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This page was medically reviewed by Stephanie Chick (FDAP), Senior ATP (Addiction Treatment Programme) Therapist at Priory Hospital North London, in July 2020.

A gambling addiction, sometimes referred to as 'compulsive gambling' or 'problem gambling’, can cause difficulties in relationships and at work, whilst the cost of funding it can become a huge financial burden. While it is possible to get lucky from time to time, it is important to remember that betting odds of any kind are always in favour of what is ultimately a lucrative industry for a reason.

Gambling addiction can affect anybody at any time, and differentiates from an occasional ‘flutter’ for fun, or even a gambling problem that isn’t out of control, in that it can consume all aspects of your life. While traditional gambling prior to the digital age consisted of having to physically place bets at horse racing venues or bookmakers on the high street, modern day gambling involves 24/7 access to casino and sports bets at the touch of a screen or click of a button.

Gambling addiction treatment at Priory

Treatment for gambling addiction can take place as part of our 28-day Addiction Treatment Programme, with the length and type of treatment that you receive, dependent on your unique condition and the severity of your addiction.

This may involve getting gambling addiction treatment from professionals at Priory and joining a self-help group such as GamCare or Gamblers Anonymous; these groups offer local, telephone and online support.

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.

Lead Addictions Therapist discusses treatment at Priory Hospital Altrincham

In this video, Frank Dunne, Deputy Lead Addictions Therapist at Priory Hospital Altrincham, talks about how we treat addictions at our network of hospitals and rehab facilities. 


Discover more locations

What’s included in our 28-day treatment programme?

  • A FREE, no obligation addiction assessment
  • 7 - 10 day medically assisted withdrawal detox if required
  • Individual 1:1 therapy, online therapy and structured group therapy programmes
  • Family and couples programmes
  • Access to both on and off-site 12-Step support groups
  • Free aftercare for 12 months following treatment (aftercare is provided for life following treatment at Priory Hospital Roehampton)
  • Free family support for 12 months following treatment (family support is provided for life following treatment at Priory Hospital Roehampton)

Behavioural talking therapies, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), will be used throughout your treatment programme, as they're effective in the treatment of gambling addiction and can help you to understand what triggers your gambling behaviours, and the ways in which you may change this behaviour.

Medication for a dual diagnosis

The most effective method of treating gambling addiction is via a comprehensive programme of addiction therapy. However, if you are struggling with gambling addiction alongside another co-occurring condition, such as depression or anxiety, it may be appropriate for you to be prescribed medication to help with this dual diagnosis. If you are diagnosed with a further mental health condition alongside gambling addiction, your treatment programme may involve inpatient treatment to ensure that any prescribed medication such as antidepressants are being taken at the effective dose.

Get started with addiction treatment by booking a free addiction assessment

If you’re struggling with addiction, we understand the challenges you’re facing and we’re here to help.

We have trained advisers available to speak to you right away, by calling 0330 056 6023. We can discuss your concerns in complete confidence, explore options for treatment, and help you to understand what will work best for you.

We’ll also help you to book your free addiction assessment there and then, with appointments usually available within a few days.

We know that taking the first step can be difficult, but we’re here to support - with no pressure or judgement. Help is just a phone call away.

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Signs you might have a gambling addiction

As a result of gambling addiction being a behavioural addiction, rather than a substance addiction, it can often be difficult to spot signs or patterns of compulsive gambling. Gambling addiction may be referred to as a 'hidden illness' as we cannot always tell when someone is struggling with compulsive betting. 

However, there are some subtle signs that could appear if someone has an ongoing gambling addiction. The most common signs 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 additional physical and psychological symptoms. These symptoms may include anxiety, irritability, headaches, stomach aches and stress-related symptoms.

Get help for compulsive gambling

While it can feel impossible to stop gambling, specialist gambling addiction treatment at Priory, aims to alleviate the destructive effects of compulsive gambling behaviours. At Priory’s specialist addiction centres, behavioural therapies are used to help you to understand the reasons why you find it difficult to stop gambling, enabling you to learn techniques to channel these urges into more healthy pursuits.

My recovery journey - David

As someone who struggled with addiction problems for over a decade, David's recovery at the Priory is one we should all be inspired by.

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

Get in Touch Today

For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding gambling addiction treatment and rehabilitation, please call 0330 056 6023 or click here to book a FREE ADDICTION ASSESSMENT. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here

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