Gambling Help – Last Wager

Did you know there is a fine line between problem gambling and gambling too much?

• It is possible to become addicted to gambling in as few as six days! That’s right just 6 days and you’re hooked. Gambling is as addictive as cocaine!
• If you gamble more than $1,500 per year or more than 3 times per year you may be a problem gambler or be at risk of becoming a problem gambler!

What is a gambling addiction?

Gambling addiction is a mental-health problem that is understood to be one of many kinds of impulse-control problems. The types of gambling that people with this disorder might engage in are as variable as the games available. Betting on sports, buying lottery tickets, playing poker, slot machines, or roulette are only a few of the activities in which compulsive gamblers engage. The venue of choice for individuals with gambling addiction varies as well. While many prefer gambling in a casino, the rate of online/Internet gambling addiction continues to increase with increased use of the Internet. Alternatively, some compulsive gamblers may also engage in risky stock market investments. Gambling addiction is also called compulsive gambling or pathological gambling.

Estimates of the number of people who gamble socially and qualify for being diagnosed with a gambling addiction range from 2%-3%, thereby affecting millions of people in the United States alone. Other important statistics on problem gambling include that it tends to affect at least 1% of people internationally. Teens actually tend to suffer from this disorder at a rate that is twice that of adults.

Although more men than women are thought to suffer from pathological gambling, women are developing this disorder at higher rates, now making up as much as 25% of individuals with pathological gambling. Other facts about compulsive gambling are that men tend to develop this disorder during their early teenage years while women tend to develop it later. However, the disorder in women then tends to get worse at a much faster rate than in men. Other apparently gender-based differences in gambling addiction include the tendencies for men to become addicted to more interpersonal forms of gaming, like blackjack, craps, or poker, whereas women tend to engage in less interpersonally based betting, like slot machines or bingo. Men with pathological gambling tend to receive counseling about issues other than gambling less often than their female counterparts.

Problem gambling generally means gambling that involves more than one symptom but fewer than the at least five symptoms required to qualify for the diagnosis of compulsive or pathological gambling. Binge gambling is a subtype of compulsive gambling that involves problem gambling but only during discrete periods of time. That is different from a general gambling addiction, which tends to involve excessive gambling behavior on an ongoing basis and to include persistent thoughts (preoccupation) about gambling even during times when the person is not engaged in gambling.

What are symptoms and signs of a gambling addiction?

Pathological gambling involves persistent and recurring problem gambling that includes several of the following symptoms that are not the result of another mental-health problem, like during a manic episode:

  • A preoccupation with gambling, either by reliving past gambling, planning for future gambling experiences, and/or thinking of ways to secure money to finance gambling
  • Needing more and more money for gambling in order to achieve the desired level of gambling enjoyment
  • Repeated unsuccessful attempts to stop or reduce betting behaviors
  • Becoming uneasy or easily irritated when trying to reduce or stop gambling
  • Gambling for the purpose of escaping problems or to relieve sadness or anxiety
  • Returning to gambling after losing money in an effort to recoup losses
  • Lying to family or other loved ones, mental-health professionals, or others in an effort to hide the extent of the gambling behavior
  • Committing crimes (for example, stealing, fraud, or forgery) in an effort to finance gambling
  • Risking important relationships, employment, or other opportunities due to gambling
  • Depending on others for money to resolve dire financial situations that are the result of gambling

How is a gambling addiction diagnosed?

The first step to obtaining appropriate treatment is accurate diagnosis, which requires a complete physical and psychological evaluation to determine whether the person may have a gambling addiction. Since some medical conditions can cause an individual to develop erratic, impulsive behaviors, including problem gambling, the examining physician should rule out (exclude) these possibilities through an interview, physical examination, and applicable laboratory tests, as well as implementing a full mental-health evaluation. A thorough diagnostic evaluation includes a complete history of the patient’s symptoms, during which time the practitioner might ask the following questions:

  • How old were you when you gambled for the first time?
  • How much time (how often and for how long each time) do you spend gambling or thinking about gambling?
  • How much money do you lose/spend gambling?
  • What kinds of things do you do to finance gambling?
  • Do you have irresistible urges to gamble?

The doctor usually asks about alcohol and drug use and whether the patient has had thoughts about death or suicide. Further, the history often includes questions about whether other family members have had a gambling problem or other mental-health problems, and if treated, what treatments they received and which were effective.

A diagnostic evaluation also includes a mental-status examination to determine if the patient’s speech, thought pattern, mood, or memory has been affected, as often happens in the case of a many forms of mental illness. As of today, there is no laboratory test, blood test, or X-ray that can diagnose this mental disorder.

That’s where we come in! We are here to help you recover and get yourself on track towards creating the life you are capable of, without gambling losses continuing to consume you and your paycheck.

Your success begins, the moment you commit yourself to making changes and challenging your comfort zones – to grow in healthier and more productive directions.

We can help by guiding you in the right directions “one step at a time”. We will be there to help you all the way until you are confident in your abilities to “Enjoy Life without Gambling or having a Money Addiction” – that’s when you get the reward from the life you are living!

What are you going to have to do – to learn how to STOP gambling and be successful in your own right?

  • Make the commitment, to change. Start learning about gambling and its ill effects and costs.
  • Save that money that you were thinking about betting with, and invest it in yourself instead!

Gambling addiction facts

  • Compulsive gambling affects 2%-3% of Americans, can involve a variety of ways and places to bet, and symptoms may differ somewhat between males and females, as well as teenagers versus adults.
  • Although men tend to develop a gambling addiction at a higher rate and at younger ages than women, women now make up more than one-quarter of all compulsive gamblers, and women’s symptoms tend to worsen faster once compulsive gambling develops.
  • As opposed to pathological gambling, problem gambling involves more than one but less than five symptoms of compulsive gambling.
  • Although direct causes of compulsive gambling are unusual, the manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder and some medications that treat Parkinson’s disease and restless leg syndrome have been associated with the development of this disorder.
  • Risk factors for pathological gambling include schizophrenia, mood problems, antisocial personality disorder, alcohol, or cocaine addiction.
  • The diagnosis of compulsive gambling involves identifying at least five symptoms that indicate poor impulse control when it comes to gambling, as well as ruling out other potential causes of the behaviors.
  • As with any mental-health condition, accurate diagnosis of gambling addiction requires a complete physical and psychological evaluation, including a mental-status examination and appropriate laboratory tests to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms that are being observed.
  • The treatment of compulsive gambling usually uses more than one approach, including psychotherapy, medication, financial counseling, support groups, 12-step programs, and self-help techniques.
  • The prognosis of recovery from compulsive gambling is encouraging with treatment.
  • Although pathological gambling may resolve with time on its own in many individuals, the devastating effects it usually has on the person’s financial, family, legal, and mental-health status indicates that treatment should be attempted by anyone who is motivated to get help for this disorder.
  • Prevention of compulsive gambling usually involves addressing risk factors and educating the public about the warning signs of this disorder.

For more information on how to enter the last wager program, please fill out this form or call Heiko at 631-744-3108


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