Gambling Addiction Treatment Program Options
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Gambling can be a fun once-in-a-while activity or, for the lucky few, a way to win that illusive jackpot. Unfortunately, gamblers can become obsessive and compulsive about playing the ponies or pulling the one-armed bandit. They may find themselves in the throes of an addiction that could ruin them financially, socially, psychologically or even physically.
The American Gaming Association estimates that as many as 1 percent of Americans may be pathological gamblers. If you find yourself in this troubling situation, there are gambling addiction treatment program options that can make a difference in your life. We’re here to help and want to support you as you take your important journey back to an addiction-free life; call us 24/7 at today to get started.
What Causes Gambling Addictions?
Addictions, no matter the substance or action, all find their root cause in psychology. So, what causes gambling addictions? While many people can begin to do or take something as a habit, an addiction forms when that person becomes psychologically dependent. Simply put, an addiction is when you simply cannot stop doing something by choice alone because you need the high, the end result or the fulfillment it provides. Gamblers Anonymous explains that gamblers often feel they can control their activities while compulsive gamblers are actually controlled by them instead. This much is certain: While no one chooses to have an addiction, it’s important to choose when to break free of its hold.
If you become addicted to gambling, your entire life can be impacted. You can face financial ruin, the loss of your home or business because of gambling debts, the ending of a marriage or loss of child custody, or your downward spiral can lead you to additional addictions and psychological ailments. This is why it’s so important to recognize a problem as early as possible, so you can find help on treating gambling addiction.
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In addition, it’s easier than ever to be a gambler today. Casinos are popping up in more and more states, and there is ready access to a multitude of gaming sites online. Don’t let easy access lead you or your loved ones to the depths of despair. Instead, call us today to find out more about treatments, facilities and groups near you. We’re available at any time when you dial .
Is There a Cure for Gambling?
Psychological illnesses, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder or anorexia, don’t have an endpoint at which they are declared cured. At Gamblers Anonymous, members come to know that this is true of their illness as well. Is there a cure for gambling? No. But as with any other addiction, steps can be taken to break the hold gambling has over your life or over the lives of your loved ones. Whether you gamble all the time and cannot stop or go on binges that spiral out of control, the time to seek help is now.
Therapies for Gamblers
Therapies for gamblers run the gamut from intensive treatments to group-based recovery. Gambling addiction treatment programs are not a one-size-fits-all proposition; rather, you need to educate yourself on the options available to you and your family, so you can make the right decision that leads to the best outcome for everyone involved.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatment
Cognitive behavioral-therapy treatment sessions have shown promising results in the face of a variety of addictions, including gambling. With this treatment, a mental health professional can help an addict to identify the thought processes that have led to the compulsive gambling practice. For instance, many gamblers come to believe that if they just keep placing bets for a while longer, they will surely win the large jackpot they’ve been chasing. Instead of the dream of riches, other gamblers will keep at it, hoping that future winnings will pay their past debts.
Due to the psychological nature of a gambling addiction, a gambler’s moods may come to depend entirely on the highs of jackpots and the lows of losing streaks. With cognitive behavioral therapy, a gambler can begin to identify these misperceptions and work to correct them. When these root causes are identified and addressed, you or your loved one can begin the road to recovery.
Other Therapeutic Methods
Gambling addiction treatment program options include other therapeutic methods as well. Psychotherapy, or the practice of dealing with gambling triggers through individual and group counseling sessions, can lead to many of the same results as cognitive behavioral therapy, including isolating causes and reversing misperceptions.
Family therapy can also be beneficial to the addicted gambler. When you compulsively gamble, it’s likely your family is affected as well. Family therapy addresses not only the issue of gambling itself but also deals with healing family relationships and moving forward on the recovery path together.
An important part of gambling therapy can also be the limitation of access to gambling opportunities. This can be difficult; many people cannot avoid exposure to the office Super Bowl pool or the gambling ads that appear across the Internet. But by at least limiting access to the most obvious and accessible avenues, a gambling addict can begin to focus on their obsessive or compulsive behavior, instead of dealing only with avoidance.
Residential Inpatient Gambling Addiction Treatment Centers
If you or your loved one is addicted to gambling and that addiction has led to increasingly poor life choices and results, residential or inpatient gambling addiction treatment centers may be the best choice for your recovery.
The Benefits of Residential Gambling Treatments
The benefits of residential gambling treatments can reach farther than outpatient care simply because patients are there to focus on recovery without the noise of everyday life. The National Council on Problem Gambling enumerates these benefits:
- 24/7 care
- Programs to treat psychological and behavioral issues
- Therapeutic activities
- Concurrent treatment for associated disorders
- Medical and psychological supervision
Luxury Gambling Addiction Facilities
High-rollers are legendary on the gambling scene, and they face the same addiction issues as penny gamblers. The difference, of course, is the ability to afford an additional menu of choices in addition to traditional treatment offerings. For instance, luxury gambling addiction facilities may offer spa-like amenities including massages, pool and hot tub availability, and a more lush setting. Ultimately, wealthier gambling addicts receive the same types of psychological treatments as everyone else; they just do so in a setting that is more comparable to a luxury resort than a hospital facility.
One benefit over other centers that luxury gambling addiction facilities may have, however, is increased access to medical and mental health professionals. People who can afford to pay more may also be seen more, and this can lead to faster recovery at times.
Executive Gambling Addiction Programs
Executive gambling addiction programs cater to busy professionals who recognize that it’s time to make a change in their destructive patterns, but who simply do not have the ability to spend extended amounts of time away from their work environment. These professionals, who, like high-rollers, can likely afford to pay more for their therapy, may have access to abbreviated programs, such as weekend-only programs. Programs might be otherwise customized to treat their addiction while allowing them to participate in the day-to-day affairs of their executive business interests.
Outpatient Gambling Rehab and Treatment Programs
Outpatient gambling rehab and treatment programs can range from groups like Gamblers Anonymous to supervised group settings to continued individual therapy. Much of what can be done on an inpatient basis can also be done within an outpatient setting. The difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment programs is principally the length of time spent in therapy. Many inpatient treatment plans include ongoing outpatient treatment after the patient’s release. The National Council on Problem Gambling suggests using the following criteria to find the right gambling addiction treatment program for you or your loved one:
- An accredited facility with fully trained and licensed staff
- Programs customized to gambling addiction needs
- Employment of a certified gambling counselor
One of the most well-known outpatient gambling recovery protocols is facilitated by Gamblers Anonymous and based on a 12-step program similar to that used by Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Gamblers Anonymous works with addicts who admit to their problem and seek to make amends as they also work to recover from gambling’s grasp. The organization, which protects all information shared within confidential meeting settings, works to bring newly admitted gamblers to a place where they can carry on with their lives, make restitution to anyone who has been harmed by their gambling and later serve as a mentor to others who are on the same path.
If you or a loved one has realized an addiction to gambling, we can help you find local Gamblers Anonymous meetings, inpatient facilities or outpatient programs. Call today to break the chains of gambling on your life and begin working toward sobriety. We have trained staff available 24/7 to assist with your needs when you call .
Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications
Medication can sometimes be a valuable part of a gambling addition recovery protocol. If you or someone in your family gambles compulsively, be careful and use only those medications that have been prescribed or recommended by a qualified professional. When you are controlled by one addiction, it is all too easy to fall into another through self-medication. However, medication prescribed and monitored by your doctor can aid in your overall recovery.
The University of Minnesota completed a study several years ago to examine the impact of such medication strategies. Its study participants fell into two groups: those with low impulse control and those who succumb to compulsive behavior. In the case of compulsive gamblers, medications routinely used in substance abuse addiction plans, like naltrexone, were found to have a positive impact. For gamblers with low impulse control, the study examined substances that affect the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Your chosen treatment program can help identify the best options for your circumstances.
How to Find the Best Gambling Addiction Treatment Facility
Finding the right gambling addiction treatment program for you or your loved one can be a long process. We can help. Our staff is able to discuss your unique situation and help you identify which program or treatment options can help you and your family escape from gambling addiction. So, call us today at , discuss your options with one of our knowledgeable advisors, and start the journey back to an addiction-free life.