FAQs About Gambling Addiction Treatment Posted On

Are you or someone you know struggling with a gambling addiction? We know it can be a difficult time as you make decisions about whether or not to seek professional counseling, and as you begin your search for help.

Below, we’ve provided answers to a few frequently asked questions about gambling treatment. For more information and to find help, you can contact the NYS HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY at any time, day or night.

What kinds of help are available for problem gamblers?

There are a number of different kinds of gambling treatment. The severity of your addiction, the location you live and your personal preferences will guide which you choose to help you get on the path to recovery.

You might choose one or a mix of the following:

  • One-on-one out-patient counseling with a certified counselor who specializes in addiction
  • Group counseling (or group therapy) in which multiple people with gambling addictions share their stories and learn from each other
  • Step-based programs that walk you through accepting your addiction, examining its consequences and moving forward
  • In-patient treatment at residential centers for people with addictions

How do I know what kind of gambling treatment will be best for me?

You might not know right away what type will be most effective. Speaking with a professional counselor (such as the people answering calls at the NYS HOPEline) can help guide you in making a decision.

And you might change your mind. Maybe you’ll go to a group setting and realize you don’t want to talk about your experience with a group of strangers. Or you’ll attend a one-on-one session and realize you need to be with people who have been through exactly what you have.

You’re allowed to try different kinds. You might even do a mix, such as private weekly sessions with your counselor and a weekly group meeting. Find what setting you are most comfortable in.

How do I know I need gambling treatment?

Know the signs of a gambling addiction. You might be able to identify your own gambling problem. You addiction may have just started, and you’ve realized a change in your actions and lifestyle, or you may have lived with denial that your addiction has existed for a long time.

There is a chance you won’t be entirely sure treatment is necessary. If you’ve become familiar with your problem gambling issues quickly, you may feel in control enough to stop gambling on your own. Individuals who have progressed to severe gambling disorders, facing loss of family, friends, property, money and often their careers, are more successful when they seek the help of trained professionals.

If you’re concerned about the frequency of your gambling and the severity of your actions, counselors can help you determine what the appropriate steps you should take are.

Who has to know I’m getting help for my addiction?

In most cases, this is up to the individual being treated. Unless it’s a court-mandated situation due to financial reasons or law-breaking on the part of the gambler, pursuing gambling treatment is the choice of the problem gambler. They can tell the family and friends they feel comfortable speaking with, and they can tell their employers as little or as much as they feel is necessary.

Talking about your gambling addiction can be hard, as not everyone is educated in what causes addiction, whether the addiction be to gambling, drugs, alcohol or something else. Learn how to introduce family members and friends to your addiction and recovery, and be prepared to deal with reactions both positive and negative.

Will gambling treatment always be successful?

A successful recovery is the result of work by the addicted individual with the support of his or her family, friends and counselors. Once an individual quits gambling, knowing how to stay safe after problem gambling will significantly increase his or her chances of staying gambling-free for a long time – many people’s recoveries last forever.

Read the FAQs but need to see examples from the lives of real people? Check out our e-book: “The Faces of Problem Gambling.”