Problem gambling can cause significant costs and problems on several levels. It can affect a gambler’s finances, family, and friends. It can also negatively affect the community as a whole. Some people may experience homelessness and bankruptcy as a result of problem gambling. In this article, we will explore the costs and problems associated with gambling, as well as treatment options. Despite the prevalence of problem gambling, it is surprisingly easy to get into.
Problems associated with problem gambling
A number of factors can lead to problem gambling. Although gambling can be a fun pastime, it can also be very harmful if the person is unable to control his urges. Often referred to as a hidden addiction, problem gambling is often difficult to detect because it does not have any physical or outward signs. Problem gambling can cause the person to avoid family and friends and hide evidence that he has been gambling. It can even lead to a life-altering crisis.
Studies on problematic gambling among youth have shown several adverse outcomes. Those who engage in the behavior show increased rates of anxiety and depressive symptoms. Gamblers also exhibit a higher likelihood of developing alcohol or drug problems and a host of negative behavioural and interpersonal problems. Problem gambling in youth also has a significant effect on academic performance. Furthermore, it has been linked to poor family relationships and school truancy. But how do we identify the aetiology of problem gambling?
Costs of problem gambling
The costs of problem gambling are complex to quantify. There is no clear relationship between gambling behavior and cost, and the causes of problem gambling may also include disorders or life circumstances. Therefore, most studies discount costs by incorporating a causality adjustment factor. The Australian Productivity Commission developed this method in 1999, assuming that 80 percent of problem gamblers would still have to face consequences even if they did not gamble. While the results are not entirely clear, they provide a framework for future research and evaluation of gambling costs.
Although there is considerable debate on the link between problem gambling and crime, many studies indicate that problem gamblers commit crime. According to a recent review, estimates for the proportion of adults with problem gambling were 0.1 to 5.8% during the period 2000-2015. In Europe, estimates range from 0.1% to 3.4%. In Sweden, for example, 1.3% of people aged 16-87 reported problem gambling, and an additional 2.9% of the population had subclinical gambling problems.
Treatment options for problem gambling
Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs are available to treat problem gambling. Inpatient programs generally last four weeks, and offer support for addiction. Outpatient programs are best for people who cannot afford to take a month off work. In addition to counseling and individual therapy, outpatient programs include art and music therapy, mindfulness techniques, and fitness regimens. Behavioral modification programs, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), can help people learn to change compulsive gaming thoughts.
In addition to the monetary aspect of problem gambling, there are many other issues that can arise from the addiction, such as emotional damage. Problem gambling can be extremely damaging over time, resulting in significant financial loss and ruining personal relationships. It is important to seek help as soon as possible to overcome the disorder and get back on track. If you or a loved one is suffering from problem gambling, the Helpline has helpful resources to help you cope with the condition.