The Benefits of Gambling Rehab

How can gamblers – who will have usually gambled themselves into debt before admitting they need help – afford gambling rehab?

The dilemma facing most gamblers is: how does a gambler afford to go into a private residential rehab or addictions clinic, for help with their addiction, when they would undoubtedly be placing a bet if they had any money?  At The Haynes Clinic, we generally find that family or friends will help with the funding of their treatment. In fact, is it very common for family or friends to be covering the cost of anyone who is admitted for treatment whatever their addiction, be it alcohol, drugs or an eating disorder. 

Can gamblers break the habit without going to addictions rehab?

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There are extremely limited options for a gambler wanting to get well. One is trying to stop your daily gambling routine and break the cycle but in the home environment this is almost totally impossible and will inevitably lead to an early relapse. The second is to attend Gamblers Anonymous or another 12 Step support group. Local groups can be found by going on to the Gamblers Anonymous website and putting in your postcode and it will list all the Gamblers Anonymous support groups near to your home address.  This action may lead to more of a chance of avoiding a relapse but there will be a mental struggle with trying to understand what a 12 Step programme entails and this can lead to the person stopping attending which then leads to a relapse.

The advantages offered by gambling rehab

The most successful way forward for a Gambler to seek help and address their addiction is to be admitted for the recommended treatment period of 28 days into a recognised gambling addiction rehab programme.  It is important that the daily addictive cycle is broken within a safe environment and with the support and help of professionals. Constantly trying and failing to stop gambling within a home environment increases the mental depressive episodes and feelings of hopelessness and lack of self-worth.

Why gambling is on the increase

A relatively recent sequence of events – over the last several years – has directly led to the escalation in the number of people with a gambling addiction.  There has been a complete, seemingly uncontrolled, surge in advertising on TV and from all forms of media encouraging people to gamble. They may be cajoled into “having a go,” at all sorts of internet gambling games including online bingo, with the offers varying from free spins to monetary incentives. What has been referred to as the “cocaine” of gambling can be accessed 24 hours a day 7 days a week from simply a mobile phone or laptop.  This blatant advertising campaign has come at a time where there has been the Covid pandemic and a work from home culture. These circumstances have led to more people reporting that they are experiencing mental health issues which, coupled with boredom, has led to some actually being attracted to play online gambling games as a way of breaking the boredom. However, it is not just boredom that has increased people’s propensity to gamble. There has also been an increase in the amount of alcohol that people are consuming at home.  Drinking alcohol will lower our inhibitions which may lead to more gambling in line with more drinking. This could in turn lead gamblers to consume more alcohol to deal with feelings resulting from gambling losses.

Gambling addiction is hard to detect

Drinking more alcohol than usual may be an initial indicator to a loved one or close friend that something is changing with us as, apart from the increase in alcohol consumption, there will also be mood swings and depressive episodes.  Drinking could in some instances be masking the other real problem of a gambling addiction as, unless there is a shared bank account, it is an addiction that is difficult to detect until there is almost financial ruin.

Gamblers can benefit from attending alcohol addiction treatment and drug rehab clinics

A gambler being admitted into an addictions rehab would not usually feel out of place.  A residential addictions rehab will be able to admit and treat people with all forms of addiction and for gamblers the treatment process will be similarly based around the AA 12 Step Programme, exactly the same as for anyone else in treatment.  There are very few specialist gambling clinics just for people with a gambling addiction.

When you are admitted to a residential rehab or addiction clinic, you will be admitted under the care of the Doctor attached to the unit.  All your medical notes will also be kept at the rehab and will not be shared with your own GP unless requested by yourself. This means that the fact you have been in a residential unit being treated for a gambling addiction will not be noted on your main medical notes.

Apart from a break within a safe residential environment of your addictive thinking and behaviour, at The Haynes Clinic, for example, there will be a daily structured plan that will be predominately centred around an understanding of the 12 Step Programme and therapy. It will be during these therapy sessions that there will be a recognition of the similarities of the destruction that addiction in all its forms can cause.

Whilst in treatment you will also attend 12 Step support groups, such as CA, AA or NA and this will be very useful as there may not be a GA (Gamblers Anonymous) support group close to where you live. Therefore, attending another group that may not be specific to gambling but that is specific to addiction may offer vital ongoing support in the future. 

Staying stopped from gambling

As with any addiction, a person with a gambling addiction will have to make significant changes when they leave treatment in order to not relapse back into the old addictive behaviour. For example, if it is necessary to have a mobile phone then get one on a “pay as you go basis” with a maximum of £10 on it at any one time, and not on a contract so that it is only possible to receive and make limited calls.  Ideally this should be a basic and not a smart phone. It may also be that a third party helps you with your finances for a while. All these measures will be discussed and processed within the gambling treatment environment and before you are discharged from the addictions rehab, so that a plan is clearly formulated and agreed to help and support you with your ongoing Recovery.