How to Help Someone with a Gambling Addiction

May 16, 2023

People celebrating being free of a gambling addiction

Is your loved one struggling with a gambling addiction? These effective tips teach how to help someone with a gambling addiction and seek treatment.

Table of contents:

  • Introduction

  • How to Help Someone with a Gambling Addiction

  • Understanding Gambling Addiction

  • Approaches to Helping Someone with a Gambling Addiction

  • Resources for Helping Someone with a Gambling Addiction

  • Conclusion

  • FAQs

Did you know that more than 80% of American adults gamble each year?

It can be anything from playing poker or slots, visiting casinos, betting on sports, online event wagering, and more. But what many people don't realize is that what starts as a fun activity can turn into a full-blown addiction that wreaks havoc on their lives and everyone around them.

Compulsive gambling is a sneaky addiction that creeps up on you as you become more involved in the world of gambling. The urge to gamble can become overwhelming and lead to serious problems like financial ruin, mental health issues, and conflicts within families.

The effects of gambling addiction can be devastating, not just for the individuals themselves but also for their loved ones, colleagues, and friends. If you suspect someone you care about is struggling with a gambling problem, knowing how to help can be tough. Should you confront them directly or offer support from a distance?

In this article, we'll explore some practical ways to assist someone with a gambling addiction. We'll discuss how to recognize the signs of addiction, offer emotional support, and encourage them to seek professional treatment. 

Steps to Help Someone overcome a Gambling Addiction

We all know someone who enjoys a little flutter now and then, but what happens when that harmless fun turns into something more serious?

When gambling takes control and becomes an addiction, it can have devastating effects on individuals and their loved ones. That's where you can step in.

And you don't need to be an expert to make a difference. All it takes is empathy, understanding, and a willingness to offer support.

Here are some powerful ways we can support someone on their journey to recovery from a gambling addiction

Understanding Gambling Addiction

All addictions are complicated and, if not appropriately addressed, can make it even worse. Before helping someone with an addiction, you must understand how critical and sensitive gambling addiction is. 

When looking for ways to help, understand gambling addiction in depth and from every perspective. Here are some things to keep in mind when you set out to help a gambling addict. 

  • Educate yourself by learning common signs and symptoms and the available treatment options. Understanding the nature of the problem will help you provide informed support without overstepping.


  • Look out for signs of gambling addiction, such as excessive gambling, secrecy, financial problems, and changes in behavior or mood such as irritability, impatience, depression, disputes, and so on.

  • Listen to them without being judgemental so they won’t feel ashamed or embarrassed about their behavior. Express your concern and let them know you're there to support them.

  • Encourage them to seek help and make them understand that gambling addiction is a serious issue that must be dealt with appropriately. Offer to help them find resources and accompany them to appointments if they're willing. You could also explore Birches Health’s virtual counseling that can help someone with a gambling addiction.

  • If the person's addiction is causing harm to you or others, it's important to set boundaries to protect yourself. Let them know what behaviors you will not tolerate and stick to those boundaries.

  • Refrain from providing money or participating in activities that could enable their gambling. It's essential to promote responsible behavior and encourage healthier alternatives.

  • Be patient with the recovery process and give it some time. Also, make sure you take care of yourself. Supporting someone with a gambling addiction can be challenging.

Approaches to Helping Someone with a Gambling Addiction

Offering help to someone with a gambling addiction can be tricky. You should not come across as someone who is overbearing or even overstepping your boundaries.

So, it’s best you approach with caution and for that, here are some practical strategies that can truly make a positive difference in their path to recovery.

Approaching the Person with Compassion and Understanding

Gambling addicts may not even realize that gambling has become a big problem and they've lost control. They try to rationalize all their unhealthy behavior which has put them in a tough spot. And if you try to approach someone like this purely with logic, they will reject it and they might even get to the point of avoiding you.

This is why, you should first let them know how much you care about their well-being and how concerned you are. If they feel your emotional connection, they'll be more likely to open up about their addiction.

Next, explain that you're there to help them reduce their addiction. Keep the conversation open and let them know you're a support system they can rely on.

When you start the conversation, give them time to process what you're saying. Be patient and really listen to them without judging. It's important to understand their perspective and show that you're there to support them.

Try to understand from their perspective, and don’t belittle their thoughts. The best support you can offer them is to listen attentively without judging them

By following these steps, you'll be on the right track to helping someone with a gambling addiction. Remember, empathy and understanding go a long way in making a positive impact on their journey to recovery.

Encouraging Them to Seek Professional Help

Encouraging gambling addicts to seek help is one of the most challenging steps, as many people go into denial and don’t want to talk about their problems openly.

First, you can share some information with them, such as the types of treatment therapies available, support groups, rehab facilities. 

Additionally, normalize seeking professional help. In fact, some licensed professionals or counselors know how to deal with addicts without being too pushy. Platforms like Birches Health have a team of professionals with expertise in dealing with gambling addicts. 

Joining a Support Group

Support groups provide a safe, non-judgmental environment where people can share their experiences, struggles, and successes.

Being part of a group of people going through similar challenges can help individuals feel less isolated and alone in their addiction. Support groups can also provide practical advice and tips for managing cravings, avoiding triggers, and coping with the consequences of gambling.

But encouraging a gambling addict to join a support group can be a sensitive process, but with the right approach, you can help them see the benefits of such a group. 

Find a suitable time to have a calm and non-confrontational conversation. It's important to choose a moment when the person is receptive. You can also go to the extent of offering to accompany them to their first support group meeting.

But remember that It's essential to respect their autonomy and readiness to join a support group. Be patient and understanding if they are hesitant or unwilling at first. Continue to offer support and gently revisit the idea at a later time.

Getting Professional Help for Yourself

Before becoming a source of support and comfort to your close one, ensure you’re equipped to deal with the situations. Getting educated about gambling addiction, withdrawal, support groups, and professionals is essential to help yourself. 

The process of offering assistance should not have a toll on your mental health. Therefore, step in wisely. 

Resources for Helping Someone with a Gambling Addiction

Here are a few resources that you can access to seek help for people suffering from gambling addictions. 

Birches Health

At Birches Health, a dedicated care team ensures personalized, expert treatment. Birches Health started because we know it can be hard to find gambling counseling.

Asking your loved one to seek virtual counseling can be an easier approach to convince them to get on the road to recovery.  The best part? They can access care anytime, day or night, right from the comfort of their own home. No need to travel or disrupt your routine.

Click here to schedule an appointment.

Gambling Addiction Hotlines and Support Groups

The National Council on Gambling Problems operates a gambling helpline number. The help is available 24/7, and all information is kept confidential. The network includes contact centers operating in 50 states and US territories with appropriate resources. 

Treatment Centers and Programs

Treatment centers, rehabs, and programs are tailored for addicts who need serious care for their addiction issues. The treatment centers come with 24X7 support and care to assist them at every step of their recovery.

Self-Help Books and Materials

Reading self-help books and using other materials can be a good option for those who prefer to work on their recovery independently or who may not have access to support groups or therapy. These learning materials contain practical tips for managing cravings, avoiding triggers, and coping with the consequences of gambling.

Take a Next Step

It can be difficult to assist someone who has a gambling addiction, but it's crucial to approach the problem with sympathy, comprehension, and a desire to seek expert treatment. People with a gambling addiction can beat it and have happy, meaningful lives with the proper treatment and services.

Birches Health can help you with reliable assistance and guidance from licensed healthcare professionals. 

FAQs 

Q. Can a gambling addict ever stop?

Answer: Yes, a compulsive gambler can eventually stop gambling, but it requires a lot of effort, support, and a comprehensive approach to treatment that includes therapy, support groups, and lifestyle changes.

Q. What percentage of gambling addicts recover?

Answer: There is no specific percentage of gambling addicts who recover since it can vary depending on factors. However, research suggests that many individuals with gambling addiction can recover with appropriate treatment and support. 

Q. Can gambling addicts be cured?

Answer: Gambling addiction is a treatable condition. The goal of treatment is to help the individual manage their urges to gamble, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and rebuild their lives.

The Science of Addiction

May 21, 2024

Jonathan

Family Therapy for Gambling Addiction

May 20, 2024

Jonathan

What is Residential Treatment for Gambling Addiction

May 17, 2024

Jonathan

Group Therapy for Gambling Addiction

May 16, 2024

Jonathan

Lottery Addiction: Guide to Help and Recovery 

May 15, 2024

Jonathan

Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Gambling Addiction

May 15, 2024

Jonathan

10 Gambling Addiction Quotes: From Realization to Recovery

May 14, 2024

Jonathan

Help For Family Members of Gambling Addicts

May 13, 2024

Jonathan

Essential Books on Gambling Addiction

May 11, 2024

Jonathan

Is Day Trading Legal?

May 4, 2024

Jonathan

Hypnotherapy for Gambling Addiction

May 3, 2024

Jonathan

Dangerous Gaming: Dave & Buster's introduces betting on arcade games 

May 2, 2024

Jonathan

The Relationship Between Problem Gambling and Suicide

Apr 30, 2024

Jonathan

Self Help for Gambling Addiction

Apr 29, 2024

Jonathan

Can poker become an addiction?

Apr 27, 2024

Jonathan

Naltrexone for Gambling Addiction

Apr 26, 2024

Jonathan

Understanding the Stages of Gambling Addiction

Apr 25, 2024

Jonathan

What Are The Negative Effects of Gambling

Apr 22, 2024

Jonathan

Gambling Addiction Intervention

Apr 20, 2024

Jonathan

Overview of 12-Step Program for Gambling Addiction 

Apr 19, 2024

Jonathan

Support Groups for Gambling Addiction

Apr 16, 2024

Jonathan

Managing Gambling Addiction Relapses

Apr 12, 2024

Jonathan

U.S. Sports Betting Statistics April 2024: Legalization, growth & addiction rising

Apr 12, 2024

Jonathan

My Mom Has a Gambling Addiction: What to Do

Apr 8, 2024

Jonathan

Understanding In-Network and Out-of-Network Providers for Behavioral Addictions

Apr 1, 2024

Jonathan

Has America become a “society of gamblers”?

Mar 28, 2024

Jonathan

How Can I Stop My Child From Gambling

Mar 27, 2024

Jonathan

Birches Health Partners with BettorEdge

Mar 20, 2024

Jonathan

Birches Health Announces Partnership with SaharaBets

Mar 19, 2024

Jonathan

Gambling Addiction Rates Hit All-Time High in U.S.

Mar 13, 2024

Jonathan

Signs of Teen Gambling

Mar 13, 2024

Jonathan

Free Gambling Addiction Treatment

Feb 29, 2024

Jonathan

SNL Sports Betting sketch spotlights real Gambling Addiction issues 

Feb 26, 2024

Jonathan

New U.S. Gambling Stats: Record figures as Addiction also grows

Feb 22, 2024

Jonathan

What will be the social costs of increased gambling? Who will pay them?

Feb 19, 2024

Jonathan

Is it Legal to Bet on the Daytona 500?

Feb 16, 2024

Jonathan

Media Takes Note of America's Increase in Problem Gambling

Feb 15, 2024

Jonathan

What are the Psychological Effects of Gambling?

Jan 31, 2024

Jonathan

Is Day Trading Gambling?

Feb 11, 2024

Jonathan

What are the Different Types of Gamblers?

Feb 12, 2024

Jonathan

Understanding Behavior Disorders

Jan 23, 2024

Jonathan

The Gambling Addiction Recovery, Investment, And Treatment (GRIT) Act

Jan 14, 2024

Jonathan

What is the Cycle of Addiction and How to Break It

Jan 9, 2024

Jonathan

I Lost All My Money Gambling. What Now?

Dec 29, 2023

Jonathan

Your 2024 New Year's Resolution: Stop Sports Betting and Online Gambling

Dec 24, 2023

Elliott

Why Do Addicts Relapse?

Dec 20, 2023

Jonathan

Is Gambling a Sin?

Dec 18, 2023

Jonathan

Staging a Gambling Intervention for a Loved One

Dec 13, 2023

Jonthan

Signs of Gambling Addiction in a Spouse

Nov 30, 2023

Jonathan

Gambling and Divorce: Statistics and Information

Nov 26, 2023

Jonathan

What is DFS Gambling?

Nov 19, 2023

Jonathan

Addiction Specialist: Helping You Overcome Addiction

Nov 18, 2023

Jonathan

Exploring the Different Types of Gambling

Nov 8, 2023

Jonathan

Technology Addiction: Signs and Treatment

Oct 30, 2023

Jonathan

Is Options Trading Gambling?

Oct 23, 2023

Jonathan

Gambling Addiction and Treatment

Oct 16, 2023

Jonathan

Sex Addiction Treatment and Therapy Options

Oct 14, 2023

Jonathan

Signs of Gambling Addiction

Oct 7, 2023

Jonathan

Is the Stock Market Gambling?

Sep 25, 2023

Jonathan

Tips for Finding a Gambling Rehab Center

Sep 24, 2023

Jonathan

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Pathological Gambling

Sep 23, 2023

Jonathan

What Causes Porn Addiction?

Sep 18, 2023

Jonathan

Video Game Addiction

Sep 16, 2023

Jonathan

Porn Addiction Signs & Symptoms

Sep 11, 2023

Jonathan

Gambling Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms & Signs

Aug 29, 2023

Jonathan

How to Stop Online Gambling

Aug 27, 2023

Jonathan

Does Medicare Cover Gambling Rehab?

Aug 19, 2023

Jonathan

Gambling and Dopamine

Aug 12, 2023

Jonathan

Porn Addiction Counseling

Aug 7, 2023

Jonathan

Is Fantasy Football Gambling?

Jul 24, 2023

Jonathan

Signs of a Day Trading Problem

Jul 19, 2023

Jonathan

Why is Gambling Addictive?

Jul 18, 2023

Jonathan

The Arizona Lottery and Gambling

Jul 16, 2023

Jonathan

Is Poker Gambling?

Jul 15, 2023

Jonathan

Is Crypto Gambling?

Jul 14, 2023

Jonathan

Gambling and Sports Betting Among College Students

Jul 8, 2023

Jonathan

Updates made to gambling disorder across the DSM-III, DSM-IV, DSM-5

Updates Made to Gambling Disorder Clinical Criteria Between DSM-III, DSM-IV, and DSM-5

Jul 8, 2023

Cara Anderson

Combatting Gambling and Alcohol Addiction

Jun 30, 2023

Jonathan

Medication for Gambling Addiction

Jun 27, 2023

Jonathan

The Seven Types of Gamblers: Are You One of Them?

Jun 25, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

10 Questions to Ask If You Think Your Loved One Has a Gambling Problem

Jun 24, 2023

Cara Anderson

Las Vegas - often called the gambling capital of the world

Exploring the History of Gambling in the US

Jun 17, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

Gambling Treatment in Arizona

Jun 15, 2023

Jonathan

Voluntary Self Exclusion to Stop Online Gambling

Jun 15, 2023

Cara Anderson

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Gambling Treatment?

Jun 13, 2023

Jonathan

Gambling Addiction Hotline

Jun 5, 2023

Jonathan

How to Stop Gambling

Jun 1, 2023

Jonathan

Can Gambling Addiction Be Cured?

May 31, 2023

Jonathan

problem gambler worried about addiction

Why Is Gambling So Addictive?

May 30, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

Medication that can cause gambling

Abilify and Compulsive Gambling

May 26, 2023

Jonathan

A man who has regained control of his life by stopping gambling and online sports betting

How to Stop Gambling: Strategies for Regaining Control

May 21, 2023

Cara Anderson

This man stopped gambling by recognizing his online sports betting problem

How to Stop Gambling and Save Money

May 18, 2023

Cara Anderson

People celebrating being free of a gambling addiction

How to Help Someone with a Gambling Addiction

May 16, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

The Growing Phenomenon of Cryptocurrency Addiction: What Traders Need to Know About Crypto Addiction

Cryptocurrency Addiction

May 9, 2023

Tobias Jackson

The stock market graph of a day trader who has a day trading addiction

How Day Trading Can Create a Dangerous Addiction

May 4, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

Younger individuals gathered around a computer talking about a gambling addiction meme

How Addictive Memes Have Fueled Problem Gamblers

May 2, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

Man in the middle of taking a Do I have a Gambling Problem Quiz

Clinical Screening Tools and Quizzes to Answer the Question: "Do I have a Gambling Problem?"

May 1, 2023

Tobias Jackson

Insurance paperwork that Birches clients do not need to go through as Birches Health handles all administrative and payment matters for them!

Insurance Coverage for Gambling Addiction in 2023

Apr 29, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

Couple hugging as the man has a gambling addiction and the woman, his loved one, is able to support him through it.

Helping a Loved One with a Gambling Addiction

Apr 27, 2023

Cara Anderson

Man actualizing self care and manifesting his recovery journey from problem gambling and gambling addiction

Self Care for Problem Gamblers

Apr 26, 2023

Cara Anderson

Bad effects of glamorization of gambling in the media in films, tv shows, and podcasts

Glamorized Gambling and What To Be Aware Of

Apr 24, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

Therapist offering a problem gambler gambling addiction counseling and treatment

What is Problem Gambling?

Apr 20, 2023

Elliott Rapaport