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What are the Common Treatments for Gambling Addiction?

Gambling addiction, also called pathological gambling, occurs when a person cannot resist the urge to gamble. In this sense, it becomes similar to a substance of abuse that causes compulsive, dangerous, and selfish actions, and in most cases, the person will not be able to stop until they receive help through professional rehabilitation treatment.

Behavioral Therapy


CBT helps you learn to change your behavior.

According to the National Library of Medicine, “Treatment for people with pathological gambling begins with recognizing the problem.” This can often be one of the hardest steps, as “most people with pathological gambling only get treated when other people pressure them.” However, once the individual recognizes the need for professional help, therapy is often the best way for the individual to learn to change their behavior and create a better life for themselves.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (or CBT) is one of the most common therapy types used in addiction rehab. Addicts can learn to recognize triggers and cravings before they occur as well as more positive actions to take when they do. CBT is one of the most common options for individuals in gambling addiction rehab because it actually helps them change their behavior and learn a new way to view their addiction.

Pharmacological Therapy

Medications are not as commonly used to treat pathological gambling as they are used to treat other addiction syndromes, specifically those associated with substance abuse, but according to Minnesota Medicine, “Emerging data from controlled clinical trials… suggest that pathological gamblers frequently respond to pharmacological intervention.”

The medications that have been used most commonly to treat this disorder include SSRIs (anti-depressants), mood stabilizers, and opioid antagonists (specifically naltrexone). Many patients have been found to be particularly responsive toward opioid antagonists and SSRIs, but more research must be done in the case of all three medications. Certain individuals do seem to respond better to certain drugs, however, while some may not respond to any.

Support Groups

Another common treatment option for pathological gambling includes attending support group meetings. Groups like Gamblers Anonymous, a 12-step group modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous, can be extremely beneficial to many individuals. As stated by the NLM, many different “practices used to treat other types of addiction, such as substance abuse and alcohol dependence, can also be helpful in treating pathological gambling.”

Which Treatment Options are Available in Gambling Rehab?

While many complications can result from gambling addiction, the right treatment can often be extremely helpful in minimizing these issues. In a rehab center for gambling addiction, patients can often receive all three treatments that are listed above if they are suitable to the individual’s needs. Depending on the patient’s situation, they may choose to attend inpatient or outpatient treatment, and any of the options above may be utilized to create a personalized treatment plan.

Do You Want to Attend Rehab for Gambling Addiction?

If you call 800-481-6320, we can help you find a treatment center where you can receive the best care for your addiction as well as any other issues you may be struggling with. Call today, and start on your road to recovery.

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