How to Manage a Gambling Addiction


Gambling is an activity in which people place a bet on the outcome of an event with an element of chance and with the potential to win something of value. It can involve games of skill or chance, including lotteries, cards, dice, sports events, casino gaming and horse racing. While gambling is a popular pastime for many, it can also cause significant problems for some individuals. This article discusses the common types of gambling, risk factors for developing problem gambling and tips on how to manage a gambling habit.

A number of different coping mechanisms can help people manage a gambling addiction. These include making a decision not to gamble, keeping a gambling journal and writing down triggers that lead to gambling. It is also important to limit access to money, so it is not as easy for someone to gamble. Getting rid of credit cards, having someone else be in charge of money and closing online betting accounts can all help to reduce the temptation to gamble.

It is also important to replace gambling activities with other enjoyable activities that will provide the same satisfaction and sense of achievement. For example, joining a book club, taking a class or volunteering for a charity can all be good alternatives to gambling. In addition, addressing any underlying issues that may be contributing to the gambling behavior can help. For example, if stress or negative emotions are driving the behavior, undergoing therapy can be helpful.

Gambling can be dangerous for anyone, but it is especially problematic for people living in poverty. These individuals are at a higher risk of gambling because they need to make quick money to survive and can easily become hooked on the high feeling that comes from winning. They are also more likely to be in debt, which can further contribute to their problems.

There are a number of ways to manage a gambling addiction, including peer support programs such as Gamblers Anonymous and 12-step recovery programs modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous. Individuals who struggle with gambling addiction can also benefit from family therapy, marriage counseling and career or financial counseling. These services can address the specific problems that are causing problem gambling and lay the foundation for healthy changes in a person’s life. If you or a loved one has a gambling problem, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. If you are struggling with debt, call StepChange for free, confidential debt advice. You can also seek help from the Gambling Commission, which is a national charity that offers free and confidential advice to those affected by problem gambling. The phone lines are open 24 hours a day, and you can speak to an adviser in your local language. You can also visit the Gambling Commission website for more information. The website includes a FAQ page with useful information and links to additional resources. The site is easy to navigate, and the staff are knowledgeable and supportive.