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Help! My boyfriend is addicted to online gambling. What to do?

Online gambling addiction is a rising issue in the world today. Unlike other addictions like drugs or alcohol addiction, there are hardly physical telltale signs that will hint at a gambling addiction.

Here are some subtle hints that people can pick up to know if someone is addicted to online gambling.

Online gambling is all they talk about. People addicted to it will talk about their past wins, their next gambling sessions, or how to get the money for their next gambling session. There is nothing wrong with gambling, whether it takes place in Vegas or on an online casino. But it becomes a problem when someone’s life or family suffers from it when it becomes an addiction.

Signs to look out for

There are a huge number of signs to look out for.

Their excitement and satisfaction is tied to gambling. Gambling addicts only get excited knowing they are about to gamble or when they gamble. They find great satisfaction in the act and in the thought of gambling. Even the amount of money spent is tied to their level of satisfaction and excitement.

They can’t stop gambling. Maybe they tried to stop in the past many times but have failed many times to stop. They just can’t help themselves. Like an insect to blue light, they can’t stop being attracted to it.

Relationships and work or studies suffer. Many gambling addicts are too focused on gambling that they pay little or no attention anymore to family and friends, and to responsibilities at work or at school. Relationships deteriorate because of their absence, some aggravated by lies told by the people addicted to gambling. They hide their addiction which leads to distrust.

On the road to recovery

One of first steps to help gambling addicts get over it is to gently lead them to admit they have an addiction. They will only be able to do this with people they trust, people who do not judge. Getting the right support will help addicts get on the road to recovery.

Remove all temptation. One of the lures of online gambling is its convenience and ease of access. To stop, addicts should not have any access to online gambling sites. To prevent access, these sites must be blocked. There are sites where you enter a list of prohibited sites so access is prevented. There are also accountability sites which sends an alert to an accountable person every time the sites are accessed. Another thing to consider is managing finances. As long as addicts have control of their money, it will be an uphill battle to curb the addiction. The addicts must allow someone they trust to manage their finances. These things cannot be forced on them. They have to relent and relinquish control on their own.

Withdrawal

Support during the withdrawal period. This is one of the hardest phases in the entire process. As the temptation to gamble or check sites gets stronger, gambling addicts need their support group all the more. There should be healthy alternative activities for the addicts to shift their attention to.

As time passes and the longer addicts don’t crave it, they will slowly wean themselves off their addiction and move towards a healthier lifestyle and healthier relationships.

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