Man sitting at casino game table after gambling becomes addiction

What Happens When Gambling Becomes an Addiction?

Similarly to drugs and drinking, individuals may develop a gambling problem that causes significant harm in their lives. A person can become addicted to any type of gambling, from the lottery and slot machines to horse racing and card games. Additionally, the amount of money a person wins or loses does not constitute whether or not they have an addiction to gambling. An individual on a winning streak may have just as much of an issue as someone who loses frequently.  

When gambling becomes addiction, Recovery Ranch can help. Our process addiction treatment center takes a holistic approach to recovery, providing personalized and comprehensive treatment plans that address the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of compulsive gambling. Call us today at 1.844.876.7680 to take the first step toward lasting recovery. 

How Does an Addiction to Gambling Develop?

A person who buys a lottery ticket once a week or enjoys trips to a local casino doesn’t necessarily have a gambling problem. Generally, it becomes an issue when it gets out of control and negatively affects an individual’s life. 

Addiction to betting and other forms of gambling grows similarly to a drug or alcohol addiction. A person harmlessly gambles for fun. Next, the person spends more time and money gambling. The more they gamble, the more they crave excitement and the chance to win. Just as drinkers can develop a tolerance to alcohol, gamblers can develop a tolerance to gambling. 

While the craving keeps growing, the individual spends less time with family and friends. A gambling addiction may also interfere with work, drain finances, and cause harm to physical or mental health. In extreme cases, gambling has contributed to individuals committing suicide.  

Signs of a Gambling Problem

Several criteria define compulsive gambling. If an individual meets at least five of the following, they may have an addiction to gambling:

  • Cannot control or stop gambling
  • Neglects personal relationships
  • Has constant thoughts about gambling
  • Gradually raises stakes and increases risks
  • Escapes from other problems by gambling
  • Resorts to illegal activity to fund the addiction 
  • Cannot emotionally handle restricting themselves from gambling
  • Expects that they can always get more money for their habit 
  • Feels compelled to keep playing until they win

Knowing when gambling becomes addiction can empower individuals to get the treatment they need to prevent the problem from worsening and improve their lives. 

Why Does Gambling Become Addiction?

Multiple internal and external influences can start an individual’s gambling problem. Some people begin during the boredom of retirement, others while dealing with a stressful job situation, and some engage in the behavior to escape memories of a traumatic experience. 

Genetics influence some individuals. If a family member suffers from an addiction, it is more likely for a person to develop one. Habits acquired from loved ones also raise the risk of addiction. For instance, a parent with a gambling problem puts their child at greater risk for the same issues. 

Seek Treatment for a Gambling Problem at The Ranch 

When gambling becomes addiction, don’t hesitate to contact Recovery Ranch. Our experienced and compassionate staff is committed to understanding your needs and helping you develop a plan for lasting recovery. We can provide individualized treatment that includes intensive counseling, group support sessions, or many other evidence-based therapies. 

If you or someone you know experiences an addiction to betting or any other form of gambling, now is the time to reach out for help. At The Ranch, our goal is to treat symptoms of a gambling problem and address its underlying causes to provide lasting change. Complete our contact form, or call us today at 1.844.876.7680 to start the journey toward a healthy and fulfilling life.

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