Gambling is an activity in which you risk money or something else of value to win a prize. It can be done in a number of different ways, including casino games, lottery tickets, gambling at gas stations or church halls, and online gaming.
Gamblers often lose money. When they do, they may think that they can win it back by playing more or putting more money into the pot. This is called the gambler’s fallacy and it can be very dangerous.
Addiction and other mental health issues can be treated with counseling, therapy or medications. People who struggle with gambling disorders often benefit from support from friends and family, as well as from participation in a self-help group such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Gamblers Anonymous.
Taking Steps to Avoid Problems
The first step in reducing your gambling problems is to learn more about the risks and rewards of gambling. This includes learning about the different types of gambling, how to identify signs of a problem and what you can do to stop the behavior.
A key component of recovery is finding a sponsor, someone who has experienced the same problem and successfully coped with it. The sponsor will give you advice and guidance about how to keep your gambling in check.
Using a Gambling Helpline
Many states have gambling helplines, and many also provide other assistance to those who need it. To find a helpline in your area, visit the National Problem Gambling Helpline website or call 1-866-GAMBLERS.