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Is Compulsive Gambling Treatable? The Facts

Apr 15, 2008
Compulsive gambling is an illness, progressive in its nature, which can never be cured, but can be arrested. Compulsive Gamblers defined Compulsive Gambling as an urge or addiction to gamble in spite of a desire to stop or harmful or negative consequences. Very often compulsive gambling is referred to as the "hidden illness" because there are no physical or visual symptoms. Unlike alcoholism, compulsive gambling is a "drugless" addiction, although gamblers describe the sensations they experience as being quite similar to those experienced by chemically dependent persons.

Gambling Gambling is any time you bet money or place something of value at risk in hopes of winning something of greater value. Gambling becomes a problem anytime it negatively affects any aspect of your life. Gambling debts may compromise one's financial stability, cause problems with family and work, and prompt some individuals to engage in illegal activities, including espionage, as a means of covering their losses. Gambling can indeed become a life-threatening disease.

Money These "social gamblers" set aside an amount of money and time and walk away unaffected, win or lose. The temptation of winning an extraordinary amount of money may slowly develop into a gambling problem and eventually compulsive gambling. There is usually a progression in the frequency of gambling, the amount wagered, and finding money with which to gamble. The compulsive gambler will have an intense interest in gambling conversations, an exaggerated display of money and/or material possessions.

Anonymous "Compulsive gambling is an illness, progressive in nature, which can never be cured, but can be arrested," according to the Website Gamblers Anonymous. A wide range of programs exist, ranging from Gamblers Anonymous to inpatient treatment centers. 12 step programs, such as the one offered by Gamblers Anonymous, work well for many people. But there is anonymous professional help available right now for anyone who asks.

Information 24-hour Confidential HelpLine1- 888-ADMIT-IT(1-888-236-4848) If you are seeking information about problem gambling, you can call the HelpLine or post a message. Doesn't matter if you're looking for information for yourself or someone else, they've got just what you need. The Helpline provides 24-hour telephone coverage, supportive intervention and resource and referral information to persons seeking assistance regarding problem gambling. GAM-ANON provides information and help for the family members or friends of compulsive gamblers.

Conclusion Compulsive gambling is a problem that exists in other countries and in the United States. However, just like other addictions, compulsive gambling is diagnosable and treatable. Treatment for compulsive gambling is similar to therapies for other forms of addiction. If nothing else, "What's needed," experts say, "is a greater public awareness that compulsive gambling is a serious problem."
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