Problem gambling is a common affliction that affects millions of Americans. If you’ve ever wondered if you have a gambling problem, read on to learn the warning signs of a gambling addiction and ways to get help. In this article, we’ll also cover the legalization of gambling in the U.S. and other factors you should know. It’s a complex topic, so we hope this information is useful to you.
The dangers of problem gambling are significant, but they are often hidden by the person’s lack of awareness of the consequences. While gambling can be enjoyable if done responsibly, it is dangerous and destructive when it is carried out with the aim of gaining a ‘high’. Many call it a ‘hidden addiction’ because there are usually no physical symptoms or signs. This is especially true when it comes to problem gambling, which has many more implications than just financial ruin.
If a family member has a problem with gambling, preventing it from affecting them financially can help. First, the person can try to avoid gambling with others and join a non-gambling social group. Another option is to talk to their loved ones about their problem gambling. A lot of help is available at GamCare, which provides self-help materials and other resources that can help family members cope with the behavior of their loved ones.
Signs of a problem gambler
There are many signs that a person may have a gambling problem. These problems are often accompanied by emotional symptoms, such as lying, staying up late, and stealing money. The person who has a gambling problem may even use gambling as a means to get over depression, slow boredom, or other feelings of hopelessness. Other signs of a problem gambler are pale skin, weight gain, and dark circles under the eyes.
While the signs of a problem gambler are often hidden, it’s important to understand the symptoms of such an addiction. For example, a person may have an increasing number of phone calls, spend more time on the Internet, or start playing gambling games without realizing it. In addition, some of these symptoms may go undetected until a person is already in deep debt. However, there are ways to identify problem gambling early on and to help a loved one overcome the addiction.
There are several effective treatment options available to help you deal with the issue of excessive gambling. Behavioral therapy and cognitive behavior therapy are common methods of treatment for compulsive gamblers. They focus on identifying and replacing negative thoughts with more positive ones. Other treatment methods include family therapy and 12-step programs. Smartphone apps may also be helpful in instilling new habits and encouraging the person to think about their compulsive behavior. The addiction AVERT app can help curb cravings while BreakFree helps people spend less time on their smartphones.
Inpatient rehab programs are available for those who cannot quit gambling alone. These programs typically include intensive support and time-intensive treatments. They also address the impact of gambling, the triggers that lead to addiction, and how to develop coping mechanisms. If you can’t find help from your friends or family members, residential rehab is likely the best option. Some programs include both counseling and holistic therapies. For more intensive care, you can seek out a gambling addiction treatment center in your area.
Legalization of gambling in the U.S.
Despite legal restrictions, most states in the United States have legalized gambling of some kind. Among them are lotteries and casino-style gambling in at least 43 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. More than 20 states have approved card games, and most have legalized horse racing wagering. The question of whether legal gambling is acceptable is a contentious issue that has spawned a large number of lawsuits.
While it is true that many states are pursuing legalization of gambling, some states are resisted by the longstanding gaming interests. For example, the Californian state legislature has repeatedly rejected legislation to legalize sports betting in the state. Tribal interests have successfully fought against a proposed legislative change in the state, and have lobbied hard against legalizing gambling in California. In the meantime, California players are attempting to reclaim control of the gambling market.