What to do if someone you care about has a gambling problem
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They say the first step to beating an addiction is to admit that you have a problem.
Dealing with someone who has a gambling addiction can be painful. They have a tendency to withdraw from family and loved ones, so what are you supposed to do when someone you care about has developed a gambling addiction.
There are several things you will need to do and some of them are very hard to do.
The first thing you have to do is to hide all your valuables, and if this person lives with you, then you need to keep them behind locked doors and if that is not possible then take them to a bank and lock them in a safety deposit box.
If this person is you child or your spouse then you need to limit there access to your money. In many circumstances people have spent their family’s savings and kid’s college funds. So if at all possible try to get that persons name of the accounts if it is not already too late, and cancel all their credit cards.
At some point you will have to confront them. When you do confront them it is important to not yell and do not get angry just tell them how what they are doing affects you. Make sure that all the persons close friends are there to help with this.
It is important that everyone take turns and tell the person how his gambling has affected their relationships, but in a non angry, caring manner. This will help the person realize that the people that care about him see something that maybe he does not and hopefully will take an honest look at his gambling.
Remember the goal of confronting someone is not to make them stop gambling, it is to help them recognize they have a gambling problem and to encourage them to seek professional help.
Some people recommend that you try to get your friend to go to a gamblers anonymous meeting, but I do not recommend this. Gamblers Anonymous is a great organization that truly helps those with gambling problems stay away from gambling, but before you are ready for this most people need one on one sessions with a psychologist or a counselor trained to deal with gambling addiction.
After all is said and done, you must be prepared because most of the time the gambler continues to gamble, maybe they will make a brief attempt to stop before starting again in secret.
With most addictions the person with the problem needs to hit what they call a “bottom”. This is when the gambler has lost everything that really meant anything to them, such as family and friends, and it is only at this point many will see the problem and seek help.
If you know someone who is unwilling to admit their gambling problem I recommend that after you have tried your best to get this person to seek help if they do not, you may have to be prepared to leave them, remember at some point you have to abandon a sinking ship before you go down as well.
To find more information on gambling addiction search gamblers Anonymous and