A person may become addicted to gambling because of the way it feels or the money it can bring. It’s a common way to escape boredom and self-soothe, and it’s a social activity. However, a person with an addiction to gambling may not realize that the behavior is detrimental to their overall well-being. To overcome the urge to gamble, it’s important to stop using credit cards and allow someone else to manage your money. You may want to have automatic payments from your bank and close any online gambling accounts. You should also keep limited cash on hand, preferably in your wallet.
If you or your loved one is struggling with a gambling addiction, reach out to family members and friends for support. During these difficult times, make new friends outside of gambling and get involved in community activities. Enroll in education classes, volunteer for good causes, and join a peer support group. You may also wish to join a Gamblers Anonymous group, which has 12 steps modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous. The first step in this program is to choose a sponsor, a former gambler who can help you stay accountable and prevent relapse.
Many negative effects of gambling have been documented, and are classified into three categories: economic, social, and health. Economic impacts include increased crime, destruction of family, and problems from pathological gamblers. Social impacts are more difficult to quantify because they affect individuals on an individual and group level. The impact on society can be felt throughout a person’s life and even across generations. There are some important methodological challenges to overcome when determining whether gambling has negative effects on society.