Gambling Addiction Treatment

Typically, someone with a gambling addiction may find that even when they win large sums of money, the winnings will be used to fund more bets until they run out. Recently, gaming websites have made gambling more accessible, creating issues for problem gamblers who can gamble at all hours of the day and night. Gambling therapy can take place in groups or on an individual basis and aims to alleviate the destructive effects of problem gambling.

What is a gambling addiction?

A gambling addiction, sometimes referred to as 'compulsive gambling' or 'problem gambling, is characterised by having a continuous urge to gamble, despite the negative impacts that it can have.

Problem gambling can cause difficulties in relationships and at work, whilst the cost of funding it can become a huge financial burden.

A gambling problem isn’t restricted to one type of gambling - it could be any of the following:

  • Online sports betting
  • Online slots / roulette / poker
  • Betting in a bookmakers

Over the last few years, fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) have been placed in betting shops, meaning that people can gamble on a variety of casino games within the bookmakers, often at large stakes in a short space of time.

Gambling addiction symptoms

The thrill of gambling is linked to risk taking, which induces a natural high. The effect of this altered psychological state is similar to that of stimulant drugs. In the same way that a drug addict becomes preoccupied by their habit, so too does the gambling addict. 

Symptoms of a gambling addiction may include:

  • A preoccupation with gambling and loss of interest in other hobbies
  • Increasing the quantities gambled to recoup lost bets or to experience the same thrill
  • A negative impact upon relationships with those closest to you
  • Concealing the amount of money and time spent betting from family members
  • Stealing money in order to gamble
  • Denial that you have a problem

In addition to these, you may also suffer from physical symptoms. These symptoms may include anxiety, irritability, headaches, stomach aches and stress-related symptoms.

For more information on the symptoms of gambling addiction, please click here.

Get help for problem gambling

In order to help stop gambling, there needs to be an admission that there’s a problem – this may typically come after a large loss or losing money over several days. Get in touch with Priory today to see how we can help to treat gambling addictions.

Gambling addiction treatment at Priory

Gambling addiction can make you feel as though you are losing control. The main approach to gambling therapy is by using some form of psychological support or intervention. This may involve getting help from professionals or joining a self-help group such as GamCare or Gamblers Anonymous; these groups offer local, telephone and online help.

We offer several forms of treatment for problem gambling, however the first step is to try to understand why the addiction developed, and what other stresses or problems you may be trying to avoid. This may be explored through individual or support group therapy at one of our specialist gambling addiction centres.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has been shown to be effective in the treatment of gambling addiction and can help people to understand what triggers their gambling behaviours and the ways in which they may change their behaviour. Medical treatments can also play an important part in relieving underlying stress or depression.

Free initial gambling addiction assessment

We understand that embarking upon gambling addiction therapy can be an emotionally turbulent time for you. With this in mind, Priory offers a free initial assessment with an experienced therapist at all of our addiction treatment hospitals and clinics, to help you to discuss your addiction in confidence.

For further details on how Priory can provide you with further assistance regarding Gambling Addiction Treatment, please call 0800 840 3219. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here