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How gamblers quit gambling

3 events that make gamblers quit: Prison, Insanity or Death

Information shared at Gamblers Anonymous meetings list three events that may occur in a compulsive gamblers life, unless they stop the addiction. Fear alone is not a factor that drives the addict into treatment. Literature tells the gambler that if they are compulsive and continue to gamble, it’s either prison, insanity, or death.

Prison: When a compulsive gambler needs more ammunition to continue to gamble, many will resort to embezzling from employers or stealing from family or friends. The result will be a judge sentencing him or her to probation, restitution, and even prison. Depending on the amount of money involved, the prison sentence could be anywhere between six months to more than twenty years.

Insanity: The compulsive gambler is affected physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. The mental, emotional and spiritual damage takes a toll on the gambler. He never realizes or recognizes that he is being stimulated by sounds, colors, lights, and rewards, every five to seven seconds while he is in action. With sports betting the stimulation period will vary. He may also be thinking about his gambling even when he is away from the game. The gambler is desperate and needs to bet more money to reach the previous high just as the drug addict needs to take more drugs.

Death: Physical damage from compulsive gambling reaches a number of areas in our bodies. The stress can cause harm to the bodies’ internal organs when the gambler sits on a stool for hours at a time and sometimes days, without food, drink or trips to the restroom. The heart, kidneys, liver, and the immune system may be weakened. In some instances, the gambler becomes so distraught that he will commit suicide. Suicide by gamblers is not uncommon.

Alternatives for how to quit gambling

There are alternatives to prison, insanity, or death and the choices are; a 12-step program, counseling, in-house addiction treatment, and religion. It is important to note here that all gamblers do not gamble the same and every treatment plan will not work for every gambler. But recovery is the same process. The theory in stopping the addiction is that the gambler must be ready to stop and he will when the pain of gambling becomes too great. When he begins to recover, he becomes a part of life rather than apart from. Here are some ideas on where to find help for gambling.

12 step groups – Gamblers Anonymous (GA) offers hope and help to compulsive gamblers. The group exists to allow members to share the experiences about gambling, and to mentor one another to healthier life choices and encourages a gambling free lifestyle.

In patient addiction treatment – There have been compulsive gamblers who have entered treatment through interventions, family and peer pressure, or employer suggestions. Addiction treatment for behavioral addictions is usually a combination of education, psychotherapy, and 12 step support.

Treatment centers help explain how the brain’s neural pathways are altered by addiction, and help you understand how to recognize triggers, and deal with the pain or fear or anger that precedes gambling.

Psychotherapy – Counseling from therapists who are trained to treat gambling issues gives a person the opportunity to view the other side of their problem and helps them understand how past experiences might have affect the current problem.

Religion and spirituality – Many people have recovered from gambling addiction through their faith in a power greater than themselves.

For those less fortunate and have never found the desire to stop the cycle of compulsive gambling addiction, we can only offer up our prayers.

Photo credit: Atajo de locos

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8 Responses to “How gamblers quit gambling
2:44 pm October 2nd, 2011

I am looking for an online chat format for gambling addiction.

7:44 am October 3rd, 2011

Hi Marie. Thanks for your question. I know that SMART Recovery has online chats for all addictions. Their online meeting schedule is here: http://www.smartrecovery.org/meetings/olschedule.htm

You can also Google the phrase “GA online meetings” and find chat and internet groups that use the Gamblers Anonymous format.

Does that help?

Looking too
4:40 pm October 3rd, 2011

I to am looking for an online chat for gambling addiction for our clients. If you know of more than one, please share! Thanks!!!

6:57 am March 2nd, 2013

Gambling isn’t all cash. To some people, taking part in within the casino could be a sort of medical care. this can be the time whereby they will relax, socialize and forget everything within the outside world

saving my life
5:05 pm September 12th, 2014

I’ve been addicted to gambling for years. after five different therapists, GA, loss of two cars, a marriage, stealing over 10,000 dollars of friends’ money, a doctor finally put me on Prozac. let me tell you — the urges stopped. I still deal with the compulsion part, but the repetitive thinking about it left. I could barely get through a day without thinking of how to get money to gamble that day. forget bills, forget birthdays, holidays, anything that cost money. it alllll had to go to the casino. Prozac didn’t cure the compulsion to go, but it blocked the crazy repetitive obsession with it in my head so I could focus on work and school and family. it’s a start…

11:10 pm December 29th, 2017

I want to quit gambling and smoking please help.

1:04 pm January 2nd, 2018

Hi Shivraj. Good for you! Are there any private or government organizations where you live that can help? If you provide me with the name of a city or town, I can look into your options.

7:40 am November 21st, 2018

Hi. I’m a mother of three, married, been struggling with this impossible and insidious disease for the last 15 years, I need HELP now…have no real idea how much I’ve lost, just know its been Too Much,,,missing out on my great life and escaping into nothingness, trying to fill an incredible void…good luck to all.of us and may God be with us, and provide strenght to rebuild our injured souls.

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About Marilyn Lancelot

Marilyn Lancelot is a recovering alcoholic and compulsive gambler with twenty years of recovery. She has authored three books, Gripped by Gambling , Detour, and Switching Addictions. She also publishes a newsletter on-line, Women Helping Women for recovery from gambling. This newsletter has been published for more than 10 years and is read by women and men around the world.