2015 saw a worrying rise in the number of people requiring gambling addiction treatment. The rise in high street bookmakers, the increasing on-line presence and the relentless marketing of gaming websites continue to drive this industry forward.
For the majority of gamblers we have treated at our private rehab clinic over the last 12 months, their progression resulted in addiction to Fixed Oddds Betting Terminals (FOBT’s). These can be found in all high street bookmakers and most machines offer a variety of high stake games with roulette proving to be the most popular. The speed at which people can lose money or develop addiction is quite frightening. Other common gambling activities include football betting, on-line poker, on line-bingo, lottery scratch cards and less commonly now, horseracing and greyhound racing. We have seen an increase in those seeking gambling rehab from the Providence Projects.
Gambling is an addiction which is often misunderstood. The majority of society simply cannot identify with the thinking of a compulsive gambler or have a valued relationship with money meaning that they cannot understand the level of risk taking involved. In fact, much research suggests that much of the addiction is centred in the ‘nearly-win’. The excitement and anticipation of watching the results, waiting for the wheel to stop spinning, or scratching off the last panel on the scratch card is the thrill. This, accompanied by the dream of ‘the big win’, combine to create a very powerful addiction, which like all other addictions progresses; many then find the habit incredibly difficult to break.
As the addiction progresses, so does the desperation of the addicted individual who wants to win their money back, convinced that one good bet will get them out of trouble, only to find that one more bet results in further consequences. Dishonesty, denial and anxiety ensue as the compulsive gambling wrecks lives, relationships and families. Most family members are broken as much by the lies as by the compulsive behaviour; the damage to trust can be irreparable and the compulsive gambler becomes more and more secretive. At the Providence Projects, we offer support for families of addicts, including offering advice and family therapy sessions to help recovery.
Very often drug addiction or alcoholism is clear to see. Denial is often a common factor but due to the nature of the behaviour, the alcohol or drug misuse cannot always be hidden. Gambling is very different. The addict will often suffer in silence, trying to pretend that everything is under control and ok, often developing strong feelings of loneliness.
If this sounds like you, or you have someone in your family that you are concerned about, please call Paul Spanjar at The Providence Projects, a private gambling rehab, on 0800 9550945 to find out what help is available. As a private rehab clinic in the UK, the success rate of gambling addiction treatment at the Providence Project is very high. With the right treatment, anyone can recover…….