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Gambling Addiction in USA and how to fight it

Gambling Addiction

The gambling industry has witnessed a big growth over the last few decades in the world. A rise in mental health issues has accompanied.

The American Psychiatric Association identifies gambling as a mental health disorder similar to addictions triggered by alcohol and drugs. Problem gambling has always been a source of concern for lawmakers and health experts alike. In several American states, gambling is banned to some extent, but this hasn’t stopped the country’s problem gambling rate to a sizable 2.6% according to CasinoVibez.com.

Approximately one in five pathological gamblers attempts suicide, a rate higher than that for any other addictive disorder.

Signs of addiction to gambling

1. They are preoccupied with gambling

The first sign of problem gambling is when a person can’t put a time and financial limit on their gambling level. Gambling is everything that goes on in their minds. They can’t wait to get off work or escape from a boring conversation to place their next bets. Their topics of discussion are usually their gambling escapades with anyone who cares to listen.

2. Gambling Despite Consequences

Problem gamblers will often ignore the big red flag if losing a lot of money. They borrow money to play games even when the interest rate is too high. They include valuable items like cars or money set aside for more important things such as rent in their wagers.

3. Financial troubles.

A sure-fire way of knowing if a person has a gambling problem is the amount of debt he acquires due to gambling. To some extent, a person can claim he doesn’t have a gambling problem as long as he keeps on winning.

4. Gambling takes priority over other important issues

Problem gamblers often allow their gambling to be more important than other social activities. They start to miss basic important activities like having family dinners or coming in to work to satisfy their compulsive urges. When they are around, they are preoccupied, and personal relationships suffer as a result.

5. An inability to follow through on previous plans to stop

This is a big example of severe a problem gambling addiction. A person who realizes he is gambling too much may decide to cut back on their habit or stop altogether, but the urge to come back is so strong that they break at the slightest bit of temptation. They are stuck in an infinite loop of trying and failing to escape their problems.

6. Gambling has a huge effect on their emotions

Gambling is meant to be a fun and often social activity when done moderately. Thinking about gambling or gambling for too long will definitely have negative effects on people.  They get frustrated and angry when they suffer huge losses or remorseful and depressed anytime reality hits them. In extreme cases, this can make them lash out at people around them or begin to have suicidal thoughts.

7. An obsession for chasing losses

In gambling, chasing losses refers to the habit of spending more money in the hope of recovering the amount that has been lost. Many problem gamblers are beset with endless hope of reliving a previous lucky streak or an unfounded belief in their gambling prowess.

8. People are getting bothered by your behavior

Most times, a gambling addict will not admit their problems to themselves or other people. But they can only hide it for so long. Eventually, friends and family will notice the sour moods and restlessness that affect an addict when they’re not gambling.

How To Battle Gambling Addiction

1. Accept that you have a problem

The first step towards fighting addiction is the understanding and acceptance that a person is addicted to it.

2. Seek help

Tell your trusted friends of your problem or join a support group. Support groups are more favorable because the presence of other confessed addicts will reduce the shame one might feel when opening up to friends and relatives. Support groups also have guides who are well experienced in dealing with the issue directly or indirectly. Their many organizations set up in America to tackle gambling addiction like Gamblers Anonymous and The Recovery Village. The National Council on Problem Gambling also offers voice and text support through its different helplines.

3. Avoid activities that trigger gambling compulsion

Cut off friends who push you to gamble or take a different route home if there are casinos on your regular route. Taking the internet’s extended time is also advisable as it has become a cesspool of gambling ads. Rather, in your free time, explore activities like learning a new skill or exercising and meditation to help against self-destructive tendencies.

All these daily routines may seem difficult at first but are very achievable. These decisions wouldn’t be difficult if you weren’t an addict.

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