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Where to Find Gambling Addiction Treatment

Gambling addiction can be just as serious as substance addiction or any other type of mental disorder. For someone who becomes an addicted or pathological gambler, their habit of gambling destroys everything in their lives to the point where they are unable to hold down a job, incapable of maintaining relationships, and lose much of their money to gambling. This is why gambling addiction treatment is important as well as necessary, and fortunately, there are many ways of finding this type of treatment.

Is There Available Gambling Addiction Treatment?

help for gambling addiction

Support groups and group therapy are two types of treatment for gambling addiction.

Yes. According to the CRB, “Historically, problem gambling was regarded as an individual failing rather than as a medical or social problem,” and “as such, little treatment was available.” Now, however, the medical community understands problem and pathological gambling to be a mental disease instead of just a person who should learn better gambling control. “With the inclusion of pathological gambling in the DSM-III in 1980, people started to look at this problem as a disease, and paid more attention to treatment.”

Currently, there are several different options for gambling addiction treatment. Many individuals believe it is something that must be fought on their own, but there are ways to reach out and find help if you are struggling with gambling addiction. The most common treatments are:

  • Therapy (both individual and group)
  • Private practitioners
  • Inpatient/outpatient treatment centers
  • 12-step programs/mutual help groups

Any of these options may be extremely helpful to an individual in need who has been struggling with gambling addiction for some time. It is important to remember that gambling addiction treatment and help exists and that people who seek it are often able to get a good grasp on their recovery and fighting their addictions.

Also, many individuals who have a mental disorder like a severe gambling addiction may also be suffering from another co-existing mental disorder. As stated by the NIDA, “Addiction changes the brain in fundamental ways,” which means that many individuals who become addicted to an act like gambling may experience depression, anxiety, issues with other types of addiction like substance addiction, and many more. These individuals can receive the most help in formal addiction treatment centers or other mental health facilities.

Where Can I Find Gambling Addiction Therapy?

Gambling addiction therapy can be found in the offices of therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists as well as in other treatment facilities. For gambling addiction, therapy is often the most appropriate treatment. The CRB states, “There are also a number of private practitioners whose private practices are focused on compulsive gamblers.” In these offices, patients can discuss their issues with gambling as well as any other problems which might have helped lead to these compulsions.

Looking for counselors and therapists who specifically cater to gambling addicts can help you find the sort of treatment you seek. If you already see a psychiatrist, ask them to recommend someone. Your family doctor will likely be able to do so as well.

There are many private doctors and therapists who you can see for gambling addiction help. According to SAMHSA, “Treating gambling disorder is within the scope of practice of mental health counselors, licensed clinical social services providers, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, and other professionals with licenses to treat mental disorders.”

Where Can I Find Inpatient/Outpatient Gambling Addiction Treatment Centers?

Gambling addiction treatment centers offer similar treatments like gambling addiction therapy with the added bonus of an individual being able to attend treatment with other patients, usually participate in some sort of group therapy, and be able to have the choice of a more controlled treatment environment. Especially individuals who do not have a strong support system at home or who are struggling with additional mental disorders will find much of what they need in an inpatient gambling addiction treatment center.

There are mental health treatment centers all over the country, and those who are also suffering from substance abuse disorders might attend a drug treatment facility and receive treatment for both issues. “The first inpatient treatment program for compulsive gambling was established at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Ohio” in 1972 (CRB). More gambling-specific centers were built since, and finding these and others can be done with research.

  • Search a database like SAMHSA‘s treatment locator to find specific treatment centers near you. A phone number, website, and other information is usually available while you can also read about the treatments offered to patients.
  • Check with your doctor or the staff at a local clinic. Especially individuals working at the latter will know of free or low-cost treatment centers where you should be able to find affordable treatment for your gambling addiction.
  • Go to your city government’s office and ask about nonprofit facilities that help to treat addiction. If you are in a rough financial situation, there may be several facilities where you can attend treatment at a reasonable price that could be government-run.

Where Can I Find 12-Step Programs/Mutual Help Groups?

12-step and other self help programs are common for addiction treatment. They are free, readily available, and combine the discipline with the flexibility that many individuals need for the treatment option in their lives. Through Healthfinder.gov, you can find a local Gamblers Anonymous meeting where you can discuss your feelings with the individuals who understand them the most, receive feedback, and feel included instead of isolated as a result of your addiction.

The most common 12-step program for gambling addiction is GA, but there are other mutual help groups all over the country. Some meet often in person while others may meet online. These treatment possibilities help many people who may otherwise feel that their busy schedule keeps them from treatment. And if you don’t see a GA meeting or another type of group near you, ask about the possibility from those at your local outreach facility.

There are many ways to find gambling addiction treatment as there are many types of treatments themselves. While therapy is the bulk of what is used for most individuals, different types (cognitive-behavioral, motivational interviewing, etc.) may be better for different individuals. And though prevention is still the best treatment, those who are already addicted to gambling can find strong treatment options in many places.