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Q: What is Gambling Addiction?
A. Gambling addiction, also known as gambling disorder, is characterized by an uncontrollable urge to continue gambling despite the negative impact it has on one's life. It involves the repeated problematic gambling behavior that causes distress and significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Problem gambling includes all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits. The essential features are increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, "chasing" losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences. In extreme cases, problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family, or even suicide.

Q: What can be done to overcome gambling addiction?
A. To overcome gambling addiction, it is crucial to acknowledge the problem, understand the triggers, and seek professional help. Strategies include staying focused on the goal of not gambling, telling oneself that it's too risky to gamble at all, and asking family or friends for support to follow a treatment plan. Additionally, relaxation techniques, exercise, and proper nutrition can aid in sticking to one's goal of reducing or giving up gambling. For more detailed advice and support, consulting mental health experts and considering therapy options can be beneficial. The frequency of gambling does not necessarily indicate a gambling problem. A problem gambler may engage in gambling binges sporadically, yet the emotional and financial impact of such behavior will manifest in their life and affect their family.

Seeking Help

Are you concerned that you might have a gambling problem? 

Please consider seeking help by calling:

The Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-589-9966  

Problem Gambling Network of Ohio: http://pgnohio.org/ provides a network of support to problem gamblers, their families and the professionals who assist them while bringing awareness to this issue.

Gamblers Anonymous: (www.gamblersanonymous.org) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from a gambling problem. 

Gam-Anon: (www.gam-anon.org) is a self-help organization for the spouse, family or close friends of compulsive gamblers.

The National Council on Problem Gambling: 202-547-9204 http://www.ncpgambling.org is an organization whose purpose to increase public awareness of pathological gambling, ensure the widespread availability of treatment for problem gamblers and their families, and to encourage research and programs for prevention and education.

National Center for Responsible Gaminghttp://www.ncrg.org/ is the only national organization exclusively devoted to funding research that helps increase understanding of pathological and youth gambling and find effective methods of treatment for the disorder.

Your First Step to Change Online Workbook: (http://basis.typepad.com/basis/selfhelp_tools.html).
This guide will help you understand gambling, figure out if you need to change, and decide how to deal with the actual process of change.

Face the Odds: http://facetheodds.org/contact/index.php is a public awareness campaign of Recovery Resources to educate people about the potential dangers of gambling addictions. Their goal is to provide information to people about signs of gambling addiction and where people can go to seek help if they or someone they love is affected by gambling addiction.
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