Very often, when drug or alcohol addiction is an issue, so too is addiction to other vices like gambling. The rush and the high from gambling is not unlike the high associated with drugs and alcohol. Certainly, the same pleasure pathway in the brain is triggered by both. The bad news is that without help, you can destroy your life both with gambling and alcoholism or drug addiction. The good news is that there is treatment for both.
The Profile of a Gambling Addict and Alcoholic
It’s a common picture: the gambler at the tables or the slot machines with a drink in hand. Developing a gambling addiction almost requires the concurrent development of an addiction to alcohol. Casinos offer free drinks to keep the dice and the money rolling and it’s hard to say ‘no,’ especially if you’re on a losing streak. You drink to further enjoy gambling. You drink to deal with the losses. You drink to celebrate the occasional win. Soon, you’re not just a gambling addict but an alcoholic as well.
Symptoms of Gambling Addiction and Drug Addiction
The symptoms of addiction are pretty straightforward and apply to both drugs and gambling: if there are severe negative consequences to your health, safety and emotional wellbeing due to an action and yet you find that you are unable to stop, then you are most likely addicted. If your significant other tells you that if you continue using drugs or gambling that he or she will leave and yet you still can’t quit, you are an addict. If your doctor tells you that your health is failing due to your actions and that still doesn’t convince you to stop, then you are an addict. Above all, if you’ve tried to quit on your own and found yourself unable to abstain for any extended period of time, then you are not only an addict, but if you are ever going to be free of your addiction, you will need to undergo medical treatment for the problem.
Treating Gambling Addiction and Drug Addiction
Addiction is a medical addiction. Despite the myth that it’s a question of willpower, addiction is much stronger and powerful than a simple desire to stop. Certainly, wanting to let go of the life of addiction and begin anew without drugs, alcohol and gambling can be an important part of getting you into recovery. However, without medical and psychology professionals who specialize in the treatment of addiction, you won’t experience a real and long-lasting recovery.
Helping Someone You Love Stop Gambling and Using Drugs
If someone you love is addicted to gambling and drugs and/or alcohol, then an intervention may be necessary to help them recognize the truth of their situation. The goal of an intervention is to point out the severity of their addictions and how those addictions are serving to destroy their relationships, their career, their health and their future. The idea is that if they have full picture of their addiction, that they will recognize their need for help and go to rehab immediately.
If you or someone you love is addicted to gambling and alcohol, don’t wait: get the necessary addiction treatment today.