Friday September 30th 2016

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Residential treatment for gambling addiction: 5 things to look for

Have you tried to quit gambling on your own and failed? If compulsive gambling has affected your work, social, or emotional life (can gambling ruin your life?) … it may be time to seek professional treatment.

When looking for treatment for gambling addiction, it is important to remember that any treatment center you choose needs to provide a safe and supportive space for a gambling addict. Often treatment centers are prepared to treat alcohol and drug addiction, but they may not have the rules and procedures in place to properly treat someone suffering from a gambling problem. Becoming addicted to gambling did probably not happen overnight.  So, you’ll need structure and rules to get proper treatment.

5 Must Haves: Residential gambling addiction treatment

To make sure you find the perfect place, there are 5 key factors to consider when choosing a gambling addiction center.

1. Limiting access to electronics

The first is limiting access to technology and unsupervised communication. With the advent of modern technology, it is possible to gamble using a computer smartphone or simply by making a phone call. Gamblers can also find a fix nearly anywhere there is a story selling lottery tickets. This means the staff at a gambling rehabilitation center must limit a person’s access to phones and other electronic devices. Any time a patient is outside of the facility they should be chaperoned by a trained professional to make sure they do not damage their recovery.

2. 12 step program

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The second thing to look for in a treatment center is use of the 12 steps. This is not because the 12 steps are any better or worse than other treatment methods it is because they are so widely supported in aftercare. There is almost always a 12 step meeting nearby which gives gambling addicts the support they need after they leave treatment. Being familiar with the 12 step format will help them feel comfortable and welcome attending these meetings.

3. Treatment for cross addictions

The third thing to look for is a treatment center that can handle other types of addictions. Gambling addicts often have cross addictions that they may keep hidden. This could be alcohol drugs or any number of things. If all the addictions are not addressed addicts often slip back into their old behaviour and end back in the cycle of addiction.

4. Financial counseling

Number four on the list of things to look for in a gambling addiction treatment center is financial advice and budgeting. Most gambling addicts are in serious financial trouble and they often have no idea how to handle finances or stick to a budget. By teaching them how to manage their money, a rehabilitation center can better prepare them for the real world. Understanding money also helps these people better understand the consequences of their gambling addiction.

5. Structure

The final quality to look for in a gambling addiction treatment center is structure and activities. Addicts do not handle boredom well and they often do not know how to fill free time other than with their addiction. By providing plenty of activities and structure, the addict experiences less boredom and learns new ways to fill their time.

These five steps will help you identify an effective gambling addiction treatment center that will give you the best chance of success. However, they are just a guide, you should always look at any treatment facility to make sure it can meet you individual needs. Gambling addiction can be beaten and it is possible to get your life back, the first step is finding the treatment that is right for you.

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About Brad Girtz

Brad Girtz is a blogger working at Life Works Community, a residential treatment centre. He writes content about mental health, addiction and many other conditions treated at Life Works. Brad enjoys sharing news and information about the latest innovations and ideas in the field of addiction and mental health.

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