If someone you love has a gambling problem, it is important to seek help sooner than later.
Here are 10 gambling addiction facts and statistics:
Gambling addiction can have the same effect on a person as any other addiction. It can take over their life and become a top priority. This means some gamblers will do whatever it takes to continue their gambling addiction.
There are some astounding gambling addiction facts and statistics regarding just how damaging this disorder can be, not only for the addict, but for their family and friends as well.
Characteristics of a gambling addict can include lying about gambling, stealing to get money to gamble, and defensiveness when questioned about their behavior. In some instances, gambling addicts can become violent.
Just like other individuals who are addicted, gamblers are chasing the high they once felt when they were winning. Unfortunately, winning is less likely to happen over time and the addict most often feels depressed, anxious and even despair.
Below are ten gambling addiction facts and statistics that show just how overwhelming this problem has become and what it can do to the life of an addict.
1. Five out of Every 100 Gamblers are Addicts
Reports show that nearly 80 percent of Americans have gambled in some way last year. Out of these, five out of every one hundred have an addiction. This same report also states most gambling addicts are between the ages of 20 and 30, and those that seek treatment are later found to also have a mental health disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
2. Gambling Addiction Has Similar Symptoms as Other Addictions
Gambling addiction has been shown to appear in persons just like it would if the person was addicted to alcohol or drug substances. The reward chemicals in the brain are triggered when a high from gambling is produced. Dopamine is released and the feeling of winning feels better than anything else in the world.
The craving for gambling becomes harder to ignore and the addict often gives in to the urge to gamble. An addict may even begin to obsess over gambling, becoming unable to stop thinking about the activity until their desires are satisfied.
3. Many Gamblers Have Other Addictions
According to a gambling addiction facts and statistics report by Psychology Today, many addicts also have addictions to other substances or behaviors. Some have an addiction to alcohol or drugs, while others may have an addiction to sex or pornography.
Any type of stress, including legal or family complications, can worsen the addiction.
4. Most Addicted States in America
You may be surprised to learn that Mississippi is the number one addicted state in America. They are followed by New Jersey, Illinois and Missouri. Nevada, the gambling capital of the states, is ranked number 10, surprisingly.
This may be because there are many different types of gambling, not just that done at casinos.
5. Gambling Exists Outside of Casinos
Gambling does not just mean a person goes to a casino, sits at a slot machine for many hours, and then goes home. Gambling addiction facts and statistics show that it can happen in any environment and a true addict will find a way to get their gambling high in any way they can. They may even turn ordinary events into a gambling or betting event.
Gambling can also be done online, with bookies who take bets for ballgames, underground clubs where you can participate in card games and other forms of gambling. Bingo can also be another addictive form of gambling.
Electronic gaming machines and internet gambling are reportedly the most addictive forms of gambling.
6. College Students Have Gambling Addictions
Gambling addictions on college campuses are a problem. Most college students have other problems, such as binge-drinking, peer pressure, and mental health issues that lead them to gambling activities. Gambling can include going to a casino, but also betting on athletic activities, underground poker games, and even internet gambling.
According to gambling addiction facts and statistic reports, 20 percent of college students participate in online poker games, betting real money, at least once a month.
7. You Don’t Have to Gamble Every Day to Be an Addict
Just like other addictive substances and behaviors, they don’t have to be done every day in order to have an addiction. Some addicts binge for two or three days in a row and then don’t gamble again for weeks.
Others may gamble just one day a week or month. It is the behaviors and actions on the other days that determine the level of addiction.
8. Gambling Behaviors Can Be Severe
Gambling addicts can often resort to dangerous behaviors in order to get their high. Some may steal from family members, while others may steal from stores. Some may resort to serious criminal activity to help them meet their need to gamble.
Addicts will also pawn items from their home, even sentimental and priceless items that cannot be replaced.
9. Treatment Exists for Gambling Addicts
There are many types of treatment available for gambling addicts. Many trained professional counselors have proven methods of treating and helping addicts overcome this problem. While relapses often happen, just like with any other addiction, gambling addicts can choose abstinence and recovery from this disease with the right treatment program.
10. Positive Statistics on the Treatment of Gambling Addiction
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. According to gambling addiction reports, there are some addicts who can quit on their own – about 4 percent. Furthermore, 50% of those who seek gambling addiction treatment can become abstinent from gambling. Better still, 70% of those who can combine treatment with Gambler’s Anonymous meetings are more successful at maintaining abstinence.
Finally, 90% of those who attend treatment, Gambler’s Anonymous meetings, and attend an after-care program for at least one year are successful in overcoming their gambling addiction.
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In conclusion, gambling addiction can affect anyone, just like any other addiction and can start as early as the teenage years.
The good news is that everyone with a gambling addiction, even if they have other mental health issues or another addiction, can receive help. You can find help from addiction professionals and return to leading a happy life abstaining from their addictions choosing a life of recovery from addictions.
Photo by Amanda Jones