THE SECRET ADDICTION
Gambling is seen as relatively harmless fun by many but to some it can become a problem and/or develop into an all-consuming addiction.
Gambling addiction is often viewed as different to other common dependencies such as drugs and alcohol due to the non-substance-based element of the process, but while different addictions carry with them unique challenges we at Sporting Chance have found that similar solutions are effective.
Do you have gambling problem?
The normalisation of and access to gambling in modern life, particularly around sport, combined with a lack of physical harm markers can make it difficult to identify when somebody’s gambling has become a problem. It is usually a realisation that an individual comes to themselves, sadly often when lots of financial and emotional damage has been done to them and others.
If you are concerned about your relationship with gambling, please answer the questions below:
+ Do you often spend more time gambling than you would like to?
+ Do you often spend more money gambling than you would like to?
+ Is gambling severely affecting your financial affairs?
+ Do you often find it difficult to stop gambling once you have started?
+ Do you often find yourself chasing losses immediately after losing?
+ Do you often find yourself continuing to gamble immediately after winning?
+ Is gambling negatively effecting other areas of your life?
+ Have you noticed a drop in your performance levels at work? Could this be linked to gambling?
+ Is gambling contributing to a lack of sleep?
+ Do you ever use gambling as a form of escaping from or solving your problems?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions it may be worth examining your relationship with gambling further.
Support is available
Sporting Chance offers a range of services to professional sportspeople to help with problem gambling, other addictive or destructive behaviours and emotional wellbeing.
It is important to recognise that those suffering from the impact of gambling addiction are not alone and that many people who have experienced the same issues have gone on to successfully overcome the problem.
Identifying that there might be a problem is an important and courageous first step. The next, equally brave, step is to talk to someone about it and ask for help.
Those who are eligible for Sporting Chance’s services can call or text our helpline or e-mail us. You can find the information of how to get in touch here.
We would also recommend taking some of the following steps as soon as possible:
+ Download software that blocks access to gambling on your devices
+ Self-exclude from the sites or locations where you gamble
+ Join the national self-exclusion schemes
+ GAMSTOP for online gambling – www.gamstop.co.uk
+ SENSE for land-based casinos – www.playingsafe.org.uk/sense-information
+ Multi-operator scheme for betting shops – www.self-exclusion.co.uk
+ Try to limit your access to funds for an initial period by asking a trusted other to take temporary control of your finances
+ Attend a support group meeting such as Gamblers Anonymous if you feel comfortable doing so
+ Try not to gamble at all, but if you do gamble continue to seek support.
Sporting Chance offers a range of services to individuals and organisations that are concerned about the dangers of gambling.
If you are concerned about your gambling or the impact that somebody’s else gambling is having on you please contact us.
We have a nationwide network of counsellors and therapists enabling our clients to access confidential, professional support.
For those suffering from more severe addictive disorders, our residential clinic offers professional treatment programmes.
Sporting Chance offers an education and training programme to raise awareness about the dangers of gambling.
The Programme combines professional research, lived experienced and engaging interactive discussion in order to highlight the harm that gambling can cause.