Gambling is quite common in the United States. As much as 86% of Americans admit to gambling at least one time in their lives. While gambling might seem to be fairly harmless to most people, it can reach the point of becoming an addiction, and this can be a life-altering situation. According to the National Center for Responsible Gaming, gambling addictions are often referred to as compulsive gambling, gambling disorder, or pathological gambling. Research shows that 1% of the people in the United States are battling a gambling addiction.
A gambling addiction can drastically affect your life in so many different ways. It can lead to financial difficulties, problems in your relationships, and issues in other areas of your life, as well. It’s even worse when you combine a gambling addiction with other types of addictions, such as drug addiction. Having a drug addiction and a gambling addiction at the same time is much more common than you might think it is. These types of addictions often go hand in hand, and if you’re someone who suffers from both, it’s important to get the right kind of help with co-occurring disorders treatment.
At Northpoint Recovery, we understand the connection between gambling and addiction. We offer gambling and drug addiction treatment in Boise to help you or a loved one on your journey to recovery.
What is a Gambling Addiction?
Gambling addiction is often a problem that people keep to themselves. The availability of online gambling methods has made this increasingly possible, and there are many “closet” gamblers in the United States. Whether the activity takes place online or elsewhere in a more traditional gambling setting, the impact that it can have on someone’s life cannot be ignored.
It’s important to understand the difference between someone who enjoys gambling and someone who has a gambling addiction. The two are very different.
Someone who likes to gamble might purchase a lottery ticket now and then. However, they don’t feel compelled to do so. The urge to gamble is completely uncontrollable for someone who has a gambling addiction, and they cannot stop their behaviors, even if they want to. This is evidence that these individuals will gamble despite any negative consequences that come their way. Even in light of these difficulties and the consequences that may follow, they will continue to gamble.
Gambling Addiction – How it Starts
Quite often, gambling addiction begins with behaviors that seem relatively benign. In this way, it is a lot like other types of addictions. People become addicted to the adrenaline response they experience while gaming. Researchers also believe that those who have gambling addictions may have a part of the brain that is overactive. Those who have a gambling addiction can cause them to see patterns in random structures, and it can lead to continuing gambling, even after losing.
Like other addictions, the more it is “fed,” the more it responds. Over time, the addiction grows worse and worse. However, because most people are not aware of the addictive nature of gambling, once they become addicted, this can come as quite a shock. They’re usually unaware of how strong the compulsion to gamble can become, and once they realize it, it’s too late.
People who have a gambling addiction are often very confused to see the effects their addictions have on their lives, including:
- Significant money problems, including lost savings, property, or belongings
- Emotional problems and an extreme sense of isolation from the people you love
- Mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression
- Physical health problems, such as ulcers, digestive issues, headaches, and poor sleep
- A high risk of suicidal thoughts
The effects of gambling addiction should not be ignored, and it is common for the entire family to suffer from one family member’s gambling and drug addictions.
How are Gambling Addiction and Drug Addiction Related?
Given the addictive nature of gambling, it’s no surprise that so many people with a gambling addiction also struggle with drug addiction. The two are very closely linked to each other, and there are several reasons for this.
Because researchers believe that there may be a chemical imbalance at play when it comes to gambling addictions, people will often turn to drugs as a way to change that imbalance. Certain drugs and even alcohol can increase serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, giving addicts temporary relief from these feelings.
Gambling addiction usually feels empty inside, especially when the adrenaline high from gambling starts to wear off. They may begin to get sad, or guilt might set in. These are both typical responses for someone who has a gambling addiction. Using drugs is a way to self-medicate these feelings away, even if it’s only for a short time. As those feelings of sadness become more frequent, using drugs tends to provide solace and comfort, and before long, a secondary addiction to the drugs develops. As time passes, the two addictions feed into each other and even fuel each other in an ongoing addiction cycle.
Gambling and Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Boise
Dual diagnosis treatment offers those with co-occurring disorders the opportunity to recover from them in a way that’s different and much more beneficial than what most people have experienced before. Whether your gambling addiction has been diagnosed, or you suspect that you have a gambling addiction, if you’re also addicted to drugs, you can get help through a gambling addiction treatment program in Boise.
Choose Northpoint Recovery For Gambling And Drug Addiction Treatment in Boise
When you have a gambling addiction, it can slowly dismantle your life. Your relationships and income are negatively affected, and unless you get the help you need, you can find yourself suffering drastically because of this harmful addiction. When you combine gambling addiction with drug addiction, the situation becomes even more dire, and you need to get help as soon as possible.
Perhaps you’ve thought about getting help for your addictions, but you did not know that it was possible to get help for both of them at the same time. Here at Northpoint Recovery, we want you to know possible. Our dual diagnosis treatment program can offer you the kind of help you need to overcome your addictions to gambling and drugs. It’s not surprising that you are battling both of these addictions, and we want you to know that this is not a fight you have to engage in on your own.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help treat your gambling and drug addictions, or if you’re ready to get started with dual diagnosis treatment right away, please contact us.