Occasionally, gambling takes up a role in people’s lives that doesn’t belong to it. Namely, we sometimes forget that gambling is supposed to be just a pastime, just a form of entertainment. There’s a cause for concern whenever it surpasses its playful role and turns into something more serious, whenever it triggers a sort of compulsive ambition to win. The line is very thin, it’s true, but that’s just another reason why all of us who gamble need to be very self-analytical and ask ourselves: “How to prevent problem gambling, and if it’s already there, how to fight it?”
How to fight gambling addiction
There are not many who can offer an answer to this difficult question, asked so many times by so many people. Namely, one must never neglect the power of winning, which makes one feel like nothing can stop them. Another thing to keep in mind is that problem gambling can happen to anyone, including you. If you notice signs of problematic gambling behavior in yourself or anyone around, for example compulsive playing even when it becomes harmful to you and those closest to you, the impotence to stop playing, or neglecting duties in order to play, then it’s time to ask for help. And there’s plenty of help to seek – first of all among family and friends, who can play a major role in problem gambler’s recovery.
Gambling addiction associations and foundations
However, some of us may feel more comfortable addressing someone we don’t really know, and keep our anonymity preserved. If that’s the case, there’s a whole range of associations and foundations that will provide problem gamblers or those around them with support services, through 24/7 help lines for instant support, workshops and therapy sessions for anonymous gamblers, and many other forms of counseling through the difficult situation.
Some of the institutions that provide help for problem gamblers operate on the global level, including gamblersanonymous.org, responsiblegambling.org, gamtalk.org, whereas some work and offer their services on a national and state level, like ncpgambling.org, problemgambling.vic.gov.au, gamcare.co.uk, problemgambling.ca, gamblingproblem.co.nz and many others.
With so many options on offer, problem gamblers should keep in mind that help and counseling is close at hand – one just has to ask.