How to Help Someone With an Addiction to Gambling


Gambling is a form of entertainment where people gamble money or other items for the chance to win more money than they put up. There are many forms of gambling, including online casinos, bingo, lottery games, and sports wagering.

The most common form of gambling is lotteries and pool games, such as football pools (soccer in Europe, the US and Australia). These are often organized by state or local governments.

Although gambling is legal in most countries, the problem of addiction to gambling remains a serious concern worldwide. The problem is more widespread than ever, and many people are having trouble controlling their gambling.

To help someone with a gambling problem, try to understand what motivates their behavior. This can help you to provide the support they need in overcoming their addiction. It may also help you to stop judging them in ways that can be unhelpful.

Identifying your loved one’s triggers, urges and feelings can be important in understanding their gambling habits and behaviors. For example, if they have a history of being emotionally unstable, you can encourage them to seek treatment for this underlying issue.

If you feel their gambling is affecting your relationship, talk to them about it and let them know how you are feeling. You might be able to give them some tools to deal with their issues, or you may need to consider a short-term solution, such as counseling.

When a person has an addiction to gambling, they need a lot of support and attention from others. This can include counseling, family support, financial management, and a structured program of behavioral therapy to overcome the addictive behavior.

You can also try to change your environment or take other action to help reduce temptation. For instance, don’t gamble in public places. You can avoid casinos, and don’t play the lottery or other online gambling sites. If you’re not able to resist the urge to gamble, set boundaries for yourself before you start playing.

Postpone the Gambling Urge

When you have a gambling craving, tell yourself that you’ll wait 5 minutes, 15 minutes or an hour before you gamble. If you can’t wait that long, try distracting yourself with another activity.

Distract yourself with a hobby, exercise, or other activity that is enjoyable but doesn’t involve spending money. This will give you a distraction and make it easier to control your desire for gambling.

Remind yourself that you have a limited amount of money to lose and that if you win too much, it will be gone forever. Be sure to save your winnings for emergencies or for the future.

Embrace the Challenge of Recovery

When you’ve given up gambling, you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the temptation to go back and gamble again. You might have thoughts such as “If I just played a little longer, I’d get lucky and win some more.” These thoughts are normal for people with gambling problems to experience.