Help For Gambling Addiction

Gambling involves risking money or something else of value on an event whose outcome depends on chance. It can include games like card games, dice games and lotteries; betting on sports events like football accumulators or horse races; and making bets with friends. People also gamble by speculating on business or insurance risks. In general, gambling is considered harmful because it can cause financial problems, interfere with relationships, harm physical and mental health and reduce work performance. It can also lead to serious debt and even homelessness. Problem gambling can affect not only the person who gambles, but also family members, colleagues and friends.

Gamblers often hide their addiction to prevent others from finding out about it and judging them unfairly. They might lie about the amount they bet or try to cover up their gambling by using loans or credit cards. They may even steal from family or friends to fund their addiction. This can cause serious financial difficulties for the whole family, so it’s important to get help if you or someone you know is struggling with gambling addiction.

It’s important to learn about gambling so you can recognize the signs of a problem and seek help. There are many effective treatments for gambling addiction, including counseling, inpatient programs and residential treatment. You can also find information about community resources and support groups that can offer help and advice.

If you’re worried about a friend or loved one’s gambling habits, you can help them by talking to them about it. If they don’t want to talk, you can help them by setting boundaries about how much money you are willing to lend them. You can also make sure they’re aware of the risks of gambling, such as a decline in their health and work performance, or a risk of getting into debt.

You can also offer to help them find healthier ways of dealing with unpleasant feelings, such as by exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or learning relaxation techniques. You can also encourage them to check out local services that can provide treatment and recovery support, such as counselling, inpatient or residential care and community support groups.

As access to gambling has increased and the range of available games has expanded, psychologists have become concerned that more people are likely to develop problems with it than in the past. In addition, new forms of gambling have emerged, such as video game gambling. Researchers have found that opening loot boxes in popular video games can trigger similar brain changes as taking drugs of abuse, and that young people are particularly vulnerable to these types of gambling.