Gambling is an addiction and can be a very serious addiction. One of the biggest myths of compulsive gambling is that the only dangers of gambling are financial, and because of that it’s not seen to be as ‘dangerous’ as doing hard drugs. In reality, the effects of compulsive gambling can be just as devastating.
It is important to know that compulsive gambling often presents with other disorders such as bi-polar, anxiety, or depression. Someone who is experiencing compulsive gambling issues might also need to work on sorting out any other health issues to really address the root of the issues, and that’s one of the benefits of seeking addiction treatment for gambling.
The truth about gambling is that it’s often the same as using drugs or alcohol. It creates a sense of euphoria that a person wants to chase again and again. Eventually a compulsive gambler will become tolerant to the thrill of the win but will continue gambling to win more money or to win back the money that they have already lost.
When gambling disorders go untreated there can be some very serious consequences.
Gambling Addiction Stats
- The likelihood of developing a gambling addiction increases 23-fold for people affected by alcohol use disorders
- Over 80% of American adults gamble on a yearly basis
- 3-5 gamblers out of every hundred struggles with a gambling problem
- In America, that’s about 2.5 million adults suffering from compulsive gambling, and 3 million considered problem gamblers
- The average debt generated by a man addicted to gambling is between $55,000 and $90,000. Women gamblers average $15,000 of debt.
- 90% of those suffering from gambling addiction withdraw cash advances from their personal credit cards to gamble.
- Only about half the money wagered in casinos are funds physically brought onto the premises. The rest is borrowed.
When your gambling starts to push other parts of your life to the backburner, you risk losing more than just money. If you are preoccupied with or feel an urge to gamble frequently, you may have a gambling addiction. Some of the things you can lose if you don’t deal with your gambling addiction include:
- Friends & family - the divorce rate for problem gamblers is twice the rate of non-gamblers.
- Money - More than 20% of compulsive gamblers end up filing for bankruptcy because of gambling losses.
- School & Career - An estimated 50% of those affected by gambling problems commit crimes in order to support their addiction.
- Their Lives - 1 in 5 addicted gamblers attempt suicide. That’s 20 times the rate of non-gamblers.
Many gambling addictions begin with the compulsive gambler trying to win back money that they have lost, but studies have shown that even if their financial problems were settled, the compulsive gambler would continue to gamble.
If you or someone you love is struggling with compulsive gambling, seek help today.