Addiction is a serious social issue that society is still trying to muster. With gambling addiction, gamblers just don’t lose money but life and family as well. That is why it is extremely important to solve the problem.
In reality, there are available methods so as to treat gambling addiction. Some of which are:
Usually, gambling addicts are treated with medications in the form of anti-depressants or what medical experts call as 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. Psychological Treatments.
Most psychologists contend that the problem of gambling addiction is often associated with a problem with their cognitive behavior. Hence, it would be better to let the gambling addicts undergo cognitive behavior therapy.
In this process, the gambling addicts are taught how to get rid of the negative ideas and replace them with positive ones.
3. Group Therapy.
Group discussions are also effective in treating gambling addiction. Through this method, gamblers will get to interact and discuss their own personal problems that led them to gamble.
One great advantage of this therapy is that gamblers get to listen to other gamblers stories. They will be able to understand some angles that may sound just like their very own situations but were unable to identify them because of the feeling of rejection or shame.
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 cure treat gambling addiction is to lessen the chances of playing. This is because the more people can play the greater chances they get addicted.
To people who don’t gamble, or more so to normal gamblers, the thought that they will progress to compulsive gamblers is ridiculous. The start of compulsive gambling may be incited by situations or circumstance. But the conditions are real.
The similarity between pathological gambling and chemical dependency?
The first distinct similarity is the inability to take control or stop the addiction. The denials of the addiction accompanied by severe depression are also similarities. Both diseases are progressive in nature and go through similar stages.
The first stage being the “chase”, looking for that high or win. The use of the addiction to numb the pain brought about by problems. The pathological gambler and a drug or alcohol dependent person are preoccupied with nothing else except their addiction. They look for immediate gratification and have very low self-esteem.
Pathological gambling not like chemical addiction is a disease not easily noticeable. There are a lot of indicators that would identify a chemically dependent person. But a gambler can exist normally for long periods of time. The large debt that a gambler can incur requires attention.
Pathological gamblers require crisis counseling at the start of their treatment, mainly because pathological gamblers have a higher suicide rate than persons addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Is the level of addiction for all types of gambling the same?
Forms of gambling that give immediate gratification are the worst kind. The slot machine and video are prime examples of these. The use of the instant gratification and effective reinforcement, gamblers that play these machines often progress into pathological gamblers more often than gamblers that play other games.
The time it takes to go from the first bet to a chronic addiction is shortest for this form of gambling. Before it would take many years before a person would be considered “sick” gambling in races, etc. Nowadays, it is fairly common for a person to be addicted to a slot machine or video poker with two to three years.
Is pathological gambling biological in nature?
Recent findings would indicate that pathological gambling is a dependency quite similar to a chemical dependency. A study by a psychiatrist Alec Roy, M.D. formerly of the NIAAA showed that compulsive gamblers have low levels of norepinephrine compared to normal gamblers.
The chemical is secreted by the brain when stressed, aroused or excited. A pathological gambler engages in his addiction to raise the levels of norepinephrine.
The findings reinforce the assertion of Dr. Henry Lesieur that pathological gamblers are “thrill seekers” who gamble for the excitement brought about by the game and not the pursuit of money.
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