Where to find help for a gambling problem
Have you admitted you have a gambling problem?
With more information published regarding the gambling addiction, it’s become easier for the compulsive gambler to become aware of the gambling problem. Most casinos post signs for anyone looking for help with their gambling problem. The first thing a gambler must do is admit they have a problem. If you know that you have a problem with gambling, here are some suggestions that can help.
1. Start with Gamblers Anonymous
The atmosphere in gamblers anonymous meetings is one of understanding and the members offer their experience, strength and hope to aid in the newcomer’s recovery. The members are not judgmental. New members usually have a difficult time at their first few meetings and tears are shed when he/she shares his story. The gambler will be shown how to develop new coping skills to reach a new way of life without the gambling. There are no ‘musts’ at the meetings, only suggestions and if the person follows the suggestions, they will experience recovery.
There are many Gamblers Anonymous meetings available in most countries but there are some areas where gambling is prevalent and no meetings have been established. Areas where there are no meetings, information may be obtained by writing or calling the Gamblers Anonymous International Service Organization in Los Angeles, Ca. A starter kit and information can be mailed to you. The GA literature has been translated into several different languages for other countries.
However, some gamblers have a difficult time attending GA meetings. Some because of the shame associated with admitting they are compulsive gamblers and some hesitate to attend due to the nature of their status in society. It would be difficult for a person in a responsible position such as a CEO in a huge corporation or an attorney or judge, to admit to a gambling problem. GA cannot guarantee confidentiality regarding information shared at the meetings.
2. Seek help from a certified gambling counselor
Counselors are available to help problem gamblers. Check the credentials of the counselor to be sure they have been trained to treat the gambling addiction. The counselor will usually insist the gambler attend GA meetings along with the treatment. Most counseling centers offer one-on-one sessions as well as group therapy.
3. Have yourself banned from local casinos
Another tool for the gambler is to have himself banned from the casinos in their area (self exclusion from casinos). You can complete a form as to the length of time, one year, five years, etc., you wish to be banned. You will probably be told that the ban is irreversible and that they can be arrested for trespassing if you are on the casino property. You will not receive any monies won if you do attempt to enter the casino and gamble. Although this may seem severe, this tool can help you recover from gambling addiction.
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