Like any other addiction or disorder, gambling addiction should be diagnosed by our clinical experts. They will consider client history and behavior against the diagnostic criteria to determine if they have an addiction. However, like any addiction there are several signs that will indicate there is a problem, and possibly an addiction.
Many people will gamble for pleasure and enjoyment without developing an addiction. And many addicts will pretend they choose to gamble, rather than gamble because they have a problem. To determine whether an addiction exists a diagnosis will look more towards to the behavior around gambling, rather than the gambling itself.
What is gambling addiction?
Gambling addiction is perhaps one of the most destructive process addictions. Gambling effortlessly rewires the brains neuroplasticity. A night of gambling, especially when combined with alcohol or drugs is a roller coaster of emotions. Oftentimes sufferers will be gambling with money they can’t afford to lose, regardless of amount. At times during the spree they will be ‘up’, at others they’ll be chasing losses and cashing in for more.
The National Council on Problem Gambling estimates there are many millions of people worldwide who would meet the criteria for problem gambling, although only a small number seek treatment. With gambling ever more readily available, especially on the internet, it’s possible that number will grow.
The hit of watching the roulette ball when you’ve covered the table, or bet large on red or black is indescribable. Live betting on a sports game brings a rush of dopamine and serotonin, which combines with anticipation and a feeling of hopeless trepidation as the gambler knows they can’t control the outcome, yet are now so heavily vested in the results.
The pain of loss doesn’t just hurt that night, it impacts life for days, weeks or months afterwards.
Gambling and financial problems
While most occasional gamblers will have a flutter every now and again, Gambling addicts tend to max out their available cash on hand at any given moment when on a spree. It’s not uncommon for business owners to gamble away all staff wages the night before payday, or for betting shop owners to embezzle all the cash in the safe after a big day of sports. Barristers and Fund Managers are favored by online betting firms for the amount they turn over on Blackjack, while women aged 24+ are likely to place themselves in financial jeopardy by playing slots or bingo.
Waking up the next morning, likely hungover or on a come down, knowing that the loss hasn’t just impacted you, it’s now impacting all of the loved ones in your life is gut-wrenching. Gambling addicts experience a feeling of hopelessness incomparable to many other addictions and it’s not uncommon for feelings of guilt and shame to cycle rapidly to suicidal ideation.
The nature of gambling addiction however, means that regardless of whether it’s days, weeks or months until the next spree. It will happen. Eventually. And history will repeat itself, time after time.
Am I a gambling addict?
Indications that there is a gambling problem might include feeling a need to gamble, especially in response to specific situations, like stress at work or a belief it’s necessary to relax. The effect of not being able to gamble will also be an indicator, addicts frequently have changes in mood, being irritable or depressed when they are unable to satisfy their addiction.
Gambling behaviors will also feature in a diagnosis. Problem gamblers may be unable to stop once they have started, gambling more than they planned or betting to win back previous losses. They may also resort to debt or even theft to fund their gambling. Gambling addicts may also lie about and hide their behavior. Or prioritize gambling to the extent that other parts of their life, like their relationships or work, suffer.
Any of these signs suggest that a professional assessment from our Gambling addiction experts at Hacienda Paradiso might be beneficial. Contact us today for a free, private, friendly and helpful consultation. Our expert teams are known as the most approachable experts in Global addiction treatment.
Gambling addiction treatment
Because addiction is a disease, it is the behavior hijacking the brain’s reward circuitry that causes the addiction. This addiction formation process is the same as a drug addiction, so treatment for a gambling addiction follows much the same process as a drug addiction.
One key difference is that there is no need for detox unless there are drugs or substances used as part of the addiction. However, although there is no detox, there will still be withdrawal as the brain seeks the rewards that gambling provided. This withdrawal can be challenging, and here at Hacienda Paradiso we offer a safe environment for process addiction detox.
Treatment options for gambling addiction will largely be therapeutic in focus. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is very effective for treating gambling addiction. CBT is an active therapy, so rather than exploring the causes of addiction, it will help the patient work with the feelings that gambling generates. It might, for example, help identify a chain of actions that starts with a particular trigger and ends with placing a bet, then work out strategies to break that chain, by identifying the process and redirecting it.
Why use rehab for gambling addiction
Rehab for a gambling addiction may seem an odd choice because there may be no addictive substance like drugs or alcohol involved. However, like any other addiction treatment, a residential stay at Hacienda Paradiso offers an exponentially greater chance of success.
Hacienda Paradiso is the World’s first Eco Rehab that effortlessly blends World Class treatment and ecological restoration. Situated in a stunning nature reserve in the heart of Southern Spain, Hacienda Paradiso is part of the award-winning Villa Paradiso Treatment Group. Internationally recognized for our exceptional success rates, a stay at Hacienda Paradiso addresses all the benefits; physical, mental, and spiritual, that the environment can offer to those that develop a deep integral connection with nature.
Starting gambling addiction treatment at Hacienda Paradiso means that the triggers and temptations of the addiction are removed. Although the goal of treatment is to return to life outside, where a recovering addict will inevitably see those triggers again, our experts can create a clean break. The addict can learn about their addiction and develop strategies to avoid a relapse without, at the same time, having to resist the triggers in their normal everyday life.
As well as providing a safe and secure environment free from triggers and temptation, Hacienda Paradiso is also a supportive environment, which makes success much more likely. The early stages of withdrawal are the hardest, and when the cravings for the addiction will be at their strongest. A 3am bout of sleepless anxiety at an addict’s home might result in a relapse with an online casino; with us you will be safe, secure and very comfortable, with 24-hour support.
Hacienda Paradiso offers lifelong recovery for more than just gambling addiction. Gambling addiction is frequently a co-occurring disorder, rates of drug and alcohol use are higher among gamblers, for example. And the mental effects of withdrawal can also create problems. Withdrawal can result in changes to the brain chemistry that might cause a return of a previous depression or create a first depression for the patient.
Although gambling addiction does not feature an addictive substance, it is an incredibly strong addiction. It is also frequently complicated by co-occurring conditions that are related to the gambling addiction and may be exacerbated by the withdrawal process. The lack of a chemical dependency should not, therefore, be taken to mean that it doesn’t need a rehab stay. The power of gambling addiction means that, in fact, for many gamblers residential treatment at Hacienda Paradiso is their best option to become free from gambling.
Help is available
If this sounds like you, or someone you love, then please know that gambling addiction is very treatable. At Hacienda Paradiso we specialize in process addictions such as Gambling addiction and Dual Diagnosis. Often, clients with process addictions such as Gambling addiction present with co-occurring undiagnosed mental health issues such as depression and / or anxiety.
With our commitment and the support of our award-winning gambling addiction programme, anyone with a Gambling problem can overcome their addiction!
Hacienda paradiso eco package
Bespoke 28-day treatment, including detox + 12 months Paradiso aftercare included.
Single room – €12.500 ex VAT
Pick one of our four single rooms and enjoy your private apartment. Equipped with a kitchen, tea/coffee, shower, tov and wardrobe.
Double room – €10.000 ex VAT
Or choose a double apartment. Also our double apartments are equipped with a kitchen, tea/coffee, shower, tov and wardrobe.
Psychiatrist assessment by arrival
1x (mandatory treatment if needed after assessment not included)
Blood test by arrival
Clean bed linen and towels
Room and bathroom disinfection
Fresh prepared food by our chefs on sight
2x Daily – Breakfast not included
Pick up and drop off service airport
Private or Double Room
Differs per package
Laundry and ironing
Use of mobile phone
3x P/W 30 mins (Social media not allowed)
Social media, not allowed
Hiking, bike riding, yoga, fitness