Problem Gambling & Gambling Addiction
Understanding Problem Gambling
Gambling is simply putting something at stake that depends on the outcome of an event. People usually gamble because they hope to gain something of larger value than the stakes. Gambling includes everything from buying a lottery or scratch ticket, playing Bingo or betting on the outcome of a sports event.
Do I have a Gambling Addiction?
Addiction is any repetitive behavior that has negative consequences.
In Oklahoma, gambling addiction and problem gambling are on the rise. If you have a gambling problem, you are not alone. But only you can decide if you have a gambling addiction. It doesn't matter which label you use — if gambling has become a problem in your life, you need to address it. A Chance to Change can help with gambling addiction. When they need help with problem gambling or a gambling addiction, Oklahoma families turn to A Chance to Change Foundation.
What is Problem Gambling?
Problem gambling is gambling that causes emotional, family, legal, financial or other problems both for the gambler and the people around them. Problem gambling can range from mild to severe, and get worse over time.
Any kind of gambling can become a problem. In problem or compulsive gambling, the gambler's life is more and more consumed by gambling, thinking about, and planning to gamble. Symptoms include the need to bet more money more frequently.
Restlessness and irritability come with the attempts to stop gambling. Despite the fact more and more control is lost, their gambling continues. Eventually, problem gambling leads to mounting personal, emotional and financial losses. In extreme cases, gambling addiction or problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family, or even suicide.
In Oklahoma, gambling addiction and problem gambling have become a serious problem. A Chance to Change (ACTC) has had an increase of 50% in demand for problem gambling treatment or over last year.
ACTC is the only Oklahoma City agency contracted to provide gambling treatment services for problem gambling. We now have several specially trained problem gambling counselors on staff. As with a drug and alcohol services, ACTC seeks to involve the whole family in the treatment process. Thanks to funding from the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, we are able to provide this counseling for anyone, regardless of their income.
Oklahoma now ranks number five on the list of states with the most casinos. In 2005, statistics showed that 1-3% of Oklahoma's population had a gambling problem.
Problem gambling is an increasing public health concern. It is characterized by increasing preoccupation with and loss of control over gambling, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop gambling, and continuing to gamble despite serious negative consequences.