America is a betting nation. ESPN notes that in a survey of 1,148 U.S. residents to explore how many fans bet on sports, how much they bet and why, the numbers estimate that nearly half of Americans aged 16 and older have placed a bet on sports within the past year. This equates to 118 million people – and there’s more. That’s just sports alone – in 2013, it was estimated by the National Council on Problem Gambling that over 2% of the U.S. population has a gambling addiction, with a total social cost of $7 billion. The numbers have likely increased since then, and gambling is becoming a process addiction of great concern.
The Guardian states that, according to a study, 40% of poker players have severe gambling problems, with severe physical and mental repercussions. The study, which was conducted by the Australian Gambling Research Centre, found that regular poker players spend about $1,758 on poker each year. They spent much more on other forms of gambling however – totaling about $3,673 yearly. Andrew Armstrong, a lead researcher of the study, stated,
“What we do get a sense of…is that those players with problems, they tend to be spending more on other products than they are on poker. So poker is still a high spend for them, but when you look at their overall expenditure, it’s higher in total across other products than it is on poker.”
If you don’t play poker, however, this doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Problem gambling is shown through a number of signs:
- Gambling to calm nerves, forget worries, or reduce symptoms of depression
- Losing interest in other activities that were once enjoyable
- Talking and thinking about gambling often
- Lying or hiding gambling habits
- Needing to gamble more and more money in order to achieve the desired outcome
- Experiencing physical and mental issues from gambling such as anxiety, depression, headaches and lethargy
- Experiencing financial problems caused by gambling
If you struggle with gambling addiction, make the decision to seek help today. Recovery is possible, and typically includes methods of therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy, which is used to help people change their patterns of thinking. Make the decision to take back control over your life today.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.