Among the participants of Gamblers Anonymous (GA), it is generally accepted that compulsive gambling is a disease that progresses unless it is treated. While there is no cure for the disease – just as there is no cure for any addiction – there are things that compulsive gamblers can do to improve their quality of life and avoid the negative consequences of gambling. One of them is to take part in a 12-step program like Gamblers Anonymous that offers ongoing support through regular meetings and sponsorship.
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Are You a Compulsive Gambler?
You know if you are unable to stop yourself from gambling. You know when you are lying to others about the amount that you gamble – and lose. You know if you’re in over your head when it comes to debt or if you’re unable to perform well in other areas of your life because you are always gambling online, at the track or at the casino. It’s a question only you can answer: Are you a compulsive gambler?
Will I Be Able to Gamble Normally Again?
No. Few people with a compulsive gambling problem ever really gambled “normally.” Gamblers Anonymous says that it’s not possible for those who identify as compulsive gamblers to ever be able to gamble without ultimately falling back into a pattern of compulsive gambling behavior.
Sick Not Broken
Too often, people who struggle with compulsive issues like gambling, shopping, sex and others view themselves as “bad” people and hopelessly morally corrupt. This is absolutely not the case. The “rooms,” as 12-step meetings are called, are full of people with deep moral convictions, good hearts, and better intentions but they struggle with one issue that continually holds them back. It’s possible to stop gambling when you immerse yourself in a recovery that is ongoing and addresses your personal mental health needs.
How to Stop Gambling With Gamblers Anonymous
- Understand that you have a problem with gambling and have a genuine desire to stop gambling.
- Be willing to attend meetings to give support to other gamblers in recovery and get support.
- Work the steps.
- Be honest in your recovery. It’s the only way to fix what isn’t working.
- Offer your service to others.
Is Gambling a Financial Issue?
No. Gamblers Anonymous says that compulsive gambling is an emotional issue. In fact, some common characteristics shared by many who attend Gamblers Anonymous meetings include:
- Emotional insecurity
- The need to appear to others like a “big shot”
- An inability and unwillingness to accept reality
Though your finances are adversely affected by compulsive gambling, these are residual effects of the primary issue and not the source of your problems. Too often, gamblers defend their gambling by saying that they need to “make” the money to pay off debt. But only a compulsive gambler would view a game of cards or betting of any kind as a way to bring in income. If you have debt, a job that provides you with a regular paycheck is the best way to pay it off. Your financial problems are caused by gambling – not fixed by it.
Would you like to learn more about how you can incorporate Gamblers Anonymous meetings into your addiction treatment program? It’s easy and it starts with just one phone call. Contact us today to get started.