5 Ways to Stop Gambling

Although millions of people are able to enjoy gambling without any problems, that’s not true for everyone. Research by gambling commissions in the UK and US found that up to three percent of the population has a problem with gambling. The severity of this problem can range from an urge to keep gambling to a pathological condition that can leave someone’s life in shambles.

If you believe you have a gambling problem or want to help a loved one with a problem, here are five steps that can help stop problematic gambling:

1. Support is An Absolute Necessity

While someone may acknowledge that they have a problem, they may also think that they can fix it on their own. In fact, many addicts have this thought on several occasions. But sooner or later, they realize that despite their solo efforts, their problem has only continued to get worse. Just as with any type of addiction, support is the number one component of successful treatment and recovery. The best way for an addict to get the type of support they need is to start attending group meetings. In addition to groups for gambling addicts themselves, there are also groups that specialize in teaching friends and family members how to deal with and support a loved one who’s an addict.

2. Identify and Understand Triggers

In an ideal world, once someone sought help for their problem, there would be a way to eliminate their urges to gamble. Unfortunately, as anyone who has sought help knows, that’s not how things actually work. Instead, gambling addicts learn how to identify what environments and behaviors trigger their gambling. They also learn strategies to help deal with these situations and behavioral patterns.

3. Work to Find Balance

While it’s important for someone with a gambling problem to be aware of triggers, that doesn’t mean they should completely quarantine themselves off. Trying to use isolation to deal with this problem can turn out just as badly for someone as walking into a casino. They key is using increased knowledge of how addiction works to find healthy ways to help live a balanced and fulfilling life.

4. Address Finances

If a gambling addict has access to money, they’re going to use it for betting. With enough time, training and support, it is possible for someone with this problem to learn how to manage their finances. But during the early stages of seeking help and getting on the road to recovery, it’s best for an addict’s spouse or other trusted loved one to take full control of the finances.

5. It’s a Process

Although it would be great if a doctor could write a prescription for a gambling addict that would cure their problem in two weeks, that’s currently not possible. Because there’s not a "cure" for this condition, it’s important to understand that dealing with this addiction is a process. And while it requires work on a daily basis, reclaiming a life is worth every ounce of effort that it takes to do so!

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