Gambling Addiction Treatment:
It’s Not About The Money. It’s about the Risk!


Gambling Addiction Treatment

Gambling in moderation is seen as a socially acceptable form of entertainment, but gambling addiction is very different. If left untreated, it can have a massive negative impact on your financial situation, relationships, and life, and could lead to other mental health problems, like depression and even suicide.

Gambling triggers the brain’s reward system in a manner similar to drugs and alcohol. This is why it has been recognised as an addictive disorder since 2013, despite no substance being involved. While gambling addiction treatment can be difficult, once you have a deeper understanding of the disorder, you will be better able to ask for help that works for you.


What Is Gambling Addiction?

Compulsive gambling addiction is the uncontrollable urge to continue gambling despite the toll it takes on your finances and life. It is the need to risk something of value with the belief that you will win something back of even greater value.

Problem gamblers believe that they have a skill that allows them to beat the odds. However, the odds in all forms of commercial gambling favour the house. All casino gambling are games of chance, where the gambler cannot affect the outcome of the game, irrespective of practice, strategy or research. If you win, it is through luck. Problem gamblers have difficulty accepting this fact.

The specific type of gambling that attracts you may vary, but the behaviour is something that you cannot control. Those who suffer from gambling addiction will continue the behavior despite negative consequences, which with gamblers, usually ends when they run out of money.

Some of the behaviours that gambling addiction rehab centres look out for include the following:

  • An overwhelming obsession to gamble
  • Using gambling to feel better about life
  • Failure to control gambling behaviours
  • Choosing to gamble over other responsibilities
  • Using money meant for other expenses on gambling
  • Selling possessions to pay for gambling
  • Stealing money to gamble
  • Feeling guilty about your gambling habit
  • Concealing your gambling from your family

recognise symptoms

Gambling Addiction Symptoms

For gambling addiction treatment to be successful, you need to understand the symptoms of the disorder. These symptoms are outlined below:

  • Being preoccupied with finding money for gambling
  • Needing to take gambling to extreme levels to feel a “high” or thrill
  • Trying to cut back on gambling with little to no success
  • Feeling irritable or angry when not able to gamble
  • Choosing gambling to relieve stress or escape emotions
  • Gambling to win back money already lost or “chasing losses”
  • Mood changes when gambling 
  • Losing important relationships, a job, or other opportunities due to gambling

who is at risk

Who Is At Risk Of Compulsive Gambling Addiction?

As a leading gambling addiction rehab in Cape Town, Good Hope understands that everyone who comes to us seeking help is different. There are, however, some factors that are commonly associated with compulsive gambling addiction, as outlined below:

  • Other mental health issues or substance abuse problems
  • Easily influenced by friends or family members who also gamble
  • Using drugs or medications that can cause compulsive behaviours
  • Having a competitive personality or an addictive personality
  • Many problem gamblers recall an early “big win” in their gambling career. This often leads them to believe that this is an easy way to make money

treatment options

Gambling Addiction Treatment Options

With the right compulsive gambling addiction help, you will be able to overcome your addiction and manage it successfully. The treatment options available for this process addiction include the following:

Inpatient Rehabilitation Programme

An inpatient gambling addiction treatment programme provides those suffering from the addiction to have structure and a safe environment. While this is not always a required treatment, it is helpful for keeping gambling addicts away from gambling opportunities, especially when they are unable to control the urge.

Outpatient Rehabilitation Programme

Outpatient rehabilitation programmes are often the more popular choice for treating a compulsive gambling addiction. In this programme, you will attend counselling sessions and group therapy at a facility on a regular basis while still attending school or work. This can be helpful for those who want to maintain a normal life while dealing with addiction, but is only recommended if you feel you can remain gambling free with the containment of a residential programme.

Twelve Step Programmes

The Gamblers Anonymous Twelve Step fellowship for gambling addiction follow the same programme as the 12 Step alcohol and drug programmes. This is an ideal treatment for those who want the support of a like-minded community who understands your struggles, without feeling judged. The meetings will usually take place a few times a week, are non-professional, and are free.

taking the first step

Start Your Recovery Journey

Gambling addiction is not something to feel ashamed of, and at Good Hope we understand there is some stigma attached to any addiction. We work to remove this stigma and help our patients to understand and manage their addictions, leading to a successful recovery with a reduced risk of relapse. 

Let us help you reclaim your life and move forward.