Addicted to Sports Betting? Start your recovery now

Jun 6, 2024

Sports betting can be seen by many as an exciting casual activity, but for others it can spiral into harmful addiction. If you find yourself constantly preoccupied with sports betting, betting beyond your means or feel the need to recoup every loss, it might be time to take a step back and address your behavior. Of course, it isn’t always that simple; admitting to yourself that you could have a problem that feels out of your control is difficult.

Acknowledgment and acceptance of the problem is the first step that must be taken in the road to recovery from Gambling Addiction. Here, we provide comprehensive guidance on determinants of sports betting addiction, explore available and affordable treatment options and help you embark on the journey to reclaim control over your life. 

How to do determine if you are addicted to sports betting

Recognizing an addiction to sports betting requires dedicated self-reflection and awareness of your behaviors. While sports betting addiction can provoke a wide range of symptoms, we have enough research and literature to generate a list of common red flags found in individuals dealing with Gambling Addiction. Problem Gambling can create severe consequences for you and your loved ones, but many individuals do not address the issue until affected by life-changing forms of suffering. Keeping an open mind about monitoring some of these key indicators could save you from experiencing further physical, mental or financial damage.

  • Compulsive Betting: An individual continues to bet through isolation from family and friends or through impactful financial losses, in constant need of the short but intense euphoria that coincides with placing a bet. The individual has lost control and even if he or she recognizes that gambling is causing issues, they can’t quit.

  • Neglecting Life’s Priorities: When a sports betting addiction has taken hold of an individual, it can become THE priority. If an individual slacks off work, school, relationships or duties at home, possibly lying and hiding their gambling activity, then the individual is exhibiting a telltale symptom of addiction.

  • Withdrawal/Anxiety Symptoms: Sports betting has been labeled a behavioral, non-substance addiction in the DSM-5, meaning like drug and alcohol addiction, individuals can build a tolerance. Eventually, a standard bet size does not satisfy the thrill of the action, so an individual will up the ante to maintain the excitement. If the individual limits their action and they get anxious or depressed, they are likely experiencing withdrawal. Guilt, shame, difficulty sleeping, low self-esteem, fear, worry, difficulty concentrating and poor decision-making are all examples of sub-symptoms of Gambling Addiction.

  • Hiding or Lying One’s Gambling: People dealing with a gambling problem at times try to hide it from those with whom they’re closest. If you are being dishonest about where you’ve been, what you’ve been doing or how much you’ve lost gambling, it could be a sign of problem gambling 

  • Continuing to Gamble Despite Consequences: The ongoing pursuit of betting despite facing significant negative consequences is another common sign. These can include mounting financial debts, negatively impacts relationships, job loss or decline in performance, or potentially even legal issues.  

Gambling Addiction treatment options & resources

Once you acknowledge the possibility of a gambling addiction, exploring various treatment options is crucial. Treatment resources include:

  • Therapy and Counseling: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is particularly effective in treating gambling addiction by addressing the underlying thought patterns and behaviors.

  • Inpatient and Outpatient Programs: Specialized addiction treatment centers offer both inpatient and outpatient programs tailored to individual needs, providing comprehensive care and support.

Professional treatment that prioritizes your unique needs, at an affordable price and from the comfort of your home, deserves recognition and your consideration. Birches Health provides this triad of wonderful features. A team of licensed counselors with decades worth of experience dealing with Gambling Addiction is ready to meet you on your terms, wherever you are located.

  • Support Groups: Organizations like Gamblers Anonymous provide a supportive community complete with individuals facing similar challenges, offering mutual support and practical advice.

  • Helplines and Online Resources: Numerous helplines and online resources, like the NCPG are available, offering support, information, and guidance on next steps.

  • Financial Counseling: Professional financial counseling can help address the economic impact of gambling addiction, providing strategies for managing and recovering from debt.

Step-by-step process of Problem Gambling treatment 

Getting Started

Beginning the journey to recovery involves taking the first courageous step to seek help. This initial phase includes:

  • Acknowledgment and Acceptance: Admitting you have a problem and accepting the need for help is fundamental.

  • Seeking Professional Help: Consult with a healthcare provider or a mental health professional specializing in addiction. They can guide you through the initial stages of treatment.

  • Creating a Support Network: Inform trusted family members and friends about your decision to seek help. Their support can be invaluable during the recovery process.

  • Setting Goals: Establish clear, achievable goals for your recovery journey. These goals can help you stay focused and motivated.

Continued Care

Recovery from gambling addiction is an ongoing process that requires sustained effort and support. Continued care includes:

  • Regular Therapy Sessions: Ongoing therapy helps reinforce new coping strategies and prevents relapse. Sessions may be individual or group-based.

  • Support Group Participation: Regular attendance at support group meetings can provide continuous encouragement and accountability.

  • Skill-Building Activities: Engage in activities that promote positive behavior, such as stress management techniques, mindfulness practices and healthy hobbies.

  • Monitoring Progress: Keep track of your progress and celebrate small victories. This can boost morale and provide motivation to continue.

Ongoing Aftercare

Aftercare is crucial for maintaining recovery and preventing relapse. Ongoing aftercare strategies include:

  • Developing a Relapse Prevention Plan: Work with your therapist to create a plan that identifies triggers and outlines strategies to avoid relapse.

  • Continued Education: Stay informed about Gambling Addiction and recovery techniques through workshops, literature and online resources.

  • Maintaining a Balanced Lifestyle: Focus on building a balanced life that includes physical exercise, healthy relationships and fulfilling activities that do not involve gambling.

  • Regular Check-ins with Support Networks or Therapists: Stay connected with your support groups, therapists and loved ones to ensure you have a strong network to lean on during challenging times.

  • Monitoring and Adjusting: Continuously assess your recovery plan and make necessary adjustments to address any emerging challenges or changes in circumstances.

Recovery from sports betting addiction is a challenging journey, but with the right support and resources, it is entirely possible. Taking proactive steps towards recovery can help you regain control and build a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Sources:

Addiction Center

Gambling Addiction Recovery

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