Gambling is more prevalent and accessible than ever before. About four out of five adults in the U.S. have gambled at least once in their lives. And because gambling is legal and available at home, anyone with a phone or Internet connection can gamble. Yet despite these convenient methods of gambling, around two million people in the U.S. are addicted to gambling and another twenty million are suffering from the consequences of their compulsive behavior.
While the addiction to gambling is harder to detect in casual gamblers, the symptoms can often be seen in those whose financial stability has been compromised. Problem gamblers often find it easier to hide their addiction, but are easily recognized through the many ways in which they risk their money. They may sell personal items or engage in illegal activities to fund their gambling habit. They may also spend increasing amounts of time thinking about gambling. Whether they are gambling for money or to win back lost money, these symptoms often indicate that a person is suffering from an addiction.
There are several different types of gambling addiction treatment programs. Each one works with an individual to help them overcome their addiction. Cognitive behavior therapy is one such program. In this program, the person learns to recognize destructive thinking patterns and replace them with more constructive ones. This type of therapy is highly effective for gambling addiction. It is important to seek the help of a licensed professional when it is indicated. The first step in gambling addiction treatment is to acknowledge that the problem exists.
The Cost of Gambling (COI) is a measure of the overall costs attributed to problem gambling. The COI estimates societal costs that result from excessive gambling, ranging from US$ 6 million to $34 million per year. While this cost is difficult to estimate because it differs across countries and states, costs associated with problem gambling are significant for all societies. A study in Australia found that gambling was responsible for a US$ 46 million loss in productivity.
Impact on society
The research on the impact of gambling on society is complex. While the gambling industry holds that its products are safe, research has found that addictions to gambling can lead to psychiatric problems. Furthermore, excessive gambling may damage relationships with friends, family members, and coworkers. This is why harm minimization and treatment planning are essential. Moreover, harm minimization strategies should address the underlying causes of addiction to gambling. However, it is not clear how this research can help policymakers determine how to reduce harm to society.
Addiction to gambling
Initially, overcoming addiction to gambling requires a person to make a decision to stay away from it. However, this decision may be easier said than done. The problem gambler may need to turn down social invitations, walk away from people, or block gambling channels from their computer. However, if the problem is widespread, the person may be able to get help from friends and family. Addiction to gambling can be a debilitating problem.