toll free: 844.955.3042
local tel: 561.464.6505
fax: 561.450.6637

RECO Intensive
140 NE 4th Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33483

Compulsive Gambling Addiction Treatment in Delray Beach, FL

Gambling in moderation is considered socially acceptable behavior. But, for some people, an occasional visit to the casino or racetrack can turn into a compulsive gambling problem. The National Council On Problem Gambling estimates that two to three percent of Americans are compulsive gamblers or struggle with gambling addiction.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders and the American Psychiatric Association, gambling addiction is a mental health condition defined by a person’s need to continue gambling even when their compulsive gambling is clearly causing serious negative consequences.

Gambling addiction can be devastating for individuals and family members because of the hefty financial consequences of gambling addictions. Compulsive gamblers are often good at hiding their gambling addiction. By the time a loved one discovers their partner’s gambling addiction, they may already be in serious debt due to having lost money gambling.

If you have a gambling addiction, you might feel an uncontrollable urge to bet on sports, participate in online gambling, visit casinos, use slot machines, or buy lottery tickets, even when compulsive gambling causes serious issues in your life.

However, many American addiction centers offer treatment programs for gambling addictions, including our treatment provider Reco Intensive. With the help of our substance abuse and gambling addiction treatment center, those who struggle with compulsive gambling can break free from their gambling addiction and go on to a brighter, gambling-free future.

What Are the Symptoms of Gambling Addiction?

How do you know whether your gambling behavior is actually a problem?

If you find it hard to stop gambling once you start—even if you only gamble occasionally—this is a sign you may have a problem gambling. If you lie about or conceal your gambling, or if gambling is causing problems at home or work, these are also warning signs of gambling addiction. Here are some additional signs of excessive gambling to watch out for:

  • You obsess over gambling even when you’re doing other things
  • You feel unable to control your compulsive gambling
  • You neglect bills or other expenses and use the money to fuel your gambling addiction
  • You sell possessions to gamble or fuel your gambling addiction with borrowed money
  • You use gambling to feel better about life and relieve stress
  • You mix gambling with drugs or alcohol
  • You take bigger and bigger risks gambling
  • You feel guilty or remorseful after gambling

The Link Between Problem Gambling and Substance Use

Compulsive gambling and substance abuse share many similarities.

Both gambling and drugs activate the reward center of the brain, and both can lead to tolerance (for gamblers it’s an urge to make bigger and riskier bets while gambling; for substance users it’s drinking more or taking higher drug doses to achieve the same effect).

Both gambling and substance use can contribute to major life problems. And both gambling and substance abuse can be extremely difficult to stop.

Gambling while using drugs and alcohol is also common—as many as 2 of every 10 people with gambling problems also have substance use issues. Some people use drugs or alcohol to amplify the excitement of winning or to mask negative feelings when they lose money gambling. Some people with gambling addiction do both. Unfortunately, using drugs or alcohol while gambling is risky and can make a gambling addiction worse.

Other people use gambling as a substitute for drugs or alcohol. Those in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction sometimes turn to other substances or behaviors—like gambling, overeating, or risky sexual behavior—to alter their mood or cope with negative emotions or thoughts, which can sometimes lead them to a full-blown gambling addiction.

Mental health problems like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, personality disorders, and bipolar disorder can also put people at an increased risk of developing a problem gambling. The reasons for this are complex, but given that for people who gamble, gambling serves as an outlet for negative emotions, it’s easy to see how a mental health problem like bipolar disorder could trigger a gambling addiction by lowering mood as well as inhibitions.

An important part of the addiction recovery process is recognizing why you use substances or engage in harmful behaviors and acknowledging that substituting one thing for another isn’t a good solution.

Unfortunately, another link between pathological gambling and substance abuse is the intense stigma associated with both gambling addiction and with substance addiction. According to the National Council On Problem Gambling, half of Americans believe that pathological gamblers are weak or immoral rather than suffering from a legitimate mental health disorder.

How Gambling Addiction Treatment Programs And Gamblers Anonymous Can Help

If you or a loved one is struggling with compulsive gambling, there are programs that can help. Like treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, gambling addiction treatment centers around individual counseling and group therapy sessions.

The reasons people abuse substances or gamble compulsively vary, but they often use gambling to mask negative thoughts or feelings, or use gambling to block out past trauma. Therapy sessions can help those with gambling addiction get to the root of why they compulsively gamble and find healthier ways of coping.

One of the most established methods of gambling addiction treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on helping people with gambling addiction to recognize their problem gambling triggers, which in turn allows them to reduce their gambling behavior and aids them in relapse prevention.

It also helps people with gambling addiction to recognize their destructive thought and behavior patterns and to combat them with better behavioral health strategies. Another popular behavior therapy used for those who struggled with gambling addiction, dialectical behavioral therapy, focuses on helping those who struggle with gambling addiction developing problem solving skills and mindfulness.

Other treatment options sometimes used for patients with gambling addictions in American addiction centers include family therapy. In family therapy, the person with a gambling disorder and their family members are guided by a mental health professional as they come to terms with the effect the compulsive behavior of the gambling addict has had on the family as a whole.

People who are unable to avoid gambling venues on their own may require the help of an inpatient treatment facility to combat their pathological gambling addiction. In an inpatient program, patients are required to live 24/7 at their treatment facility so that they are constantly supervised by treatment providers so that they do not resume gambling.

However, outpatient treatment options may be more appropriate for problem gamblers who are stable enough to avoid pathological gambling or other self destructive behavior. In outpatient programs, the compulsive gambler is permitted to live at home while dealing with their gambling addiction and simply regularly reports to their treatment center for intensive therapy.

Many compulsive gamblers also find that they are able to avoid problem gambling with help from Gamblers Anonymous. Gamblers Anonymous is one of many twelve step self help groups focused on different types of addiction.

Gamblers Anonymous gives pathological gamblers an alternative to the gambling scene. Instead of gambling, people with gambling addiction can use the group to connect with other problem gamblers and support each other in their efforts to combat their gambling problem.

Get Help for Gambling Addiction At Reco Intensive

Though some people have a hard time taking gambling disorders as seriously as they take substance abuse and other mental health problems, at Reco Intensive, we are proud to offer problem gambling services as well as treatment for substance use disorders. We understand that the harmful consequences of gambling addiction are all too real, and are eager to provide treatment services to any problem gambler in need.

Known as one of the top American addiction centers, RECO Intensive is an established addiction treatment provider in Delray Beach, FL. People often come to us for therapy for gambling addiction and alcohol addiction—two disorders that often go hand in hand. But our programs are suitable for people with gambling addiction and a co-morbid addiction to any substance. We also offer mental health services for anxiety, depression, trauma, and other mental health issues.

RECO offers different levels of care for those with gambling addiction, including residential treatmentpartial hospitalization programsintensive outpatient programs, plus aftercare and sober living housing. And we have a detox referral program, for those who need it.

Don’t wait—get help today. Contact us for more information and to schedule a tour of our thoughtfully designed properties in beautiful Delray Beach, Florida. There’s no time like the present to break away from a gambling addiction and get back on the road to a brighter future.

Recent Articles

Discover a better life and call our recovery helpline today.