Addiction is a compulsive need. What starts as a pleasurable experience turns into an uncontrollable destructive craving. Some people become addicted to alcohol, drugs, sex, food and gambling. When the thrill of the game outweighs everything else, the player has crossed over the line from player to addict. Gambling, like all addictions can be devastating for the person and his family.
Gamblers Anonymous has a list of Twenty Questions for anyone who feels they may have a gambling problem. I have received permission to reprint them here and I urge everyone to take a moment to read through the list of questions.
1.Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
2.Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
3.Did gambling affect your reputation?
4.Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
5.Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
6.Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency? 7.After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
8.After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
9.Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
10.Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
11.Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
12.Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?
13.Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
14.Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
15.Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
16.Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
17.Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
18.Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
19.Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
20.Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?
Most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions.
Some times people think they may have a problem and after they read the questions they realize that they do. If you or someone you love has a problem there are resources available no matter where you live. I have collected some links to resources on the Internet. In the left column on the home page you will see a new subject entitled "Problem Gambling." You will find several links there to organizations that can supply help and information for anyone affected by gambling addiction.
With any type of addiction the addict must admit that they have a problem. Many addicts are in denial of their problem. If you know someone who is addicted to gambling but refuses to help themselves there are organizations that can help you. The About Alcoholism site has many links to resources for families of gambling addicts.
When it becomes more than a game it is time to get help. There are many resources where a player can find help.
Contact Gamblers Anonymous or check for local resources provide on the Problem Gambling Subject page listed in the sidebar.