How to Stage an Intervention for a Gambling AddictAlyssa
Gambling addiction is the uncontrollable urge or desire to continue gambling despite its repercussions. Gambling is addictive like drugs or alcohol because it stimulates the brain’s reward system. Like substances of abuse, gambling can trigger the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine, which sends signals of euphoria and pleasure. As a drug and alcohol treatment center in Palm Beach that treats this type of disease, we wanted to share some tips on how the loved ones of addicts can stage an intervention for a gambling addict.
Signs of Gambling Addiction In Adults
As with any other type of addiction, a gambling addict may exhibit certain physical or behavioral symptoms that can indicate they have a problem. The first step in learning how to help a loved one with a gambling addiction is recognizing the signs leading up to this issue.
Some common signs of being addicted to gambling include:
- Constantly thinking of gambling and how to make more money gambling
- Needing to increase the amount of money you gamble to experience the same thrill or pleasure (similar to building tolerance to drugs or alcohol)
- Being unable to control your ability to stop or cut back on gambling
- Feeling restless, irritable, or agitated when you try to cut down on or stop gambling (similar to experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop using drugs or alcohol)
- Trying to get back money that you’ve lost (chasing losses)
- Lying to loved ones about your gambling
- Financial problems related to gambling
- Jeopardizing work, school, and relationships to gamble
- Stealing or committing fraud to get more money to gamble
- Asking others for money or frequently borrowing money to get you out of debt caused by gambling
A person who is addicted to gambling will feel compelled to chase their losses and either attempt to get back the money they’ve lost or to win more money. Gambling addiction is as much of a disease as drug addiction or alcoholism and therefore, requires specific treatment. Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches offers gambling addiction treatment in Florida designed to help individuals who are unable to control their gambling and need help recovering.
Tips on How to Stage an Intervention for a Gambling Addict
The purpose of an intervention is to help the individual realize their problem, how it’s affected the people in their lives, and treatment options that can help. Staging an intervention for a gambling addict can be tricky and can go wrong if the proper steps aren’t taken. Addiction is a sensitive topic. Before you attempt to set up an intervention for someone addicted to gambling, you should educate yourself on this topic. Below are some helpful intervention strategies for gambling addicts that you can follow.
You can’t just throw an intervention together, as it requires planning. Ways you can prepare for a gambling intervention for a loved one include: deciding who will be there (should only include close friends and family), create a script or timeline of what will happen during the intervention, have each person write intervention letters, and decide on the time, date, and place. Once you have these details set, you can then have one or two people find a way to get the person to the intervention without their knowing it. Few addicts are willing to attend an intervention for themselves, so some strategizing may be required.
Create a safe space
Make sure that you and other members work together to create a safe and calm space where everyone can have their turn to speak. You don’t want to corner the individual but rather gently share your concerns and love for them. It’s important to create an environment that’s calm and to avoid the distraction of family drama and emotional outbursts. A great way to ensure things go smoothly in this area is to set up a time and the order of who will read their intervention letters and share their concerns. Members should also follow certain guidelines when creating intervention letters to avoid hurting the individual but instead to offer support.
When an addict is faced with difficult questions about their addiction, their first reaction may be to deny the claims. It’s important to have documentation of specific examples to show them that their problem is real and is getting worse. However, be careful to respect the person’s privacy.
Recommend specific actions
A great way to actively help the addict is to suggest actions they can take. Offering clear and specific solutions is crucial to getting them on board with recovery. Work together with the other people in the group to come up with some simple ways the individual can start changing their behavior. Having a certified intervention specialist assist you in setting up the intervention and coming up with solutions can also mitigate the stress and disorganization that could occur. Our rehab center offers intervention programs that could also help.
At the end of the day, the goal of a gambling intervention is to help the individual and remind them that they’re loved and have a support system. Addiction is a disease. A person can’t just “snap out of it,” and they aren’t behaving this way on purpose or to hurt anyone. They’re genuinely struggling with a disease and need help. Be as patient and loving as possible without enabling their behavior.
Gambling addiction can also progress to the abuse of drugs and alcohol. We know how to help someone with a gambling problem and offer effective and compassionate care to patients. If you or someone you know is battling with an addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling, technology, or even sex, we can help. BHOPB offers various mental health and addiction treatment programs in Palm Beach. To learn more about our addiction services, call us now at 561-220-3981.