Gambling is seen by many as a bit of fun or a hobby, and for the majority of people many it can remain this way with no adverse effects.
For an increasing number of people, however, this is not the case and it can become a pathological compulsion. This is in itself, however does not result in a gambling problem. There are people who can gamble regularly and compulsively their whole lives without any adverse effects. Gambling becomes a problem when the gamblers habit outstrips their available funds. The need to continue gambling can drive the gambler to use money destined for living expenses and eventually in to debt. Gambler is then ‘chasing’, the term used for attempting to win back previous losses and this leads to the gambler to beg, borrow or steal, to maintain their habit. The impact on family and friends is often irreparable and the not only ruin the gambler’s life but also the lives of those around him or her. The tragedy is that gambling is an invisible habit and there are often no obvious indicators to those that they live and work with, until the losses are so great that they have an impact on people other than the gambler.
Click here to read more about the impacts of gambling addiction
Addiction is a serious illness and the causes can vary from person to person. The increased opportunities for gambling including scratch cards and on line sites, has resulted in broadening of the demographic of problem gamblers with an increase in women and young people with a serious gambling addiction.
The most effective way to combat problem gambling is to educate and raise awareness so that addicts, their friends and family, can recognise when they are developing a problem and seek help.
Click here to read and download our Top Tips for safe gambling
It is vital, not only for an addict but also for their peers, colleagues, friends and family, to recognise the early warning signs that may signal that they are suffering a relapse. Click here to read and download our Gambling Relapse leaflet.