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.
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.
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.
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.
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