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Lifestyle:  Addiction to Gambling

Studies including research by the National Gambling Impact Commission show that gambling nationwide affects a minimum of 2.5 million people, over 1 percent of the population. In targeted gambling areas like Las Vegas, over 5 percent of the people are expected to end up having some sort of gambling problems. To help put those figures into perspective, gambling problems occur twice as often as cancer and twice as often as cocaine addiction. That’s a LOT of impact.

And young people battle gambling addiction more than adults. Here are the latest prevalence rates as reported by the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling:
- - - 16-24 year old males 4%
- - - 11-18 year old males 4-7%
- - - National average, all ages 1.2%

Signs of a Gambling Addiction

  • Repeated attempts to stop gambling.
  • Serious financial problems
  • Has unrealistic view of what “life” and “the world” owes you
  • Preoccupation with gambling, lying about it and denying addiction
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Help for Gambling Addiction

Help is unfortunately often not sought until people hit “rock bottom” or pretty much lose all they own, owe nearly anyone and about everyone they know (and many don’t). Once reality sets in and denial isn’t an issue any longer (and even in some cases where it’s borderline) a nationwide 12-Step program is available, Gamblers Anonymous.

Other help can come from a combination of psychotherapist and / or counselor who helps focus on internal emotional issues, group therapy to interact with fellow addicts in recovery, and inpatient, residential or outpatient care, for short-term and long-term recovery options. You can seek recommendations from your healthcare providers or local hospitals.

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