask that they let you know if you ever slip up. Be sure to ask them questions demonstrating your interest in learning more about their situation and willingness to offer assistance.

3. Explain the Consequences

Discuss the psychological, financial, social, and physical consequences of gambling in a level-headed, impartial manner. Possible examples of this are:

Debt or bankruptcy: Individuals who bet excessively are considered to be three times more likely to report being in debt than those who do not gamble. Also, almost 20% of those who gamble excessively file for bankruptcy.

Physical and mental health issues: compulsive gambling has been linked to everything from heart disease and high blood pressure to migraines and gastrointestinal problems to sudden death. Depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and an increased risk of suicide are all linked to compulsive gambling.

Troubled relationships: About 96% of worried family and friends indicated gambling was a factor in the deterioration of their connection with a loved one who was addicted.

Be sure your loved one understands that gambling can lead to dishonesty, violence, and even jail time if it is not controlled.

4. Avoid Confrontation

Be patient and wait until you're feeling more level-headed before approaching a loved one about their gambling. Your loved one or friend may become defensive if you bring up gambling; therefore, it is crucial to maintain your composure before beginning the subject.

You might choose to leave if your partner reacts negatively to you bringing up the issue or flat-out refuses to discuss it. Make it clear that you're available whenever they are ready to talk and try to pick up where you left off afterward.

5. Be Patient With Them

Addiction recovery is a lengthy and challenging process. There may be deeper problems that need to be addressed before your loved one can fully recover. In addition, they have to be emotionally prepared for change, which can take some time.

Take your time, and don't try to hurry your loved one to recovery. There will be more tension if you push them to make adjustments they aren't ready for. They may turn to gambling to relieve the pressure they're under.

6. Introduce Alternative Activities to Gambling

Many people gamble to kill time, relax after a hard day, get away from their problems, or meet new people. Some people gamble to try to fix their money problems. You can help a friend or family member stop gambling by suggesting other ways to unwind and beat boredom. Here are some suggestions:

Get an adrenaline rush

Some people gamble to feel excited. You could suggest they try a challenging sport or hobby to get an adrenaline rush without gambling. Rock climbing, ziplining, and mountain biking are all fun things to do that can add excitement to your life.

Beat boredom

Encourage someone you care about to take up a new hobby or learn more about something they've always been interested in. They might enjoy going to a gym, taking an art class, or learning to play an instrument. You can also help them keep busy by spending time with them. Try out new recipes, watch movies, or go for walks.


If your friend or family member gambles as a way to meet new people, suggest better ways to do so. They could talk to a counselor or join a local social group for help getting over being shy. They might be able to get over their fears if they took a class on how to speak in public.

Stress relief

There are many ways to deal with stress that don't involve gambling, like meditating, exercising, taking deep breaths, and writing in a journal. Consider doing a stress-relieving activity with a friend or family member so you can both benefit.

Solve money problems: You can suggest that the person meets with a credit counselor if they gamble to solve money problems. Credit counselors are trained to help people manage their money and debt.

7. Suggest Support Groups

A person with a gambling disorder may feel alone, misunderstood, and isolated. By joining a support group, your loved one can safely discuss their concerns, frustrations, and aspirations with individuals who understand their situation. A support group also offers the chance to acquire efficient coping methods for dealing with triggers.

8. Recommend Professional Help

You should advise your friend or family member to get help from a trained specialist. A mental health practitioner can use evidenced-based therapies to help clients alter their views on gambling and learn new, healthier ways to manage stress and emotional distress. Addiction-related mental health problems can also be addressed.

How is Compulsive Gambling Treated?

Because there are various types of gambling addiction treatment programs, you should educate yourself on the options available to you and your family member who requires assistance.

The primary categories of treatment programs for gambling addiction are highlighted below.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatment

Cognitive behavioral therapy has demonstrated positive outcomes in the treatment of a number of addictions, including gambling. With the support of a mental health expert, an addict can learn to recognize the patterns of thinking that fuel their gambling addiction and begin to heal from them. For instance, a common misconception among gamblers is that they are guaranteed to hit the big jackpot if they only keep betting for a bit longer. Still, others will keep playing in the hope that one day they will be able to settle their gambling obligations with their future profits rather than their dreams of riches.

Gambling addiction can have a profound psychological impact, altering a person's emotional state so that the highs and lows of winning and losing become the sole basis for their state of mind. A gambler can begin to recognize these erroneous beliefs through cognitive behavioral therapy and then seek to dispel them. Getting well is possible after these underlying problems are determined and treated.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Program

Some individuals discover that they need the structure provided by an inpatient program at a treatment center to overcome gambling addiction. This program may benefit you if you cannot avoid casinos or other gambling places without assistance. You will be required to stay at the treatment facility for anywhere between 30 days and a whole year.

Because patients are able to concentrate on their recovery without the distractions of daily life, inpatient rehabilitation programs offer more benefits than outpatient care. The National Council on Problem Gambling lists the following advantages:

  • Treatment programs for psychiatric and behavioral disorders
  • 24/7 care
  • Therapeutic activities
  • Treatment of related diseases concurrently
  • Psychological and medical supervision

Outpatient Rehabilitation Program

Outpatient gambling rehabilitation and treatment programs may include Gamblers Anonymous, supervised group settings, and continuing individual therapy. Much of what is possible in an inpatient setting is also possible in an outpatient situation. The primary distinction between inpatient and outpatient treatment programs is the duration of therapy. Many inpatient treatment approaches incorporate outpatient care following the patient's discharge. The National Council on Problem Gambling recommends using the following criteria to locate the best gambling addiction treatment program for you or a loved one:

  • An accredited facility with fully trained and licensed staff
  • Individualized treatment programs for gambling addiction
  • Utilization of a licensed gambling counselor

Gamblers Anonymous facilitates one of the most well-known outpatient gambling rehabilitation programs, which is based on a 12-step program similar to that of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Gamblers Anonymous works with gamblers who acknowledge their addiction, strive to make amends, and recover from gambling's control. The group attempts to bring newly admitted gamblers to a position where they may move on with their life, make atonement to whomever they have affected through their gambling, and later act as a mentor to others who are on the same path.


Medication can occasionally be a beneficial component of a regimen for recovering from gambling addiction. If you or a family member engages in compulsive gambling, exercise caution and utilize only drugs prescribed or suggested by a skilled specialist. When you are under the influence of one addiction, it is all too easy to self-medicate your way into another. However, medication recommended and managed by your physician can benefit your rehabilitation as a whole.

How do I Practice Responsible Gambling?

If you wish to engage in responsible gambling, please consider the following tips and suggestions.

Treat Gambling As a Form of Entertainment

Professional gamblers are few, although they do exist. Most gamblers should not regard gaming as a source of income. This is because most gamblers lack the commitment and determination necessary to be frequent winners. Therefore, it is prudent to view gambling as a type of paid entertainment; you should anticipate losing money, and such losses should be considered as the price of the entertainment. This is the best approach for amateur gamblers to approach the game.

A common cause of gambling disorders is the expectation or urge to win. This can lead to dissatisfaction or worry when they lose, as well as additional wagering to recoup their losses. This can initiate a vicious cycle that rapidly spirals out of control.

If you anticipate defeat, you are much less likely to fall for this trap. When one anticipates defeat, victory is much more rewarding. If you are prepared for your losses and don't mind spending money to amuse yourself, gambling can still be enjoyable even when you lose.

Have a Limited Budget for Gambling

It does not matter if you set daily, weekly, or monthly limits. The fundamental issue is that you establish boundaries and adhere to them. If you set limits for yourself and stick to them, you should be able to enjoy gambling without ever getting into trouble.

Additionally, you should only bet with money you can afford to lose. If you like to gamble, there's nothing wrong with doing so with your spare cash, but it's a different issue if you start gambling with money you need for other purposes. As a result, you start chasing your losses, which rarely yields a favorable outcome.

Set Time Limits and Take Regular Breaks

Too much time spent gambling can be just as harmful as too much money spent gaming. Gambling can quickly become a habit rather than a hobby, which might lead to more difficulties in the future. Even if you don't get into trouble financially, other aspects of your life will certainly suffer if you gamble at every opportunity.

Gambling in your spare time is okay if you can afford it. However, you don't want it to take over your life. It's a good idea to set time limitations for how much time you spend on it, and taking regular breaks is also a good idea. As a result, controlling how much time you spend gambling is just as crucial as monitoring how much money you spend.

Don’t Chase Losses

If you want to be a responsible sports bettor, one of the worst things you can do is chase losses. To those unfamiliar with the phrase, "chasing" is to place a wager soon after a loss to recover the money lost as soon as possible.

One of the main problems with "chasing" is that it often leads to rash decisions without adequate preparation. You shouldn't make your wagers based on an intangible concept like "feel," but you also don't need to spend hours poring over statistics and stat sheets before placing a bet.

The main problem with chasing is that it quickly becomes addictive and out of control if you let it. If you lose $100 on a bet and then place another $200 bet without giving it any thought, you may quickly find yourself $300 in the red.

Many people who bet on games of chance falsely believe that the odds are always in their favor. While this is true to some extent, losing streaks of four, five, or six games are hardly unprecedented. Losing a lot of money if you're chasing throughout those games is possible.

Only Bet What You Know

The irresponsible gambler will wager on anything. Whether they have influence over the outcome or not, if someone offers them the opportunity to wager, they will accept.

As an example, if you are a huge NBA fan and enjoy betting on the games as a method to test your knowledge of the sport and boost the entertainment value of watching, that is a perfectly acceptable and justifiable betting behavior. However, if you are betting on two soccer teams you've never heard of playing a game in a foreign country that you have no intention of watching, that's a red flag!

Avoid Becoming Too Superstitious

Do you like to play at a lucky table or keep playing the same game where you won a lot? No problem! But remember that gambling is all about luck and chance, and no amount of superstition will change the results.

Never Fall Victim to the Gambler's Fallacy

Don't expect results to alter simply because of how the game has progressed thus far. The probability of hitting red two times in a row is far higher than hitting red eight times in a row, but that doesn't mean that just because the roulette wheel has displayed red five times in a row, the next spin must be black. In any game of chance, each outcome is independent of what came before it.

Study the Odds and Rules of the Game

Some people will find some games more enjoyable than others. Blackjack and poker offer some of the finest odds in the casino, but they also feature some of the worst bets. Slot machines and Keno aren't very reliable, but they nevertheless offer a chance at huge payouts and loads of entertainment. Find out how to play the games you like and how the odds work.

Avoid Gambling Under the Influence

Gambling events typically feature live music, drinks, and other signs of merriment. Don't gamble if you've been drinking, even if you have a pal who's a big roller and on a winning streak. Your judgment will suffer, and you may find yourself spending more time or money than you intended.

Additional tips that will help you become a responsible gambler are as follows:

  • Do not bet if you are depressed, angry, or agitated - This can impair your ability to make sound judgments.
  • Do not allow gambling to interfere with your everyday responsibilities - Never miss work to gamble, and do not allow it to affect your relationships and family life.
  • Ensure that gambling is not your exclusive interest or activity – maintain a balance.
  • Use diaries and wager trackers to keep track of the time and money you spend gaming.