What Causes Gambling Addiction And Where To Seek Help in USA

What Causes Gambling Addiction And Where To Seek Help in USA

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When it comes to the subject of people developing gambling addictions, there is no shortage of reasons that can cause this to happen.

As such, it's important for addicted gamblers to understand the root causes and try to make the necessary corrections in order to avoid bringing misery to their own lives and loved ones.

One of the biggest reasons is perhaps also the most obvious one. Namely, the desire to make money and improve your financial situation. There's the old cliche about how money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you material and other possessions that at least in your own mind allow you to enjoy life more fully.

Often compounding the problem is when a gambler loses money there can be the inclination to try and get it back. This, of course, can lead to your financial situation getting even worse.

Another cause that is very much at the top of the list is the excitement (or rush) one can receive from gambling. The bright lights of a casino and the payoff for winnings produces an adrenaline rush to the brain that can become addicting. Just the thought of getting rich quick and when it might happen can stimulate the brain. Some people are also naturally inclined to take massive risks. 

Psychologists and psychiatrists list a whole other range of reasons a gambler can become addicted. These include the inability to control one’s impulses. Impulse Control Disorder a.k.a. ICD, is considered a form of mental illness.

Among the additional reasons for a gambling disorder are the  desire for an escape from one's everyday life, the illusion of being in control, genetic factors which can increase the production of adrenaline in a body and an obsession with gambling related activities.

The latter can particularly apply to people who bet on sports and feel the need to have a financial as well as an emotional stake in the outcome of games. A sizable amount of people with gambling addictions primarily bet on sports.

In addition, people can develop a need to play games of chance in which the act  of wagering produces dopamine in the brain that leads to a happy or euphoric feeling.

Without going into too much detail, professionals list other factors such as antisocial behavior, failures in either your professional or personal life, and people who suffer from anxiety disorders as possible causes for gambling addiction.

Finally, it's entirely possible people with a gambling addiction might not suffer from any of these symptoms or disorders. Rather, they happened to find out they enjoy gambling by happenstance and before they knew it they were hooked.

Where to seek help for gambling addiction

As there are many ways in which a person can develop a gambling addiction, there are also plenty of places where they can turn for help. One of the most well-known is Gamblers Anonymous,  which was founded in the 1950s and is an organization that provides an outlet for people with gambling problems to share their experiences and seek help. These are located throughout the country.

The simplest way to find out where you can receive help is by going on the internet and typing in words like "gambling addiction'' or "problem gambling'' in the search engine.

This will lead to various organizations such as the National Problem Gambling Helpline, tel: 1-800-522-4700. Many gambling outlets such as sports apps or state lottery commissions also list phone numbers where gamblers can receive help.

About Rick Fortenbaugh
Rick Fortenbaugh author profile

Sports writer in Trenton, New Jersey, for over 35 years. Has covered a full range of sports, including pros, colleges and high schools. Owner of a bachelor's degree to teach history from the College of New Jersey.

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