Overcoming Gambling Addiction On Your Own What Are The Odds
August 31, 2019Rhonda Kelloway, LCSW, SEP
Guest blog post by Myles Van Camp, MA
Are you or a family member having difficulty overcoming gambling addiction? Questioning why this happened to you and not the individual at the gaming table next to you? Do you wonder if it even is an addiction? Are you interested in overcoming gambling addiction on your own?
Overcoming addiction is indeed possible. If you want to do it on your own, consider the following as you set out to recover.
Maturity Growing Into Self
ADDICTION is a search for immature gratificationsit is an over-concentration on oneself resembling that of a dependent child. As a result, overcoming addiction requires growing up and assuming adult roles. In this process you learn to take responsibility not only for yourself and your own behavior but for other people in your life. One natural outgrowth of this mature outlook is that you may no longer see yourself as powerless or label yourself an addict. You may no longer feel any need for the addiction, so it ceases to have any presence in your life.
The addiction field has an evocative term for this phenomenonmaturing out. Many people once addicted to heroin or other so-called hard drugs often use this term. The typical reason former heroin habitues give for outgrowing their addiction is that they are tired of the lifestylebeing on the outside, being cut off from normal life, the constant hustling and evading the law, the absence of anything new or better stretching out before them.
Certainly, maturing out is not limited to heroin it happens with all addictions, including alcohol, sex, and gambling. As you mature, you become dissatisfied with your limitations. You develop more connections to life, through marriage, parenthood, or career accomplishments. While undergoing these external developments, you simultaneously experience critical internal emotional changes. At the same time, your self-image and identity change.
7.1. Gaining a Positive Identity
Consider Reaching Out For Help
If you think you might have substance use disorder, consider reaching out to a trusted healthcare professional for an evaluation and to discuss your options.
They may be able to refer you to a mental health professional or treatment program that best fits you. Treatment might include a variety of options, including:
Theres not a one-size-fits-all treatment for substance use disorder. Every person is different, and what works for one person might not work for another.
A mental health professional who specializes in substance use disorder will be able to tailor a treatment plan that is best for you and your needs.
Here are some resources that may be able to help:
- SAMSHA. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a national helpline thats free, confidential, and available 24/7. They may be able to point you in the right direction for help and support near you or online.
- National Harm Reduction Coalition. The NHRC is an advocacy group that provides support and resources for people with substance use disorder.
- Drugs and Me. This organization was created by a group of educators, scientists, and analysts. Drugs and Me offers a list of educational materials that might be helpful.
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Why Porn Addiction Is A Problem
Over time, porn addiction begins to take over your life. This negatively impacts your emotional and mental well-being, just like any other addiction or mental health problem when left untreated.
Porn addiction problems can lead you to:
- Develop other mental health issues. The shame or guilt related to porn addiction can cause you to develop other mental health issues.Researchers found that people who reported viewing pornography were more likely to suffer from mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, because of their compulsion and inability to stop.
- Engage in risky behavior. After a while, you begin to watch porn in inappropriate places to get the same emotional release, such as work meetings or family reunions.It could also lead to using substances like alcohol or drugs while watching porn to get the same satisfactory feelings of the first experience.
- Risk financial stability. You might spend increasing amounts of money on porn, to the point of being unable to meet your financial obligations or having to ask for money from other people to pay your bills.
- Harm your relationships. You begin to neglect your social interactions and relationships to keep your porn addiction a secret.
- Fail to keep commitments. You might spend so much time watching porn that you start neglecting your responsibilities and risk your employment. Porn addiction can lead you to stop participating in activities or hobbies you used to enjoy since it consumes most of your time.
Cutting Back Vs Quitting Alcohol Altogether
Whether or not you can successfully cut back on your drinking depends on the severity of your drinking problem. If youre an alcoholicwhich, by definition, means you arent able to control your drinkingits best to try to stop drinking entirely. But if youre not ready to take that step, or if you dont have an alcohol abuse problem but want to cut back for personal or health reasons, the following tips can help:
Set your drinking goal. Choose a limit for how much youll drink, but make sure your limit is not more than one drink a day if youre a woman, two drinks a day if youre a manand try to have some days each week when you wont drink alcohol at all. Write your drinking goal down and keep it where you will frequently see it, such as on your phone or taped to your refrigerator.
Keep a record of your drinking to help you reach your goal. For 3 to 4 weeks, write down every time you have a drink and how much you drink. Reviewing the results, you may be surprised at your weekly drinking habits.
Cut down drinking at home. Try to limit or remove alcohol from your home. Its much easier to avoid drinking if you dont keep temptations around.
Drink slower. When you drink, sip slowly and take a break of 30 minutes or one hour between drinks. Or drink soda, water, or juice between alcoholic drinks. Drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea, so make sure you eat food when you drink.
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How Can I Tell If I Need Substance Abuse Help
If youre asking yourself whether you need help, theres a chance you might be ready to admit to the presence of a problem. If youre not sure, you might consider whether you meet the criteria for a substance use disorder, or SUD, which is the American Psychiatric Associations diagnostic term for addiction. These criteria include:15,16
- Using drugs or alcohol in higher or more frequent amounts than you originally intended.
- Wanting to stop using drugs or alcohol but being unable to do so.
- Spending a lot of time trying to get, use, and recover from the effects of the substance.
- Experiencing cravings, which are strong feelings and urges to use.
- Being unable to meet your responsibilities at work, home, or school because of your substance use.
- Continuing to use drugs or alcohol even though its causing social or relationship problems.
- Giving up or stopping activities you once enjoyed so you can use drugs or alcohol.
- Using substances in situations where it is dangerous to do so .
- Continuing to drink or use drugs even though you have a psychological or physical problem that you know is probably due to your substance use.
- Experiencing tolerance, or needing to use more of the substance to achieve the desired effect.
- Developing withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability or shakiness, when you stop using the substance.
What Are Substance Abuse And Addiction
The difference between substance abuse and addiction is very slight. Substance abuse means using an illegal substance or using a legal substance in the wrong way. Addiction begins as abuse, or using a substance like marijuana or cocaine.
You can abuse a drug without having an addiction. For example, just because Sara smoked pot a few times doesn’t mean that she has an addiction, but it does mean that she’s abusing a drug and that could lead to an addiction.
People can get addicted to all sorts of substances. When we think of addiction, we usually think of alcohol or illegal drugs. But people become addicted to medicines, cigarettes, even glue.
Some substances are more addictive than others: Drugs like crack or heroin are so addictive that they might only be used once or twice before the user loses control.
Addiction means a person has no control over whether he or she uses a drug or drinks. Someone who’s addicted to cocaine has grown so used to the drug that he or she has to have it. Addiction can be physical, psychological, or both.
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Dealing With The Addiction To Exercise: An Unhealthy Obsession
Exercise addiction is unique in one aspect It is almost universally viewed as something to aspire to. If you drink or smoke too much, your friends start to worry. Exercise a lot, and everyone envies your dedication and commitment. So how can you go from being an exercise addict, to a more healthy relationship with working out? Like any other addiction, it takes time, and patience to break free from the bonds that tie. Here are 6 easy steps to break free from this unhealthy obsession.
Reflect On Your Addiction
Take time to reflect on what is important to you, how addiction has negatively affected you, and how your life will improve with sobriety.
The easiest way to reflect effectively is to keep a daily journal. With a journal, you can help yourself start a plan to stop addiction to help identify patterns, triggers, goals, and motivators.
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Cultivate A Better Environment
Your environment or community might lead to your excessive pornography consumption. Maybe you have friends that often encourage or talk about their porn usage. Maybe the internet access makes it so convenient and accessible for you to get tempted to view more pornography. So these are the things you should avoid, in order to cultivate a better environment.
Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
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Explore Your Addiction Treatment Options
Once youve committed to recovery, its time to explore your treatment choices. While addiction treatment can vary according to the specific drug, a successful program often includes different elements, such as:
Detoxification. Usually the first step is to purge your body of drugs and manage withdrawal symptoms.
Behavioral counseling. Individual, group, and/or family therapy can help you identify the root causes of your drug use, repair your relationships, and learn healthier coping skills.
Medication may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, or treat any co-occurring mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.
Long-term follow-up can help to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety. This may include attending regular in-person support groups or online meetings to help keep your recovery on track.
Need to talk to someone?
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Drug Withdrawal Can Be Uncomfortable
Withdrawal from drugs or alcohol can cause many symptoms that are very difficult to handle. The person quitting the substance could experience sweating, shaking and irritability. They could have headaches, nausea and other difficult physical symptoms along with tough mental symptoms such as depression or anxiety, hallucinations, and even seizures. The type of uncomfortable symptom will vary by the type of substance used.
Addiction Is Not Incurable
Robert Dupont, former director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said Addiction is not self-curing. Left alone addiction only gets worse, leading to total degradation, to prison, and ultimately to death.
However, this isnt necessarily the case. More people quit addictions than maintain them. Current research indicates that addiction is intractable due to the automatic patterns of behavior triggered by neurologic changes. But quitting is not impossible. Hard and may take several tries, yes. Impossible, no.
Success doesnt come from wishing and wanting, but finally realizing that you need to change because the addiction is interfering too much with something you value. Addiction becomes a competing action to something you no longer wish to risk or destroy. This desire sparks momentum. And with that momentum comes the confidence to take first steps and keep going no matter what. So, how do you get started?
How To Overcome Sexual Addiction
This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 14 testimonials and 91% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 535,901 times.
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Changes In Relationships And Friendships
Your relationships and friendships are likely to change as you overcome your addiction. It may take time to appreciate a new normal.
You may also be touched by the loyalty and simplicity of those who live life without chasing a high. You may find that friends and family whom you could not get along with while you were embroiled in your addiction welcome you back into their lives.
However, it can also take time and effort for trust to be re-established if you have hurt friends or family while you were actively involved in your addiction.
You may also find that you have less in common with the friends you spent the most time with during your addiction than you realized, and you might find they are intolerant to your new lifestyle.
Remember, you are a great role model and doing these friends a great service by showing them that change is possible. That said, don’t let them pull you back into the life you left behind.
Avoiding Replacement Addictive Behaviors
Some people find that when they quit or change an addictive behavior, another comes along to replace it. Heavy drinkers and smokers often find themselves overeating and putting on weight. People struggling with sex addiction might find themselves obsessed with exercise.
Addictive behaviors have similar neurological and psychological processes and create rewarding feelings and sensations. So replacement addictive behaviors are common among those trying to overcome an addiction.
The trick to avoiding replacement addictions is to find satisfaction in the experiences of normal life. These experiences may lack the intensity and high of addictive behaviors, but getting to know and like them can introduce a new level of calm you may have never experienced before.
Many people feel they are more in touch with reality and that relationships are more authentic than when they were constantly seeking pleasure.
The other important aspect of avoiding replacement addictions is to address any underlying mental health problems. Addictions can cover up past trauma, or underlying feelings of emptiness, sadness, or fear. Psychological therapies, as well as medications, can provide long-term relief for these problems, which addictions tend to worsen over time.
Can You Do It On Your Own
Overcoming gambling addiction is a process that can be complicated. While it can be done, I dont recommend doing it on your own. You deserve support as you recover. Gamblers Anonymous can be an inexpensive and helpful support in your journey. A licensed therapist can be an important ally. With the support of a therapist, you can learn new behaviors and leave problem gambling behind.
Overcoming gambling addiction begins with your decision to act. Healing from gambling addiction is possible. If you are in the Glen Ellyn or Jefferson Park area and want to know more about gambling and drug addiction counseling or discuss treatment options to overcome addiction, please contact us today.
Avoid Triggers And Keep Cravings In Check
Knowing your triggers is a vital part of recovering from any addiction. It may take some creativity, but avoiding the things that make it too hard to stay away from drugs will make all the difference.
Its important to continue avoiding your triggers even after you have been sober for a while. It can be easy to get overconfident and believe you will never go back to your old habits. However, this is a trap many people fall into. If youre in a support group, youll probably see this happen at least once.
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Greater Goals: Pursuing And Accomplishing Things Of Value
We began this guide with a discussion about values and the many ways in which they help people find their path out of addiction. We identified a variety of valueshealth, independence, self-control, religious faiththat strengthen peoples resolve to escape destructive behavior. I am now calling on you to function on a higher moral level by living according to values that have a positive impact on other peoples lives.
8.1. Revisiting the Sources of Addiction
Addiction does not stand alone. It is not an isolated biological fact of your life. Who you are, where you are situated, what you believe, and what company you keep are fundamental factors in the addictive equation.
Trying to understand the eating disorders of college women without accounting for their anxious, encapsulated environments is a pointless exercise, just as it impossible to comprehend drug addiction without understanding peoples lack of opportunity and hopelessness.
Obviously environment is critical in addiction. But what is wrong with assuming that addiction is a disease that simply happens to people like yourself? For one thing, even in cases of severe addiction, it just isnt true. Furthermore, throughout this program, we have seen that there are costs to thinking of yourself as powerless against your addiction.
8.2. Addiction Is Self-Centered
As you probably realize by now, you are behaving selfishly while you pursue your addiction this is a powerful reason for you to quit,
8.3. Your Personal Goals