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Gambling is usually considered socially acceptable behaviour when done in moderation. However, when you cannot control your impulse to gamble, despite hurting yourself or a loved one, it may become a gambling addiction.

Gambling is potentially the most expensive of all types of addictions from a financial aspect. It may force you to lose everything with just one unlucky spin of the roulette wheel, leaving you and your loved ones in the middle of a financial crisis. Unfortunately, the problem is on the rise in the current era, with more than 2 million people in the UK addicted to gambling. However, effective gambling therapy and addiction treatment at a professional rehab can overcome this dependency and live a new life free from it.

Finding a rehab that offers the best gambling addiction help UK can be extremely challenging and daunting for many. This article discusses everything you need to know about gambling addiction, how to recognise it, and the types of help available to overcome it.

Gambling addiction is often associated with several red flags that aren’t always easy to detect. Catching this problem becomes particularly difficult if the gambler denies it. For most families, the earliest sign of a member being addicted to gambling is a massive loss of a large sum of money. However, several other characters are there to watch out for that can identify the problem in time before it leads to serious damage. 

Contrary to the occasional recreational gamblers, the problem gamblers can display the following behaviours:

  • Giving up most favourite recreational activities, hobbies, or family events to gamble
  • Having large sums of cash which suddenly disappear
  • Opening new checking accounts or getting new credit cards without any apparent need for money
  • Acting defensive or secretive about the gambling activities
  • Losing control over how much money gets wagered in a given session of gambling
  • Facing difficulties at work or experiencing conflicts in relationships due to gambling
  • Placing increasingly big bets or taking very dangerous risks (for example, stealing money from others to gamble)
  • Trying to stop gambling with no success
  • Expressing shame, remorse, or guilt about the gambling addiction yet being unable to quit
  • Lying about spending habits
  • Borrowing a lot of money from family members or friends without any apparent need for cash

In addition to the monetary signs of gambling, a problem gambler may develop the following psychological issues:

  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Substance abuse
  • Issues of the stomach and heart

Despite being a serious problem, gambling addiction can be treated with a combination of therapeutic programmes, supportive psychosocial services, and recovery sources. These therapies and services are commonly available at a gambling clinic through trained professionals who specialise in addressing compulsive gambling, with or without any co-occurring substance abuse problem.

The treatment may occur in an outpatient rehab centre that offers high autonomy and greater flexibility to clients or in an inpatient facility where care and support are provided round the clock. An admission assessment is necessary to determine the level of care that best suits each client and the types of therapies that can prove the most beneficial for them.

Some core therapies that are routinely included in a gambling recovery program include the following:

Individual Therapy

This involves working one-on-one with a therapist to strengthen the will to stop gambling. The therapist also helps clients identify the triggers and faulty coping strategies that might have led to this addiction in the first place. This is followed by supporting clients to acquire new, more effective ways to deal with these triggers. Therapy experts also incorporate various modalities like motivational interviewing in individual therapy sessions.

Group Therapy

Group therapy sessions allow the problem gamblers to develop a network of their own consisting of supportive peers attempting to overcome the same issues. In group therapy, all members are able to exchange personal experiences, discuss coping strategies, and express their hopes for the future. Programs like Gamblers Anonymous form an essential component of the recovery plan.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment modality used by experts to address the self-defeating behaviours and thoughts that often lead to problem gambling. This therapy is particularly useful to correct delusional thinking related to gambling addiction, for example, the false belief that one can win despite experiencing repeated losses.

Family/Couples Counselling

In a contemporary therapeutic setting, addiction of any sort is often viewed as a problem that not only affects one isolated individual but their entire family. Consequently, the family must be considered a unit throughout the treatment process for better outcomes. For this purpose, most rehabs offering help with gambling addiction have formulated family or couples counselling sessions to enhance the chances of recovery. These sessions create a more supportive home environment for the addict that helps them practice sobriety and live a life free from gambling for a long time. This type of therapy also helps strengthen the relationship, re-establish trust, and define boundaries between different family members

Detoxification

For many clients, a detox during the initial stages of treatment might be essential. This is particularly true if the client suffers from active alcohol or drug problem in addition to their gambling addiction. The detox usually takes place in an inpatient setting under trained professionals so that everything can be dealt with in a safe environment.

Once the treatment process for gambling addiction and all concurring issues is over, clients are moved from inpatient care to outpatient treatment or from outpatient care to an independent life in the community. Most rehabs usually provide aftercare programmes to help with long-term abstinence.

If you have a reason to believe that you or a loved one might be suffering from a gambling addiction, now is the time to seek help. There is no need to spend another day struggling with this harmful habit when there are countless treatment facilities in the UK equipped to help overcome these addictions. Contact us now to book an initial assessment and plan a treatment program today.

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