So many people feel alone with their addictions. They feel like no one understands them, and that no one has been in the same situation as them. They worry that others have not suffered the same consequences – high debts, loss of family members and friends, loss of career and reputation.
But the truth is, others have. Every day, we raise awareness about problem gambling because it is affecting millions of people right now. There are people in recovery today who are willing to talk to you or to someone you know struggling with their gambling addiction. Gambling addiction support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous provide opportunities for people to learn from and teach each other.
The Benefits of Support Groups
There are a number of reasons support groups are beneficial people with addictions:
- Hear other people’s stories: Listen to other people tell how addiction has affected them personally. Hear how the addiction originated and how it began to take over their lives. Learn about how the consequences of addiction began to affect them and how they found motivation to recover. You might realize your story is very similar to someone else’s, and you may find someone to confide in and learn from.
- Share your story: Speak to an audience who knows what it’s like to be addicted to gambling. You may feel more comfortable speaking with this group than you do with your friends and family members at home, because you know that your support group understands what you are going through. They don’t blame you for your actions, and they know that the road to recovery can be difficult.
- Find a place to return to for support on a regular basis: While you may stop gambling, problem gamblers will tell you your recovery never ends. Your support group meetings, whether they’re weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, will provide you with a place where you can talk about your struggles and your successes on a regular basis. Stay motivated with the continuous support of others.
Support groups such as Gam-Anon are available for the family members and friends affected by problem gambling, as well. If you’re a family member or friend who is dealing with your own consequences as a result of someone’s addiction, find a group near you that provides you with an outlet to tell your story and learn from others who understand what you are going through.
How to Find a Support Group Near You
There are a number of ways you can locate a support group near you.
KnowTheOdd’s Gambling Support Directory provides the names, websites and contact information for organizations located in counties throughout New York State. These organizations can connect you with counselors, support groups and other resources near your home, and introduce you to ways you can help prevent problem gambling from affecting other members in your community.
The NYS HOPEline is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, with counselors ready to help direct you to guidance and support near you. Call 1-877-8-HOPENY to speak to someone and start getting help.