We all know that taking part in games of chance involves a certain amount of stake, but it is important to understand the dangers of compulsive gambling. While gambling can produce feelings of euphoria and excitement, it is not a way to make money. The Responsible Gambling Council promotes responsible gambling and influences positive change in our society. Their goal is to raise the standard of responsible gambling in Canada. This article outlines the dangers of gambling and offers treatment options.
A gambling addiction is based on a psychological principle called the Variable Ratio Reinforcement Schedule, or VRRS. This compulsion-inducing system causes compulsive individuals to be driven by the urge to place wagers, which leads to an ongoing downward spiral. Common gambling activities are lottery tickets, scratch cards, sports betting, and gambling machines. Gamblers with this condition may lie about their gambling habits and try to make up for losses by placing bets more frequently.
Counseling and support groups can be helpful for both sufferers and family members. In addition to counseling, compulsive gambling treatments may involve a self-help group such as Gamblers Anonymous. In more severe cases, therapy may include a residential or inpatient treatment program. In many cases, treatment will also include therapy for other substance abuse and/or mental disorders, such as depression or anxiety. If these strategies do not work, a patient may require additional treatment.
Many individuals suffering from a gambling problem will benefit from a variety of treatment options. Inpatient and outpatient rehab facilities offer many options, including therapy and group sessions. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on challenging the problematic thoughts and behaviors that lead to gambling. Other treatment options include support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous, which use a 12-step approach to treat the underlying psychological issues. Self-help groups may also be beneficial.
While some people will resist therapy, a variety of options are available. CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and medication are two common treatments for gambling addiction. CBT focuses on changing negative thoughts and behaviors and challenging irrational beliefs. Opioid antagonists can help reduce cravings and stop impulsive behavior. Family therapy can also help. Some people may also benefit from an addiction recovery group. Regardless of the type of treatment, a professional can help individuals overcome their gambling problems.