Gambling involves betting or wagering money or something of value on an event with an uncertain outcome. It can take many forms including playing casino games like slot machines, video poker and roulette; sports betting such as horse racing or football accumulators; lottery games; and speculative stock trading. People often gamble as a way to relax or socialize, but it can also be a serious addiction that leads to financial and personal problems.
The key to overcoming gambling addiction is realizing that there is a problem and seeking help. Once you do, there are a number of things you can do to help yourself. Firstly, strengthen your support network. Spend time with friends who don’t gamble, get involved in hobbies that don’t involve gambling (like cooking or exercising), and practice relaxation techniques. Become more financially stable by cutting up your credit cards, have someone else manage your money, close your online gambling accounts and limit the amount of cash you carry with you.
If you are struggling with a gambling addiction you can seek professional help by contacting the Better Health Channel. Our counsellors are free and confidential and available 24/7. Alternatively, you can learn more about the nature of gambling addiction by exploring our articles on how gambling affects the brain and factors that can trigger problematic gambling behaviour.