Gambling Addiction – How to Prevent and Overcome a Gambling Addiction

Gambling involves risking something of value (money, possessions or time) on an event with a chance of winning. Traditionally this has involved betting on the outcome of a game of chance but modern technology and online gambling have blurred the lines. The risk of gambling can be high and it’s important to gamble responsibly to avoid harm.

More than half of all adults take part in gambling in some form – whether it’s buying a Lotto ticket, using the pokies or placing a bet on sports or horse racing events. For some, this is a harmless pastime but for others it’s harmful and can have a negative impact on their health and wellbeing. It can also damage their relationships, performance at work or study and leave them in serious debt. In addition, there is a link between mental health problems and problem gambling.

There are some simple things that can be done to help prevent or overcome a gambling addiction. It is helpful to talk about the issue with someone who won’t judge you – this could be a friend, family member or professional counsellor. It’s also useful to reduce the financial risks of gambling by avoiding the use of credit cards, taking out loans or carrying large amounts of money with you. It’s also a good idea to spend time with friends who don’t gamble and find other recreational activities and hobbies.

Learning to relieve unpleasant feelings in healthier ways can also be a challenge for people who have a habit of gambling. However, there are healthy ways to cope with boredom and anxiety such as exercising, spending time with non-gambling friends, relaxing or practising meditation.