Gambling addiction is considered a process addiction, because it involves compulsively tending to slot machines and casino games. The Scientific American quotes that surveys have shown approximately 2 million people in the United States are addicted to gambling; this addiction can impact several aspects of daily life. Research shows that gambling addiction affects regions of the brain that other addictions do: impulsivity and reward seeking. Losing causes a person with gambling addiction to want to try again, and winning causes a person to want to put even more money down because they could potentially win more. It’s a dangerous system that activates the brain’s reward center and over time, reels in the person to continue the behavior to feel happy.
Business Insider has identified the following as symptoms of gambling addiction:
- You can’t stop gambling.
- You gamble with money that you can’t afford to lose.
- Your bets go beyond entertainment.
- You attempt to recover your losses by gambling more.
- You gamble with increasing amounts of money.
- You go to extremes to find money to gamble.
- You place gambling before more important things.
- Gambling negatively affects your emotions.
Treatment for gambling often includes cognitive behavioral therapy, a form of treatment that helps individuals change their patterns of thought. Psychotherapy, or one-on-one therapy, may include CBT therapy and group therapy may also be an option to help individuals connect and share experiences with others. Many treatment centers offer 12 step programs that go beyond alcoholism and drug addiction. Medication may also be provided to help a person overcome their gambling urges and at the very least, help clear their thoughts, so they can focus solely on their recovery and developing tools to cope. Treatment can help a person make sincere lifestyle changes that will help them regain control back over their life.
If you have a gambling addiction, call us today at 888-958-7511. Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned mental health and addiction recovery treatment center located in California. We offer a variety of methods ranging from acupuncture, to 12 step programs, to music therapy and more. We will work with you to determine what treatment plan will best suit your needs. Call us today for a consultation.