Gambling. The first definition that comes up on google when you type it in is “play games of chance for money, bet”
The second definition, however, fits what it really is much better. According to Google, gambling is when you “take risky action in the hope of a desired result”. Risky is the key word here. Yes, gambling is playing a game, or betting, but for some people, it becomes much more. Many people fall into the harmful hands of the dealer, handing over dollar after dollar and themselves.
When someone gambles and are reasonable about it, there is no reason to worry. Reasonable means they are only going occasionally, not spending a lot of money, and not feeling like they need to gamble to cope. However, if they are spending all of their money and time on gambling, it’s time to get them help.
There are many things you can do:
Talk to them
If a person needs to get help, the first thing to always do is talk to them about it. Help them find out why they are gambling so often, and see if there is anything you can do to help them. Finding out the root of the problem is the first step in recovering from anything.
Find them a therapist
A therapist can be a crucial part of any recovery. The therapist would most likely discuss alternatives to gambling, self-worth skills, and how to live their life in a way that they do not need gambling to cope.
Don’t get upset with them
An addiction is an illness. The person, once addicted, cannot control their urges to gamble. They fight every day and they are having a hard time. Getting upset will only make it worse. Instead, comfort them. Tell them that what they are doing is wrong, and needs to be helped, but don’t do it in a harsh way. An addict needs love, not anger.
If you are not supportive of the person struggling, they could relapse. Support is necessary in any relationship that you might have with an addict. They need you to be their anchor, because right now, the sea is rising for them, and the boat’s about to sink. Be their safe place to talk and be listened to.
Gambling addiction does not mean a person is over. It also means that you need to help their lives not be over. Of course, they need to work hard on their own, but your support, love, and help is the main key in a happy, healthy recovery.
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