Compulsive gambling affects about 5 percent of the population, or around 15 million people. If we include those who are at the threshold between problem gambling and gambling addiction, that percent may increase to as much as 30 percent of the population, or up to 40 million people.
Gambling addiction rarely exists alone. As many as 80 percent of clients seeking treatment for gambling addiction also have co-occurring addictions such as alcohol or drug abuse and mental health disorders. Up to one-third of clients with gambling addiction suffer from a personality disorder, particularly narcissistic, histrionic or borderline personality disorder, or a mood disorder.
It is important to note that other factors can contribute to or predate the onset of gambling addiction, including family dysfunction, child abuse, codependency or substance abuse. But alcoholism is the most common co-occurring addiction with compulsive gambling.
Our Mississippi drug rehab has an onsite certified compulsive gambling counselor with almost three decades of experience helping those with gambling addictions and substance abuse. The goals of gambling addiction treatment are to:
- Help the client understand the vicious cycle of compulsive gambling and how it relates to other addictions
- Address financial concerns with money management skills
- Increase self-worth
- Build shame resiliency
- Reduce the stress of everyday life through development of healthy leisure activities
- Rebuild relationships
The overarching goal of compulsive gambling programs is to help clients develop skills for lifelong recovery from all destructive behaviors.