Gambling Rehabilitation – The Benefits and Need

In gambling rehab you will be safe from your gambling addiction

Unlike with alcohol or certain drugs, when, an individual comes in to gambling rehab for a gambling addiction there is no medication to help them manage the withdrawal from suddenly stopping their addictive behaviour. The mental urge to be wanting to place a bet will be very strong. It is important that the individuals are willing and trusting to share their thoughts and feelings with members of staff and the therapy team, from very early on after being admitted, and not keep these feelings bottled up.  At The Haynes Clinic, this relationship of trust and understanding starts from the first time we receive an initial telephone enquiry. From the very beginning, we build empathy and understanding so people are willing to share their thoughts and experiences with us. The very act of sharing, with others, is critical for a 12 Step programme to begin to work. Individuals should feel comfortable with openly sharing their life experiences and not feel judged in any way by their previous destructive actions

What happens in a gambling rehab?

At the point of admission to the clinic, your bags will be checked for electronic devices and your mobile phone will be handed in, for safe keeping by a member of staff.  It is essential that all ways that can be used to access making that bet will be removed. The Haynes Clinic is a safe and caring environment and we will go to every length to ensure that even though you will be having thoughts of actually placing a bet, betting via a mobile app, gambling at a virtual casino, it will be impossible to do so. This level of safety could not be achieved in the home environment.  Of course, we do not exclude contact with family and friends, and it is possible to have supervised telephone calls from a clinic telephone.  You will have your own bedroom and share your meals with others in treatment, which helps to forge a friendship which makes sharing of your life’s issues easier.

A break from your gambling addiction gives you a chance to change in gambling rehab

gambling collage

Coming into the safe environment of a gambling rehab allows the individual a break from their addictive behaviour. Breaking that cycle is critical. Normally the residential programme at The Haynes Clinic is for 28 days. This is an effective break from a daily addictive routine and allows the individual time to address the changes in thinking and behaviour that will be necessary, following discharge from gambling addiction treatment, to maintain in the outside world. At The Haynes Clinic, we use the 12 Step programme of Recovery.  The residential groups will be made up of people with an assortment of different addictions, not just gambling.  However, all will have experienced different levels of problems in their lives, caused as a direct result of their continued destructive behaviour.  For example, the amount that you have spent on betting will often exceed what you can afford or has come at a cost to other things such as non-payment of the mortgage.  Even, if you win a large amount on a bet it doesn’t just end or stop there.  Those winnings are then used to place other bets which in turn inevitably lose. For some gamblers it is not the act of betting and winning that is the buzz, it is simply the act of betting, win or lose that they have craved more of.

Addressing gambling addiction and alcohol addiction in gambling rehab

Interestingly, there can be a cross over with alcohol and gambling. Clearly, when we drink alcohol our inhibitions are lowered and this can then be related to our thoughts and actions on Gambling. We need to be aware of the dangers and the link between alcohol and gambling for when we leave treatment. This is just an example of one of the daily dangerous mechanisms that we need to be aware of that we will discuss and process in group therapy.

The Twelve Step Programme and Gambling Rehab

Structured group therapy will take place every week day; attendance at 12 Step support groups will take place a number of times a week.  The fact that you will be attending support groups, with others in treatment, will help you gain confidence for attending them when you leave treatment. Written work around the 12 Steps will also help with your understanding of the Steps. The act of writing our thoughts down on paper and then sharing them in a constructive group setting will help us remove the strength of those thoughts of namely, guilt, shame, anger and remorse of our addictive actions and past behaviour.  We need to process, in treatment, how we have hurt our family and friends.  All of this will help us to reduce our denial of the extent of our gambling problem.

The dangers of gambling addiction

Problem gamblers are known to be an increased suicide risk, by as much as 15 times more than those without a gambling addiction. This is one of the top reasons a gambling rehab is so important, as it shows and explains to the individual that there is a positive way forward. It is possible for a gambler to get their life back and all is not lost to them. A gambler, in Recovery, can get support from another.  For once they are not on their own.  There are steps that can be taken to help in all manner of ways, as long as the Gambler is willing to change their thinking and behaviour and ask for that help from others and then take it. 

For those with a gambling addiction and completing the 28 day residential programme, there is available, at no additional cost, a year of Aftercare at The Haynes Clinic. This consists of being able to attend the daily group therapy sessions on a Friday of every week and being a member of a dedicated aftercare group. Having built up the trust and confidence with the therapists at Haynes, this then allows you to share any current issues or concerns and seek further advice in a safe environment. This ongoing support and the safe environment is key to successful Recovery.