Whether it involves lottery tickets, poker, video lottery terminals, slot machines, online gambling, or day trading, a gambling addiction is a serious problem that can result in dire financial and emotional consequences. If gambling has become a way for you to escape reality, you may have a gambling addiction.
There are several key recovery tasks and goals specific to gambling addiction treatment programs. The first is helping patients recognize and understand the beliefs and distorted thinking that help fuel their gambling behaviours. Patients must also develop an understanding of fantasy thinking, develop insight into their emotional connections to money, and process feelings of guilt and shame. Clients are instructed on how to have a healthy relationship with money and be accountable for their finances.
Patients in gambling addiction treatment programs are often given a daily budget to which they must adhere, to teach them to be accountable for what they spend. This helps them develop solid recovery plans. Some programs also have an integrated relapse prevention programs and sometimes patients must attend Gamblers Anonymous meetings.
As with other treatment programs, gambling addiction patients should be matched with a primary counsellor and a physician, and should complete much of their treatment in a small-group format.