Help For Gambling Addiction


Gambling is when people risk something of value – including money – to predict the outcome of a game involving chance. If they predict the outcome correctly, they win the amount they staked. If they’re wrong, they lose the money. Gambling can be done in a variety of ways, including playing games, scratchcards, sports betting and online gaming.

While many people gamble without any problems, others develop an addiction and experience serious harm. They may deplete their savings, steal from friends and family or neglect their responsibilities to gamble. They may even lie about their gambling to hide the harm from those around them. Gambling addiction can cause significant financial, social and health problems, such as depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, strained relationships and suicidal thoughts.

If you’re worried about a friend or relative’s gambling behaviour, there are things you can do to help. However, it’s important to understand that the person who gambles is responsible for their own actions and cannot be forced to change. It’s also important to look after yourself, so you don’t become overwhelmed by the stress that comes with a loved one’s harmful gambling habits. Talking about your concerns with someone you trust, such as a counsellor, can help. Keeping in contact with friends and family, getting enough rest and doing activities that you enjoy can also help reduce stress. Managing family finances and putting valuables in safe deposits can also reduce temptation. You can find help and support for yourself or a friend or family member through local problem gambling helplines, the NHS and self-help groups.