Online gambling and the widespread legalization of sports betting have made gambling more accessible than ever before. You no longer have to find a bookie or visit a casino to get sucked into this highly addictive behavior. Wagers take place through multiple websites 24/7. It’s no wonder that about 2 million people in the United States struggle with a gambling addiction, while as many as 20 million have had problematic gambling interfere with their lives.
At Gateway Foundation in Springfield, IL, our gambling addiction resources can help end this destructive cycle so you can regain full control of your life.
What Is a Gambling Addiction?
Many people engage in the occasional bet or casino visit. Yet, gambling has the potential to become highly addictive. When that happens, it can devastate your finances, your loved ones and even your health.
Compulsive gambling, also called a gambling addiction, is when an individual gambles despite this behavior’s negative effects on their life. The urge to gamble becomes a compulsive craving, much like the urge to use drugs or alcohol. Most people who place a bet or gamble as a pastime can stop once they’ve hit their predetermined maximum loss. Those who struggle with gambling often continue even when they’ve lost all their money. The euphoria that follows a gamble becomes intoxicating and individuals keep playing to recapture their high.
Methods for Overcoming Gambling Addiction
While problem gambling can quickly escalate into an uncontrollable addiction, you can try some things to control your gambling habit:
- Understand the underlying problem: To eliminate gambling, you must first learn what a gambling addiction is and admit you have a problem.
- Avoid temptation: Evading the people, places and even activities associated with gambling can help you avoid the thoughts and feelings that lead you to gamble.
- Find alternatives: Replace the thrill of gambling with healthier activities such as sports, yoga, spending time with friends and family or even volunteering.
- Remember the consequences: While you shouldn’t fall into shame or guilt, it may help to think about the consequences your gambling has had on your life and the lives of those you love — including emotional pain and financial hardship.
- Find professional help: If you can’t control your gambling, professional treatment from the addiction specialists at Gateway Springfield may mean the difference between your life in shambles and a stable future.
Gambling Addiction Treatments and Services Available in Springfield, IL
If you can admit you have a problem and need help, you can benefit from many highly effective treatment options available for gambling addiction in our Springfield, IL, treatment center:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT allows you to work with a therapist to replace mistaken beliefs with more accurate perceptions. As your feelings change, so too can your problematic gambling.
- Medication: Sometimes gambling is linked to a mental health condition, like depression or anxiety. Medications can address these issues and reduce the urge to gamble.
- Support groups: At Gateway Springfield, you can enjoy the encouragement and fellowship experienced through support groups. These sessions include others with similar stories who are also struggling to abstain from gambling. You can continue receiving support even as a program alumnus through the Gateway Connect app.
Get Help With Gambling Addiction in Springfield, IL
If you or a loved one struggles with compulsive gambling, the team at Gateway Springfield is here to help you. If you would like to learn more about our life-saving gambling addiction treatment, contact us today.