Dealing With Gambling Addiction


Gambling involves risking something of value, such as money or goods, on an event whose outcome is uncertain. It is a popular pastime that takes many forms, including betting on football games, horse races, lottery numbers and scratchcards. It is also a significant source of income for some governments. Some people have gambling problems, and this can lead to financial hardship, depression, anxiety and strained relationships. There are several ways to overcome gambling addiction, including seeking treatment from a therapist and finding healthy replacement activities.

The most important step in dealing with a gambling problem is recognising that there is one. It can be difficult to admit that you have a problem, particularly if you have already lost a lot of money or harmed your relationships because of your habit. However, there are plenty of resources available to help you take control of your life again, such as gambling treatment centres and specialised support groups. You may also be able to find online counselling services that can help you deal with your gambling issues and work out a recovery plan with a professional therapist.

Getting the right treatment can be a long process, but there are many stories of people who have successfully recovered from their gambling habits and rebuilt their lives. You can hear inspiring stories of people like Chris Murphy, who used to gamble on football matches while his girlfriend slept next to him, but has now founded the Sporting Chance clinic and helps other former athletes with their addictions. James Grimes, meanwhile, was addicted to football betting and lost everything before starting his own charity, The Big Step, to help others break free from the same compulsion.

Another way to help deal with gambling addiction is to seek treatment for underlying mood disorders that can trigger and worsen your gambling behaviour. Depression, stress or substance abuse are common factors in gambling disorders, and addressing these issues can help you break the cycle. It can also be helpful to get regular exercise, spend time with friends who don’t gamble and learn to relax in other ways.

While it is true that gambling has some positive social impacts, such as bringing people together for charity events and creating jobs, these benefits should be balanced against the costs. Unfortunately, studies that focus on gross impact tend to overlook the cost side of the equation, with little effort to identify and quantify expenditure substitution effects, real and intangible impacts, or geographical scope.