Gambling Addiction Costing Lives In The UK

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The Names for Gambling Addiction

  • Impulse Control Gambling
  • Ludomania
  • Problem Gambling
  • Compulsive Gambling

UK Gambling Addiction Data

  • It takes less than 12 seconds to log on somewhere and place a bet
  • 3 million people between the ages of 13-17 have created falsified gambling accounts online
  • 1 in 2 people have sold their possessions for gambling
  • 91% of people under 18 have gambled
  • 73% of adults gamble yearly
  • 60,000 problem gamblers in the UK are between the ages of 11-15
  • 46% of UK gamblers have stolen to finance their play
  • 60% of gamblers suffer from depression
  • 13% have attempted suicide
  • 28,000 Euros is the average level of debt accrued receiving treatment

There are Six Types of Gamblers:

  • Serious Social Gamblers
  • Antisocial Personality Gamblers
  • Compulsive-Pathological Gamblers
  • Relief and Escape Gamblers
  • Casual Social Gamblers
  • Professional Gamblers

Symptoms of a Gambling Addiction

  • Spending more time and money on gambling than the player can cope with
  • Needing to stake larger amounts of money or for a longer time to experience the same buzz or feeling of excitement
  • Chasing gambling or losses to escape financial debt
  • Keeping your gambling a secret from other people
  • Gambling until you lose all your money
  • Feeling anxious, irritable, depressed, guilty, or worried
  • Always talking about or thinking about gambling
  • Engaging in arguments with friends or family about gambling and money
  • Loss of interest in other normal activities like spending time with family or hanging out with friends
  • Finding it difficult to manage or stop gambling
  • Not paying bills, borrowing money, or selling possessions to gamble more
  • Neglecting personal needs, school, work, or household responsibilities because of gambling

The following results have been drawn by the Research for Gambling Commission:

  • The National Lottery draws 47% of gamblers and is the most popular type of gambling activity
  • An average 58% of respondents had engaged in at least one form of gambling during the previous week.
  • Although the largest growth in participation between 2012-2013 involves individuals between the ages of 18-24 years (49% up from 44%), people that participate in gambling are most likely to be over 35.
  • 15% of respondents reported participating in at least one form of online gambling in the previous 4 weeks.
  • The most common participation frequency for respondents who have gambled in the previous 4 weeks was ‘once a week’.

Can a gambling addiction be cured?

Compulsive gambling may be managed with the following treatments:

  • Medication: Mood stabilizers and antidepressants may be effective against problems associated with compulsive gambling, such as ADHD or OCD, and depression. Some anti-depressants may be beneficial in reducing gambling behaviour. Narcotic antagonists, which are useful against substance abuse, may also help with compulsive gambling.
  • Self-help groups: Talking with other people that have related problems may help deal with an addiction.
  • Therapy: Family therapy may be useful here. Also, cognitive behavioural therapy may be implemented. Behavioural therapy involves systematic exposure to the habit which is to be unlearned and teaching skills to defeat the urges to engage in them. The former involves identifying negative, irrational, and unhealthy beliefs and replacing them with positive, healthy ones.