Dealing With A Gambling Addiction: Treatment Options

Addiction is more often than not though to only be a problem related to substance abuse. However, the true definition of addiction has to do with a behavior or action that is compulsive and that affects the pleasure/reward centers in the brain. The surge of good feelings that accompany a behavior is what a person becomes addicted to. Behaviors such as a gambling can become an addiction, but there are options for receiving help:

Gambling Addiction Symptoms

Some people do not understand the difference between enjoying gambling and addiction. First and foremost, the compulsion to gamble when a person is addicted is strong and essentially irresistible. If an addicted person is denied the opportunity to gamble, they feel antsy, anxious, and uneasy.

An addict will continue gambling no matter what the circumstances. If they win, lose, have money, run out of money, or anything in between, the addicted gambler will keep going and keep gambling. And, oftentimes, a person who is addicted to gambling will try to hide their gambling behavior and will act evasive and secretive. 

Gambling Addiction Recovery and Treatment

Gambling addiction treatment is, in many ways, similar to substance abuse treatment and recovery. The first step to recovery is for the addict to get separated from the temptation or opportunity to gamble and to stop the pattern of addictive behavior. While not always necessary, checking into an addiction recovery center or rehab center can be helpful to prevent relapse. 

Individual and group therapy are used in gambling addiction recovery to help identify triggers and underlying causes of addictive behavior. Triggers are the people, situations, or even objects that bring on the intense urge and desire to gamble. On the other hand, the underlying causes of addictive behaviors are usually more internal, personal reasons that can include feelings of inadequacy, a dissatisfaction with certain elements of life, or even a mental health disorder. 

Once a person's addiction triggers and the causes of the behavior are identified, the healing process can begin. Addicts in treatment are taught coping mechanisms to handle triggers that emerge in their lives and are given the opportunity to address and overcome the underlying causes of their addictions. However, even after the initial recovery process is complete (i.e. they leave the recovery or rehab center), addiction recovery continues. Support groups and/or continued therapy will help ensure that the gambling addict does not relapse. 

Addiction is not limited to substance abuse problems. It can include addictions to behaviors or actions such as gambling. Now that you know how to identify a gambling addiction and the treatment protocols, you will be able to help yourself or a person you love get through the recovery process. To learn more, contact a company like Addictions Recovery Center with any questions or concerns you have.