Treatment of Gambling Addiction
Problem gambling can be helped with the proper treatment which includes psychological therapy and support groups for compulsive gamblers.
When it comes to treating a gambling addiction, there is no magical bullet cure. Gambling addiction, like alcoholism, is an illness, and should be treated as such.
Treatment of a gambling addiction includes psychological, cognitive, behavioral and relaxation therapy either singly or in combination. It is essential that the person concerned acknowledges the progressive illness and shows a strong desire to stop his activity. Denial always results in failure of therapy.
Like smoking, the gambling addict should never gamble again. A major change in lifestyle is required and constant therapy is required to prevent the destructive behavior to re-occur. Therapy is long and may take years of professional counseling. Many times, as part of treatment, the compulsive gambler will be urged to join Gamblers Anonymous - a self-help support group program for compulsive gamblers.
Triggers such as alcohol and drugs should be strictly avoided. Those with associated depression, anxiety, mania and obsessive compulsive disorders, may need to be treated with drug therapy along with psychotherapy.
Last Updated: 20 June 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD