Compulsive gambling is an impulse control disorder in which the subject is driven by an overwhelming, uncontrollable urge to gamble. The impulse is progressive and becomes uncontrollable. It consumes more of the individual’s time, energy, and money. It can destroy everything meaningful in the person’s life. The compulsive gambler cannot control the impulse to gamble, even when they know their gambling is hurting themselves or their loved ones. Gambling is all they can think about, and all they want to do, no matter the consequences. Compulsive gamblers keep gambling whether they’re up or down, broke or flush, happy or depressed. Even when they know the odds are against them, even when they can’t afford to lose, compulsive gamblers are unable to stay out of “action”. They may even need the gambling therapy Los Angeles has to offer.
Persistent and recurrent maladaptive gambling behavior as indicated by five (or more) of the following (also known as compulsive or pathological gambling):
- Is preoccupied with gambling (e.g., preoccupied with reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, or thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble).
- Needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money to achieve the desired excitement.
- Has repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling.
- Is restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling.
- Gambles as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphoric mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression).
- After losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even (“chasing” one’s losses).
- Lies to family members, therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling.
- Has committed illegal acts such as forgery, fraud, theft, or embezzlement to finance gambling.
- Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of gambling.
- Relies on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling.
Identifying the Problem
We believe that compulsive gambling affects people from all walks of life to the same extent as any other addiction. Whether the gambler bets on sports, purchases lottery tickets or scratchers, plays poker, craps (dice), roulette, blackjack, or slots, in a casino or online, compulsive gambling can strain relationships, interfere with home and work, and lead to financial catastrophe. Problem gambling can result in social issues, emotional stress, and financial difficulties and may require gambling therapy Los Angeles provides. It can also affect relationships, emotional or physical health, work, and school. Compulsive gamblers may even do things they would have never thought possible, like stealing money meant for family, friends, or embezzling from their employer.
Compulsive Gambling Requires Gambling Therapy Los Angeles Offers
The Authentic Recovery Center (ARC) recognizes that gambling is a brain disease and needs to be treated like any other addiction when implementing treatment. ARC does not treat gambling as an addiction by itself. We treat it as a secondary addiction alongside alcohol and drug addiction. If you are looking for treatment for strictly gambling addiction, we strongly encourage you to call us for a referral or visit the National Council On Problem Gambling for more information. If, however, you also struggle with alcohol and other drugs, then fill out our insurance verification form, and we can help!
Today nearly every person has gambled at some point in their life. Experts estimate that 1-2% of these people will potentially develop a gambling problem. In California alone, it is estimated that 4% of the population will develop a gambling problem (approximately 1 million people). California is home to 89 card clubs, 100 tribal casinos, state lottery, and racetracks, not to mention the proximity to Las Vegas and Reno.
Criminality and Suicidality
Many gamblers contemplate criminal behavior or become acutely self-destructive if not stopped. The suicide rate for compulsive gamblers is twenty times higher than for non-gamblers (one in five attempts suicide). Many gamblers believe they are unable to stop, but compulsive gambling and gambling addiction are treatable. If the gambler is ready to admit they have a problem and seek help, they can overcome their gambling problem and regain control of their life.
Our rehabilitation model involves intensive individual therapies addressing the roots of the addiction, which helps with modifying the behavior. Our qualified therapists work specifically with alcoholics, and addicts will work closely with the individual throughout treatment and, in some cases, when treatment is complete. Compulsive gambling can manifest in many ways, and addiction treatment services at ARC assists in the journey towards treating the problem along with their families and friends who are also suffering.
GA provides the message that there is an alternative to the destruction of compulsive gambling. As it states in the GA combo book, “No one likes to think they are different from their fellows. Therefore it is not surprising that our gambling careers have been characterized by countless vain attempts to prove we could gamble like other people. The idea that somehow, someday we will control our gambling is the great obsession of every compulsive gambler. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it to the gates of prison, insanity, or death.” The absolute of this statement is the very experience of the compulsive gambler.
Gamblers Anonymous allows us to unify and embark with one another on what may seem too daunting of a task alone. The compulsive gambling treatment program at ARC is within proximity to many meetings in the Los Angeles area. Support with sponsorship, step-work, and routine meetings appropriate to schedule is provided.
Many compulsive gamblers and alcoholics/addicts have left a path of immeasurable destruction. The gambler and alcoholic/addict has left a trail of lies and hurt with family and friends. As the client proceeds through treatment, the family can feel alone and deserted. At ARC, we recognize the reach and severity that addiction has. This provides an opportunity for the family to participate in the treatment of their own. This allows for the affected to partake in the treatment process and evolve when the system is put back in order.
Countless times have disoriented functioning family systems claimed that if the identified patient could just get hold of addiction, the system would go back to order. This is one of the myths that our intensive family programs can help foster. The family program can give the affected person gambling therapy Los Angeles strength, knowledge, and a new skill set. The family programs menu of services are as follows:
- Family Education
- Family Process Group
- Relationship/Couples Therapy
- Family Therapy
- Multi-Family Process Group
The Need for the Gambling Therapy Los Angeles Offers
The truth is, compulsive gambling is a brain disease and has been recognized as such by the mental health and medical community. Problem gambling is beginning to be seen and treated as areas of the brain are not working properly; it is no longer a question of morality, creed, or lack of willpower. This is where rehab for gambling addicts comes in. At ARC, we can help as long as there is another addiction present. For example, some of the therapies we provide include:
Gambling therapy Los Angeles trusts is just another service we offer during addiction treatment. So if you feel that you qualify, please call us today at 866.256.0051.