How to Treat Online Gambling Addiction
Gambling is one of the oldest activities humans have always indulged in. The introduction of online gambling was a mere innovation to what humans were already used to and it also presents (that’s what gamblers have been made to believe) the opportunity of making money.
What Really Is Gambling?
Well, according to Wikipedia, Gambling is the wagering of money or something of value (referred to as “the stakes”) on an event with an uncertain outcome, with the primary intent of winning money or material goods. In other words, it is the act of taking a risk by staking valuables which is usually money in hope for a favorable outcome.
Now gambling on its own isn’t the problem but being addicted to it is. Innocent people start any form of gambling yearly and so many of them become addicted to it. One well-known way of becoming addicted to gambling is by pursuing losses.
Now one would ask: Can I gamble without incurring losses? The answer is NO, it is impossible. The fact that the gambling companies are still alive and raking in millions of dollars every year goes a long way to show that the gambling industry is still very much a lucrative one.
Online gambling addiction happens even more than people actually realize. It all starts as fun until one start racking up hours and spending so much money gambling.
Here are some interesting statistics:
1) About 4% of online teenage gamblers gamble without control. This does not mean the other 96% have total control. There can be times where they do not.
2) Most online gamblers are male even though females can also indulge in it.
3) In 2005 and 2006 it was estimated that online casinos are worth $12 billion and $15.2 billion respectively. Then in 2010, its revenue was estimated at $29.3 billion.
Research also shows that almost 3 per cent of people worldwide spend too much time playing online games to the extent that other activities in their lives suffer.
You can see the amount of money that goes down this channel and the huge number of people are pathological gamblers.
Just so you know, very little is done about the safety of these gamblers. When a person signs up to play he/she is doing so at her own risk.
HOW ONLINE GAMBLING ADDICTION AFFECTS YOU:
Just as any type of addiction there will be effects, even though the level of effect may differ but in any case, it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Here are some of the effects of online gambling addiction…
1) It affects your social life: Online gambling addiction affects your social life adversely as you will end up spending a lot of time online playing games thereby ignoring those people that matters to so much to you.
2) Your input: Well, for anybody who is doing a thing which a certain level of output is required you might find yourself not getting the results.
In the case of a student, your grades will suffer as you could be distracted and may not be able to give enough time that is required.
3) Family issues: Nearly all gambling addicts faces issues with their families at home because of their gambling habit. The children of these gamblers also suffer in lots of ways. Imagine you just lost some huge amount of money to gambling, you are most likely to lash out at your children for any little misdeed from them.
4) It changes your mood: Friends of gamblers say that those who ended up being addicted becomes resentful, rude, and quick to anger. You may become angry any time you don’t have cash or the internet at your disposal to play your online gamble.
5) Financial status: Financial issues are very common among addicted gamblers even with those that are not addicted. For an addicted gambler, gambling is the primary thing and any other thing like paying bills and providing for the family is secondary. Addicted gamblers can go to any limit just to get money for gambling. Some even results to stealing and using other illegal means to acquire money to gamble.
6) Loss of job: Job loss is very rampant amongst gambling addicts. Being addicted to gambling can make you lose concentration at your place of work especially when you just lost some huge amount of money. It can make you come to work distracted and unprepared.
Also, addicted gamblers are always pursuing losses most of the times. And by pursuing losses, I mean trying to recover the amount you just lost to gambling. It is in the process of pursuing these losses, that gamblers often lose more and more money. The result is always very bad and can lead to depression.
HOW TO BREAK FREE FROM ONLINE GAMBLING ADDICTION
1) Realize that you need to quit: The very first thing to do when fighting any type of addiction is realizing it, this will help you call your problem a problem instead of staying in that not so sure area or pretending that it is not affecting you.
2) Set time limit: Instead of playing for long hours you can set a time limit where you don’t go beyond that time. This can also let you know when you are playing too much.
Another thing is being disciplined enough to leave when it gets to the set time which can be really challenging at first.
3) Reduce the time spent on the online gambling sites: This is pretty much self-explanatory. To overcome online gambling addiction, you have to start by limiting the number of minutes or hours spent on the gambling websites. You can delete their url from your bookmarks and uninstall their apps.
4) Seek help: if you still have your parents around, they can be of great help. You can also turn to your friends and relatives who you think can help you with your case or you could visit psychologists who can help you with the rehabilitation process.
METHODS USED IN TREATING GAMBLING ADDICTIONS
Here are some very effective techniques that has been used for the treatment of gambling addiction over the years.
1. Through medications
Usually, gambling addicts are treated through medications in the form of anti-depressants or what those in the medical department would call Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or the SSRR. This medication has been proven to treat pathological gamblers or those who feel the blow whenever they win.
2. Through psychological treatments
Most psychologists believe that the problem of gambling addiction is usually linked with a problem on their cognitive behavior. Hence, it would be better to let the gambling addicts undergo cognitive behavior therapy.
In this process, the gambling addicts are lectured on how to get rid of the negative ideas and replace them with positive ones.
3. Through group therapy
Group discussions are also effective in treating gambling addiction. Through this method, gamblers will get to share and discuss their personal problems that led them to gambling.
One important advantage of this therapy is that gamblers get to listen to other gamblers tell their stories. They will be able to understand some parts that may sound just like the situation they find themselves in but were unable to identify them because of the feeling of rejection or shame.
Online gambling addiction must be stopped at once. It has already spread across the society and even perpetuated the problem among college students. In 2004, the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania has reported that 11.4% of their male students are fond of betting cards at least once a week. This was deemed alarming because they had only 6.2% on the previous year’s report, which made it an increase of 84% in just one year.
Moreover, according to the Journal of Gambling Studies, gamblers who are college students make up 1.6% of the total population. It may seem little at first but the fact that the percentage is gradually increasing is enough to cause alarm.
So, the best way to treat online gambling addiction is to lessen the chances of playing. This is because the more people are able to play the greater chances they become addicted.