Gambling is an activity in which a person bets something of value in an attempt to win something of value. It is an activity that can affect people of all ages, and can be social and low-risk. However, some people develop gambling disorders. There are a number of factors that you should consider when you start a new gambling habit.
Problem gambling is a mental health problem
It’s important to recognize the signs of problem gambling and seek appropriate treatment to stop the problem. This type of mental health problem affects both individuals and the community at large. Individuals who engage in problem gambling experience financial and relationship distress. They may also face legal issues, neglect of children, or family violence. Suicidal thoughts and behaviours are also common among problem gamblers.
It is a social activity
Gambling is a social activity that develops social skills, fosters creativity, and helps people make sound financial decisions. It can also be a fun way to unwind. But for some people, gambling becomes a destructive addiction. Problem gamblers are driven by a deep desire to win, leading them to make bets to try to recover their losses. Their compulsive behavior can lead to other devastating consequences.
It is a low-risk activity
A low-risk activity is one that has low risks of addiction or harm to the individual. Research has shown that gambling is associated with a number of physical health problems, including increased use of health resources and suicidal ideation. It also has a similar ‘dose-response’ relationship to alcohol, meaning that the more you gamble, the greater your risk of harm. The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSUA) has outlined the Low-Risk Gambling Guidelines.
It can destroy lives
According to a recent House of Lords report, a third of a million people in the UK are problem gamblers, including about 55,000 children. Almost a quarter of these people have other mental, alcohol, or drug problems. In a recent open letter to the government, the British Medical Journal called for a statutory levy on betting companies to help tackle the problem. It also noted that people who have gambling problems are more likely to develop those other problems. In addition to the damage to individuals’ lives, their friends and families can be affected.
It can be treated
Gambling addiction can be treated in a variety of ways. Cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on replacing unhealthy beliefs with healthy ones, can help. Other treatments include family therapy and antidepressants.