How to help someone with a Gambling Addiction

If you are concerned about a family member or a friend who may have a gambling addiction, we have created this guide on how to help someone with a gambling addiction.

It’s always best to get help for them as soon as possible rather than later to get the best results. The best way to get started with helping people with their gambling addiction is to get them to open up by starting an honest, non-confrontational discussion with them.

This will help them to get started on the road to recovery and will help to make sure their illness no longer has such a negative impact on their lives and the lives of their friends and family.


Are You a Problem Gambler? – How to Tell If Someone Has a Problem With Gambling

It is important for people to understand what compulsive gambling involves if they want to help someone with their gambling addiction.

Recognising that the addict will have a constant urge to gamble is crucial. Although this may be difficult for someone to understand if they’ve never been an addict themselves, this is an important factor to keep in mind if you want to help someone with a gambling problem.

The urge for a gambling addict to keep gambling will sometimes be so strong that it becomes the most important thing in their life and anything else comes second to gambling. This can affect their work, relationships, finances, education, and both their physical and mental health.

It is also very important to recognise that gambling is something that a gambling addict is powerless over. Some addicts may have previously made some promises to stop their gambling habits and may have even taken some steps such as blocking themselves off gambling websites or deleting their gambling apps.

However, if someone is addicted to gambling, they simply won’t be able to stop without the help of a professional and will find any way they can to continue the gambling behaviours.

Below is a list of questions that may help you identify if you or someone you know is a problem gambler:

  • Do you feel the need to gamble with large amounts of money to get a high feeling?
  • Do you ever bet more than you can afford to lose?
  • Have you ever felt guilty about your gambling habits or what happens when you do gamble?
  • Have you ever tried chasing your losses by trying to win back the money you lost?
  • Has your gambling caused any financial problems for you or your family members?
  • Have you ever borrowed money from others or sold something to fund your gambling?
  • Has your gambling ever caused any health problems such as feelings of depression, anxiety, or stress?
  • Has anyone ever criticised you about your gambling habits or told you that you may have a gambling problem?

If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, this may be a clear sign of gambling addiction.


Help For Problem Gamblers

There is a lot of evidence that indicates that gambling addictions can be treated in the same way as many other types of addictions. The best therapy options for a problem gambler are usually talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy.

There are also many support groups around such as gamblers anonymous that will allow the addict to meet other people who are also walking in their shoes. This can be very helpful as it will allow the gambler to associate with other people who want to overcome gambling and this can create a group of support.

Many gamblers will turn to rehab for treatment as this is known to be the most effective course of action for problem gamblers. Rehab treatments can be taken on an inpatient or outpatient basis.

Inpatient rehab involves residing within the rehab away from all of the usual gambling triggers. Outpatient rehab is less effective as the person will still live at home surrounded by their triggers, so relapse is common here.


Someone Close to Me is a Problem Gambler – What Should I Do?

If you suspect that someone you know may have a gambling problem, then there are many ways to help. The most important thing you can do for that person is to encourage them to get professional help.

We can assist you in finding the help needed for your loved one if you simply give us a call. It’s very important to remember that even though your loved one’s gambling habit is affecting you to the point where you want them to change their addictive habits, they may not be quite ready to make that change.

Addictions are very complex and will require the person to commit to their recovery, otherwise, it is unlikely to be successful. You can offer your support to the person and encourage them to seek professional help. It may also be helpful to teach them the ways in which they can get professional help. However, you can’t force someone to make a change if they’re not ready yet.


Talking to Someone With Gambling Problems

It can be very challenging to talk to someone about their gambling problem. The best thing you can do is begin by asking the person if they think they have a problem with gambling. You may not get a straight answer from them, to begin with, and you can’t be sure how the person will react. Always aim to approach someone in a non-confrontational way as this will get the best results from your conversation.

Remember that you want the person to be honest with you. With this in mind, you should be honest with them. Let them know how their gambling addiction is affecting you and voice your concerns. Avoid being deceptive, judgmental, or aggressive in your approach.

Some gambling addicts may be relieved or grateful that the conversation was brought up. Others may shy away or be ashamed about their behaviours. If the person lies about their addiction problem, you can still inform them of your feelings and tell them that you care about them and want to support them.


Getting Support For Someone With a Gambling Addiction

If you want to find out some more information about helping someone with their gambling addiction, get in touch with us today on 0800 012 6006 for some professional advice on how to best help your loved one with their gambling problem.