How to Overcome a Gambling Problem

Gambling is betting something of value (money, items) on an event whose outcome will be determined in some way by chance. Whether it’s betting on a football game, buying lottery tickets or playing bingo, gambling involves risking money or items and hoping to win. It is possible to develop a problem with gambling that can affect a person’s home life, work or relationships. Problem gambling is also referred to as compulsive gambling and is recognized as an addictive behavior. It is classified in the newest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) alongside other addictive behaviors.

The term gambling covers a wide range of activities, from traditional casino games such as slots, roulette and baccarat to sports bets like horse racing accumulators or football accums, to lottery and instant scratch cards. It can also involve wagers on games using materials that have a monetary value but aren’t real money, such as marbles or collectible card games (e.g., Pogs or Magic: The Gathering).

The biggest step in overcoming a gambling habit is acknowledging that you have one. Some people can stop gambling on their own, but for others, it’s important to seek help. Many treatment options exist, including counseling, self-help groups, support groups for family members of gamblers and medications. In some cases, treating underlying mood disorders may make it easier to quit gambling. The CUCRC can help you find a counselor or therapist who specializes in your needs through our online service, BetterHelp. You can schedule a screening or attend a Let’s Talk session from anywhere.