Responsible Vs. Problem Gambling
Although most gamblers don’t get into problems as a result of gambling, there is a small percentage who do have an addiction problem. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling 85% of all American adults have ever gambled in 48 states of the US (except of Hawaii and Utah) where there is a form of legalized gambling, and also that the legal gaming revenues in 2002 was 68 billion dollars.
When someone is addicted to gambling you can’t see any physical symptoms but the addiction can be strong and could lead to severe problems as losing a home or job or even a long-lasting relationship. The addiction is the only non-substance addiction that is recognized.
Relatives or mental health professionals have often difficulties to spot the signs of a gambling addiction, however a number of signs are available like e.g.:
- the person would like to hide he/she is gambling
- the person steals or borrow money to gamble
- one is constantly thinking about gambling, also at home and at work
- attempting to win back lost money so increasing bets
- money for bills or for the kids is used for gambling
- seeing gambling as a way to distress or means against depression
Very often obsessive gamblers try to approve of their behaviour by telling themselves it’s not a big deal or that they are going to win the big prize. This way of thinking usually make it worse, and it means that someone is a compulsive gambler. While most of the adults gamble for fun, gambling could have severe consequences and when the addiction isn’t treated right away, the addicted could grow out of control and experience financial problems along with domestic trouble.
The majority of all American adults have already gambled as gambling is legalized in all American States except of two states. The National Research Council stated that 10-17 percent of children of gambling addicts have been abused. In 2001 there even has been a child endargement case (Lawrence-Turner) against an addicted day care provider who left three kids alone in a car for 11 hours while he was gambling. But the good news is that gambling addicts don’t stand alone with their addiction as many others understand what they are going through. We would like to give two reference links to helping organizations:
Helping Hand/IGC - http://www.igcouncil.org/
Gamblers Anonymous - http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/
And remember... gaming is fun but don’t put your life on the line!