How to Quit Gambling?
People turn to gambling for various reasons. Regardless of their excuse, they shouldn’t let it ever become more than a hobby. If it does, we’ve prepared some of the things everyone should look into if they want to combat a gambling addiction successfully. Click here for some advice.
Gambling in Canada
Over the years, Canadians have become attached to gambling. According to some estimates, we even spent around $13 billion while enjoying one of our favourite pastimes in 2016. This industry banked more money than hockey tournaments or the movie industry that year.
Gambling means a lot of things to different people. To some, it’s just one of the forms of recreation they indulge in to pass the time. To others, it transforms into more than that. They start adopting gambling behaviour that exerts damaging effects on their lives. This is because they see it as a way in which they can generate income. On the other, it could be that they aren’t able to scratch an itch. For this reason, they keep haunting a casino and spending money they don’t have. Therefore, they’re oblivious to the negative consequences it has.
In this case, they become problem gamblers. Some experts say that they bring in around 50% of the entire gambling revenue in Canada. There are those who believe that this is worrisome. They wonder whether the government is preying on compulsive gamblers, seeing as they account to a half of the total earnings. While this is up to debate, we’ll mention how you or your loved ones can stop gambling.
Enjoy the Support of Your Family and Friends
Almost every person who has some kind of addiction, be it substance or gambling, will tell you how crucial it is to have your loved ones nearby. They’re the support system you should always turn to. Thus, if you want to battle this, let them in. You should convey all your feelings and try to be as open as possible. They need to know how they can help you overcome this.
Also, they can assist you in finding different treatment facilities. In this way, you can explore more therapies and go with the one that proves to be effective. While you’re on the road to recovery, you’ll be grateful that they’re there. If you feel like you might relapse, they should be the first ones you contact. They’ll rush to your help and distract from you visiting a casino.
Besides this, some people battle pathological gambling. This is the most severe form of addiction. Because of how detrimental it is, the affected person might face legal problems. At the same time, they can completely alienate themselves from their family. If this happens, we would recommend searching for family therapy. This could be a safe place where anyone could lay everything on the table. All of you would have a common goal here. Namely, you’d strive to restore the relationship you once had and prevent future relapses.
Self-exclusion might be one of the newest additions in the gambling community. This is a process in which you can approach a casino operator and demand that they ban you from betting. You can be on their self-exclusion list from 6 months to 5 years. It depends solely on you.
Furthermore, if you were to visit a land-based casino, the staff would refuse to serve you. And in case your choice is an online casino, then your account might be deleted and any remaining balance paid back. By law, this service also exists within Canada. Any operator will try their hardest to ensure they don’t break their word. After all, you approached them because you were aware that you had a problem.
What’s more, if you join this program, then a casino takes your photo and name. All your details are available in a system which some provinces use (e.g., Ontario). Let’s say that you decide to visit a gambling floor after submitting your request. If you are detected, then an employee can ask you to leave. You might even pay a fine for trespassing.
Some reports claim that around 20,000 people are a part of this program in Ontario only. This is an impressive number in that it proves that Canadians are willing to suppress their urge to gamble. And it’s comforting to see that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is taking this issue seriously. In fact, they coughed up $500,000 so to ensure that 24 casinos featured a state-of-the-art technology. This included facial recognition systems that would strive to keep any person with a gambling addiction away.
With above in mind, this should be one of your starting points; especially if you exhibit problems including job loss, financial difficulties, etc.
Surround Yourself with People with the Same Problem
Some people decide to become members of Gamblers Anonymous. This is a 12-step program that wants to attract those who want to fight the urge to gamble. It is a support group where people from all walks of life share their struggle, experiences, and provide support. You’ll only be accepted in this circle if you’re serious about putting this behind you; you won’t be alone on your journey. Specifically, the Alberta Gambling Research Institute states that 2% of Canadians are problem gamblers.
Some members of this program struggle with other behavioural addictions, such as hoarding or kleptomania. Others feel the damage it leaves on their mental health. This makes them susceptible to depression and anxiety. However, they feel lighter when seeing that they don’t need to go it alone.
In those 60 to 90 minutes they open up and become vulnerable. But, they are met with understanding and compassion. And they toy with the idea of how to turn this lousy chapter into a good one. If you opt for this, we do believe you won’t ever look back.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Its Advantage
Some experts say that every person has exhibited a form of cognitive distortion throughout their lives. For instance, there are those who have their lucky numbers or believe in other superstitions. And, similarly to this, gambling addiction is a cognitive distortion. It is brought about due to some thought patterns. Those affected aren’t aware that they have an issue. But CBT makes you conscious of your thoughts and motives that prompt you to indulge in a detrimental hobby.
The ultimate aim of this therapy is to have a patient acknowledge the root cause of their gambling addiction. This treatment won’t only point out that their actions are bad. Rather it will encourage them to detect patterns of destructive behaviour.
A practitioner might go over the patient’s whole gambling history. Together, they track the early development of the issue, analyze every decision relating to it, and examine the underlying motivation. They can also talk about the client’s strategies and see whether they truly increased their odds of winning, etc.
Aside from this, CBT attempts to modify any belief. In this way, the patient realizes the difference between the truth and their perception of it. For example, they’ll conclude that standing before a slot machine instead of sitting doesn’t have any bearing on the outcome. The results are always random because this is a game of chance.
Problem Gambling and Its Effect
Studies indicate that compulsive gambling gives rise to different addictive behaviours. According to some estimates, about 36% of substance abusers indulge in gambling and become attached to both of them. On the other hand, others believe that this percentage amounts to 59%.
Furthermore, gambling addiction may lead to eating disorders, including compulsive eating. In fact, about 6% of problem gamblers face this issue as well. Aside from this, experts conclude that 12% to 14% of people struggle with gambling and sex addiction. On the other hand, this addiction has led 24% of them to develop shopping dependency.
Overall, this just goes to show that misfortune never comes alone. If you feel like the only way to treat this addiction is by turning to another, you’re in dire need of help. Don’t shut off your family and friends and seek solace in therapy.
In conclusion, gambling is as old as time. It’s inevitable that it will remain in our lives for years to come. For this reason, you should strive to enjoy it from time to time. You don’t want to have any legal or financial problems because of a hobby. But if you do, don’t forget that you’re not alone and that help is around you.