Gambling Addiction: The Impact Is Greater than an Empty Wallet
Gambling addiction is one of the newest clinically recognized addictive behavioral disorders. Even though there is not a physical drug present, gambling addiction has the same effects on the brain as drugs as strong as opiates. Even worse, other disorders are correlated with gambling addiction such as depression, anxiety disorders, and ADHD. As if gambling addiction were not enough, these other disorders happen in higher rates in those facing gambling addiction compared to the general population.
With the introduction of the internet, online gambling has become a bigger problem, enabling those who have already shown addictive gambling behavior. Online gambling is a booming industry, continuously growing in multiple interest groups, whether it be fantasy football sites like FanDuel, or betting money that you can lose weight by a certain deadline like DietBet.
One thing that makes online gambling even more dangerous for those already experiencing gambling addiction is how difficult it is for others to track. Many cites operate illegally – their statistics, user data, and identifying data are all under wraps. More so, it gives those with gambling addiction the ability to place bets and make wagers from the comfort of their own homes, at a faster rate than ever before.
Other than the correlated disorders, there are direct, clear-cut side effects of excessive gambling. In 2017, Americans who made bets in the lottery, gaming, and offshore regulated betting firms lost approximately $107 billion. Of course, not everyone gambles, and some people wager more than others, but for the sake of visualizing how much money is lost annually: If every person over the age of 18 in the United States (252.06 million people) had gambled and lost money gambling in 2017, that would average out to about $424.50 per person.
The money lost by those affected by gambling addiction is money that could be taken out of different places in someone’s budget – bills, groceries, essentials. Excessive gambling associated with gambling addiction can also have a negative effect on everyday relationships, work-place satisfaction, personal self-esteem, etc.
You would imagine that an addiction as powerful as gambling addiction would have more clinical research and treatment options available. Unfortunately, most people do not know about this disorder or know about the negative side effects associated.
Addiction based treatment, like for other addictions, is an effective solution for those affected by gambling addiction to help address the behavior at the source of the problem.
If you are looking for a lower level of care, or a supplement to your treatment options, call us at smartIOP for Gambling today.