Gambling Addiction

Have you spent more time or money gambling than you intended? Have you ever lied about the amount of time or money you have gambled? Have you gambled away money that should have gone to paying bills or taking care of your family? Have loved ones and friends expressed concerns about your gambling? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be suffering from a gambling addiction.

Compulsive gamblers cannot control their urge to gamble even when they know their behavior is causing negative consequences including hurting their loved ones. Problem gambling strains important relationships, interferes with responsibilities at work and home and can lead to financial ruin. It is not uncommon for compulsive gamblers to steal or commit other crimes to pay for their addiction. Just the thought of going to the casino or calling a “bookie” is enough to send shivers up their spine and set the addictive cycle in motion.

Many people ask how can gambling be considered an addiction when no substances are used. The answer is that gambling is a process addiction which means that the body produces a powerful cocktail of neurochemicals causing a high, every bit as powerful, as that experienced by alcoholics and drug addicts. Just as alcoholics and drug addicts develop a tolerance to their substance, compulsive gamblers develop a need to gamble more frequently or with bigger and bigger bets in order to achieve the same rush. The constant pursuit of that initial high or that next "big win" develops in to an addiction. Compulsive gamblers experience extreme highs and lows. Their mood is determined by the outcome of their bets. One moment, they may feel as if they are on top of the world, the next moment they may be so desperate that suicide may seem like the only way out. They are willing to forsake everything important in their lives including life itself to pursue the fantasy of the next bet. With such highs and lows experienced, it is easy to understand why the suicide rate associated with gambling addiction is one of the highest by percentage of all addictions.

Therapy will help problem-gamblers learn how to control their urges, cope with uncomfortable feelings, change unhealthy behaviors and relationships and examine the underlying issues that brought about the addiction in the first place. Therapy in conjunction with 12-step support provides the best opportunity for recovery.

Phone: (860) 490-3292
Email Seth A. Weinstein

Seth A. Weinstein, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor
Specializing in Addictions, Trauma and Codependency