Guiding recovery one step at a time



Stop gambling with help from gambling recovery specialists.
Shawn and Drew's 21 STEPS TO STOP GAMBLING
Guiding recovery – one step at a time           www.stop-gambling.com
Problem Gambling Harms

The effects of problem gambling can be devastating—not just for individual addicts but also for those around them. While the path to recovery is not an easy one, it is very rewarding.

Financial Harms

Family Harms

Health Harms

Job Harms

Gambling addiction harms your family as well as yourself.

           Everything you need to break unhealthy cycles of behavior is within you.

– Unknown source

The American Psychiatric Association recognizes compulsive gambling as a psychiatric disorder of impulse control. Untreated addicts often cannot resist taking certain actions, even when those actions are potentially harmful.

The illness is progressive, with gambling usually starting out as an enjoyable recreational activity. Over time, however, problem gamblers gradually lose control over their impulses and spend more and more time pursuing their habits even as losses mount. Eventually, gambling consumes their lives, and they cannot do without.

If you have a loved one with a gambling problem, check out Money School's advice on how to reduce gambling harms.

Financial Harms Back to top

While a problem gambler's finances will have its ups and downs, expect to see increasing financial troubles.

  • Growing debts.
  • "Maxed out" credit cards.
  • Overdue utility bills might result in cut-offs.
  • Borrowing from family and friends.
  • Pawning personal and family valuables.
  • Writing bad checks.
  • Eviction and forced home sales.
  • Bankruptcy.
  • Over 60 percent of compulsive gamblers commit crimes to support their habits. This can include tax evasion, check forgery, stealing credit cards, fraudulent loan applications, insurance fraud, theft, embezzlement, fencing stolen goods, bookmaking, arson, and even armed robbery.
Family Harms Back to top

As addicts spend more time gambling or thinking about gambling, a normal family life becomes difficult to maintain.

  • Families usually have more arguments over money and get hounded by bill collectors.
  • Problem gamblers might miss family activites, including meals, birthdays, and other important events.
  • "Casino kids" sometimes are left in cars at gambling venues while a parent bets.
  • Addicts are more likely to abuse spouses and children—verbally, mentally, and physically.
  • Compulsive gamblers more often provoke reactive violence in their spouses.
  • Children of gambling addicts typically have lower grades, higher substance abuse rates, and more frequent suicide attempts.
  • Half of all children of gambling addicts will become gambling addicts themselves.
  • Problem gamblers are more likely to become separated or divorced.
Health Harms Back to top

Gambling also takes its toll on an addict's emotional, physical, and spirtual health.

  • Self-esteem declines as losses increase.
  • Problem gamblers suffer more from stress, anxiety, moodiness, attention deficit hyperactivity, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and manic and clinical depression.
  • They are at increased risk of experiencing blackouts and emotional breakdowns.
  • Some physical problems include muscular tension, fatigue, stomach ailments, insomnia, ulcers, colitis, high blood pressure, heart disease, migraines, and skin problems.
  • Compulsive gamblers are likely to turn to alcohol, cigarettes, or other drugs to cope with anxiety or depression.
  • About 80 percent of compulsive gamblers seriously consider suicide and 15 percent attempt it.
Job Harms Back to top

Problem gamblers find it difficult to perform their jobs well.

  • Compulsive gamblers show up late for work for a total of five hours per month, on average.
  • Some 14 percent of compulsive gamblers skip entire work days to gamble.
  • They are more likely to take sick leave.
  • Addicts usually experience decreased productivity, as they often daydream about gambling or use the Internet to gamble.
  • They are more likely to ask employers for pay advances, borrow money from fellow employees, steal from work, and embezzle.
  • About 36 percent of compulsive gamblers lose their jobs because of their addictions.