Substance abuse and addiction are well known for their damaging effects, but people can struggle with addictions to things other than drugs or alcohol. Often called “process addictions,” these can include addictions to shopping, video games or sex, but one of the most common process addictions is gambling addiction.
Much like substance addictions, gambling abuse is a progressive disease of the mind that leads individuals to feel a “high” while engaging in gambling activities. This high is similar to the high achieved with drugs and alcohol — it typically comes from an area of the brain associated with the feelings of pleasure or happiness that stem from doing something good. In a healthy brain, we might feel this rush after exercising or giving someone a hug. But in the addicted brain, the addictive substance or process triggers the same reaction. Even though gambling may not seem as dangerous as taking illicit drugs, the long-term effects of gambling addiction in the brain can be deadly.
When is the Right Time for an Intervention?
It is never too soon to help a loved one get treatment for gambling addiction with an intervention. In fact, studies show that the sooner someone seeks treatment, the better the outcomes — and of course, the more of their life they will be able to live without the burden of addiction. If you aren’t sure whether someone is addicted to gambling or just has a bad gambling habit, it’s still okay to call a professional and ask for help. They will be able to provide expert diagnoses and help determine the best course of action. There are some telltale signs that a gambling habit has become a dangerous addiction, though, including:
- A loved one has lost the ability to control their gambling despite increasingly desperate financial and emotional debt
- They are borrowing money from everyone and still not paying necessities like rent, mortgage, or bills
- A friend or a family member has lost their job or is in danger of losing their job due to missed time at work and irregular behavior
- Someone is at risk of professional impairment, loss of family income and jobs, or possible professional license suspension
- Noticing someone in your life is struggling with dramatic mood swings or frequently goes missing without explanation
If any of these habits or dangers emerge in the life of a friend, coworker, spouse, child, or parent, they might be struggling with a worsening gambling addiction that they cannot control. It is time to call a professional and intervene.
Intervention is the most supportive, powerful and successful way to attain help.
What Will a Gambling Intervention Do?
An intervention allows an addict’s circle to stop waiting for their loved one to find recovery on their own terms. The disease of addiction often blinds those who struggle with it, isolating them and making them feel as though their actions have no consequences beyond their personal ups and downs. It can be nearly impossible for someone who has a gambling addiction to realize this and seek out treatment on their own. If you are worried about someone but aren’t sure how you can help, an intervention can be the action step you have been looking for.
A successful intervention is a turning point in an addiction. The goal of an intervention is to bring together the family and friends of the person struggling with gambling addiction as one cohesive support system and to help them understand that the addiction needs to be addressed. With the intervention method, loved ones can provide an outpouring of love and support while also showing that addiction does have consequences and that those consequences can be incredibly serious.
Seek Professional Help For A Gambling Addiction
An intervention establishes a community for recovery so that no one will be alone during the healing process. Addiction is destructive not only to the individual but to the loved ones around them as well. It’s important for those within an addicted person’s circle to be unified in recovery, not only to provide support but also to help each other heal by sharing their experiences.
A gambling intervention helps to raise an addicted individual off the “bottom” of their life with addiction. It builds a foundation under them while establishing healthy boundaries for families and loved ones to live by. With an intervention, addicts no longer have to live by the rules of active addiction — they can take action and break the cycle before the disease becomes any more harmful.
Hired Power in Huntington Beach, CA works with the client before, during, and after the intervention, including placement and a Personal Recovery Assistant. We offer a complete package that includes a pre-intervention workshop, intervention, 1-day safe passage, and 15 hours of case management.