Problem gambling can strain your relationships, interfere with responsibilities at home and work, and lead to financial catastrophe. You may even do things you never thought you would, like stealing to get money to gamble or pay your gambling debts.
You may think you can’t stop, but problem gambling and gambling addiction are treatable. If you’re ready to admit you have a problem and seek help, you can overcome your gambling problem and regain control of your life.
In order to overcome a gambling addiction, you must first admit that you have a problem. For many problem gamblers, this is the hardest part. But recovery won’t happen if you’re minimizing the addiction, making excuses, or blaming others.
Once you’re ready to own up to your gambling problem, the work of recovery can begin. Start by seeking professional help from one of our addiction specialists. This is also the time to come clean to your loved ones and ask for their support. Overcoming a gambling addiction is never easy. But recovery is possible if you stick with treatment and seek support.
While the warning signs of problem gambling can be subtle, there are some red flags that should put you on alert:
- Secrecy over money and finances
- New desire to control household finances
- Unexplained loans or cash advances
- Lack of money, despite the same income and expenses
- Unusual increase in credit card activity
- Asking friends and family for money
- Missing jewelry, cash, or valuables
- Dwindling savings or assets
- Missing bank or credit card statements
- Calls or letters from bill collectors
- Unexplained cash, especially when there are unpaid bills
Do I have a gambling problem?
You may have a gambling problem if you:
- Neglect work or family to gamble
- Lie about how much you gamble
- Feel compelled to keep upping your bets
- Feel remorse after gambling
- Gamble until you’ve spent your last dollar
- Gamble with money you need to pay bills
- Steal, borrow, or sell things to get money for gambling
- Dream of the "big win" and what it will buy
- Gamble in order to solve financial problems or win back losses