Gambling Addiction Treatment
If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling addiction, treatment may
be available. Gambling can be a destructive behavior that can affect your mental
health, relationships, finances and legal status. In addition trusted online casino malaysia, it can cause problems
with family members and employers. If you or a loved one is experiencing problems
with gambling, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible.
The most common types of gambling treatment are group and individual therapy, as
well as self-help support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous or other 12-Step
programs. These therapies can help you identify triggers, dysfunctional coping
strategies and relapse prevention techniques.
Individual therapy: Working with a counselor, you will develop the motivation and
skills needed to stop gambling for good. Therapists use modalities such as
motivational interviewing to engage clients in recovery.
You’ll also learn about your own distorted thinking patterns that lead to gambling
compulsiveness, such as the idea that you can win back all your losses. By learning
to control your thoughts, you can stop the uncontrollable urge to gamble and get
your life on track.
Cognitive behavioral therapy: CBT has been found to be effective in treating a
variety of addictions, including gambling. The therapist will identify the negative
thoughts and behaviors that are associated with your gambling habit, then change
Medications: Antidepressants may help reduce the urge to gamble by decreasing
depression. Narcotic antagonists such as naltrexone can also reduce the craving to
gamble and are sometimes used in conjunction with other medications.
Drugs: Researchers are testing various drugs to treat gambling disorder. Some of
these have shown promising results in randomized clinical trials. They include
escitalopram, lithium, nalmefene, valproate and topiramate.
Medication is typically not the first line of defense against a gambling addiction, but
it can be helpful for those with mood disorders who have co-occurring gambling
problems. It can also be helpful for those who have other underlying issues that
contribute to their problem.
Guided self-help interventions can also be beneficial. These can be provided by a
therapist, clergy, community health specialist, or a helpline. They can include self-
guided workbooks and informational phone calls that address the underlying factors
of the gambling addiction and promote recovery.
Research shows that guided self-help can be effective, especially when
accompanied by supportive individualized counseling from a therapist or other
treatment provider. In studies, individuals who engaged in guided self-help tend to
show greater improvement than those who did not.
Relapse prevention: Relapse is a key risk factor for any form of addictive disorder,
and it can be particularly dangerous for people with gambling addictions. Relapse
can occur in a variety of situations, including environmental settings (e.g., casinos
and lottery outlets), intrapersonal discomfort (e.g., anger, depression, boredom),
and interpersonal difficulties (e.g., finances, work and family). Relapse prevention
helps you learn to recognize and avoid these risk situations.
Group or joint therapy: Having a supportive network of peers can be an important
part of treatment. You will find other people who are struggling with similar
gambling problems and can help you through the process of overcoming your