A person with a gambling addiction must work to strengthen his or her social network. Initially, he or she should try to connect with family and friends outside of gambling. Taking part in volunteer work or education classes is another way to find a new social circle. Another solution is to join peer support groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous. This 12-step recovery program is patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous. Each member of the group is assigned a sponsor – a former gambler who will be a guide and support.
Researchers estimate that about three quarters of a million young adults in the U.S. suffer from problem gambling. The Texas Council on Problem and Compulsive Gambling found that these young people are at a greater risk of developing serious gambling problems than are adults. These young people often gamble to deal with financial issues and form peer groups with like-minded individuals. However, there is no definitive link between anxiety and compulsive gambling. Hence, the question remains, what causes problem gambling in young people?
Types of gambling
The different types of gambling include card games, dice games, roulette, and blackjack. The most common types involve betting on numbers on a spinning wheel. If your number falls on a winning number, you win. Then there are state lotteries, where you buy tickets and scratch off the winning numbers to win prizes. Dice games, such as baccarat, use dice to determine whether you will win or lose. Other games include sports betting, lottery tickets, and bingo.
Addiction to gambling
To cure an addiction to gambling, a problem gambler must make a strong, permanent commitment to stop gambling. Addiction to gambling is easily accessed through the internet, and anyone with a computer can access gambling sites. To combat a gambling problem, a person must surround themselves with accountability, avoid potentially tempting environments, and find healthier activities to replace the activity. Listed below are some of the most common ways to deal with an addiction.
A few studies have compared the effectiveness of various preventive interventions, including e-mail messages and on-screen pop-up messages. One review evaluated the effectiveness of static messages, and a similar study found that pop-up messages may have a more positive effect. However, few studies compare the effects of targeted interventions on gambling. In addition, there is limited evidence to support industry supply-reduction initiatives. Prevention of gambling interventions are most effective in reducing gambling-related harm when they target young people.
The FDA does not currently approve any specific pharmacotherapy for gambling addiction, but researchers are studying several drugs and have found promising results. Escitalopram, lithium, nalmefene, valproate, and naltrexone have shown positive results in randomized trials. These trials involve four people with gambling addiction. More research is needed to determine the effectiveness of these drugs. If you are suffering from gambling addiction, consider getting treatment from a licensed professional.