Addiction comes in many different forms. An individual can become addicted to a wide variety of substances and experiences. To date, this blog has primarily discussed addiction as it relates to drugs and alcohol. But gambling is also something that an individual can become addicted to, which can have negative ramifications for the addict and those around them.

Like any other addiction, gambling addiction has warning signs. If you’re aware of these warning signs, you can detect the addiction and help yourself obtain the proper treatment. Here are five warning signs you can look for to detect gambling addiction.

1. You Gamble Money You Can’t Afford to Lose

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Usually, casual gamblers set aside a certain amount of money they can afford to lose. They have fun gambling until their budget is gone. Then they have the will power to stop, as they can’t afford to lose any more money. But addicts can’t stop at this juncture.

Gambling addicts will gamble all of their money, not just money they’ve allocated for gambling. They will start to dip into their essentials, like rent money or their family’s food budget. When you start to wager your livelihood this way, you might have a gambling problem.

2. You Try to Recover Losses With More Gambling

Gambling can turn your luck in an instant. You can have $1,000 and in an few hands you have nothing. But, there is always the possibility of hitting it big. You could win ten times your money in just one hand. Given this possibility, many gamblers have a hard time walking away during a cold streak. They try to win back all the money they’ve lost with more gambling, because they’re convinced that things could go their one in a moment. Sadly, this is rarely the case, and addicts tend to lose even more money.

3. You Prioritize Gambling Over More Important Things

Gambling is meant to be entertainment. It’s supposed to be fun. But when you cross the line and start to skip important events in favor of gambling, you have a problem. By important events, we’re not referring to sporting events on TV or casual hangout sessions. Rather, we mean significant life events, like your child’s play, or an anniversary dinner. When you choose gambling over important events like these, it’s time to seek help.

4. You Will Do Anything To Find Money

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Our first point was that gambling addicts wager money they can’t afford. But what happens when they lose the money they can’t afford? Does the gambling just stop? Probably not, which leads gambling addicts to extreme measures to find money.

When someone is a problem gambler, an empty bank account won’t stop them from gambling. They’ll find money any way they can. This can mean borrowing from friends, stealing, forging, or other crimes that will get them money. How they get the money doesn’t matter, as long as they get it.

5. You Can’t Stop

An old poker saying is, “Know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold ‘em.” Meaning, you have to know when to play and when you need to quit.  Gambling addicts can’t follow this advice.

Just like an alcoholic or drug addict, the addict might know that he or she has a problem. But that doesn’t help. They simply can’t stop, no matter what. If you find yourself gambling even when you know it’s wrong, you need to get help.

Gambling addiction might not have immediate health ramifications like drinking alcohol or snorting cocaine, but that doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous. There are many problems that can arise from gambling addiction. If you or someone you know has a gambling addiction, call Prominence Treatment Center today for immediate assistance.