Online Gambling: Is it Too Easy to Engage In?

Internet gambling includes games such as poker and rouletteBeing addicted to online gambling is a dangerous and habitually destructive thing to engage in. For those who choose to engage in Internet gambling, he or she can sit in the comfort and safety of their home and lose a great deal of money. It is important to note that Internet gambling has become such a problem for individuals and families that the U.S. government has been taking action to slow down its accessibility to those who want to gamble.President George Bush in 2006 signed into law “the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.” This law prevents U.S. citizens from using credit cards, electronic funds transfers and checks so they can place bets with “gambling sites operated by foreign companies.” It is important to note; however, that banks and credit card companies are responsible for making sure that this law is enforced. Keep in mind that an addiction to gambling is  usually part of even bigger issues that many suffer from such as certain impulse-control problems.

Examples of online gambling are playing poker, buying lotto tickets, betting on sports and playing roulette

Co-occurring disorders and online gambling

There are various risk factors and causes that are associated with online gambling, especially when it is paired with a mental illness such as bipolar disorder. In addition, there are other risk factors that are often co-occur with online gambling such as mood problems, schizophrenia, alcohol addiction, and having an antisocial personality disorder. It is important to note that there are certain signs and symptoms of online gambling such as being preoccupied with gambling, needing more and more money to gamble, gambling to escape anxiety or fear, lying to family and friends so that they can hide their addiction and rushing back to gambling after losing a great deal of money.

When pairing a mental illness or addiction to drugs and/or alcohol with a compulsions to gamble is already dangerous. Now that gambling on the internet is so easily accessible it has become even more of a threat for those suffering from co-occurring disorders.  For example, an alcoholic who is intoxicated in their home can easily lose track of how much he is spending on a Poker site. There is no security to cut you off for being too intoxicated. It’s up to you to regulate how much to spend- and you’re not thinking clearly.

Finding treatment and support

There are various treatments for online gambling such as Gambler’s Anonymous, psychotherapy and certain medications such as antidepressants. For most, psychotherapy seems to be the most effective and debt counseling can also be effective, too.

There are other effective ways that can help with a gambling addiction such as finding something that will replace your gambling such as exercising or productive hobbies. Then, go to the library or a bookstore and find some books on gambling addiction. Reading about gambling addiction may help you to see the futility and waste of time it brings to your life. Give thought to having a trusted family member or friend take care of your money. The less money you carry with you, the less you will be tempted to gamble. Of course, this is hard to do but this will help with your recovery. In addition, by talking with a debt counselor about your gambling debts, you can find ways to lessen the financial pressure of paying your bills and other every day expenses.

Sometimes just reading up on a subject and seeing a counselor once a week isn’t enough. Many treatment programs offer specialized help for those struggling with gambling addictions. Usually these programs last from 2 to 4 weeks depending on severity. These treatment facilities will not only help you deal with the compulsion to gamble, but also the underlying issues which may be contributing to the problem.

To conclude, an online gambling addiction can cause many problems in a person’s life but there are things you can do that will put your life back on track such as talking with a financial counselor or seeking help from a treatment program specializing in treating gambling addictions.

Whatever path to recovery you choose, our staff has access to hundreds of treatment centers to assure the best personalized treatment for you, then with continued follow up to help you make the transition to sober living as seamless as possible.

Our trained staff of professionals are qualified to help you assess what type of treatment will be the best fit to ensure you or your loved one gets the help you need.

But how does one go about finding the right program?

If this all looks very overwhelming....it is! But that's what we are here for. Call us at 888-205-8608 and we can help make this process much easier. We will narrow down all of these aspects and find the best program for you or your loved one with all your concerns considered. It's as simple as making that first call. And the best part is that we are a free service. The road to recovery starts here!

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