The Connection Between Addiction and Gambling

How One Affects the Other

Many individuals are able to go to the casino and enjoy their time there in moderation without feeling the urge to continue to spend their money. Others, however, do not have the capacity to call it quits at the casino once they have begun gambling. Those who struggle with controlling their gambling are also at an increased risk of substance abuse and addiction. The combination of alcohol or drugs and gambling is a dangerous one that requires professional help in order to overcome.

How is gambling addiction described? Those who are addicted to gambling risk everything they have in the hopes of winning money. They may understand the consequences of their actions but do not have the discipline to walk away from the situation. Gambling addiction is just as dangerous as any type of addiciton and needs the attention of treatment and therapy. If an individual does not get help for their gambling addiction, the problem will continue to worsen, affecting all aspects of their life.

Gambling and Substance Abuse

Gambling and winning are difficult and more often than not, people end up losing money when they gamble. Losing large amounts of money can put an individual into a very depressed state of mind which can, in turn, drive them to use drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism.  This can lead down a very dangerous path and can result in full-on addiction. Gambling is a vicious cycle that keeps the individual hopeful that they may win big the next time they play. If they do not, they turn to other ways in order to cope with their losses as well as make them feel better. This is why many gamblers turn to drugs and alcohol.

Those who struggle with a gambling disorder are also more likely to struggle with mental health issues. Some signs that you or someone you know may be struggling with a gambling problem are:

  • Their gambling makes them depressed
  • Gambling increasing amounts of money and loosing
  • Getting irritated when they can’t gamble
  • Lying to friends and family about your gambling
  • Career loss due to gambling
  • Taking bigger risks
  • Effecting your relationship

These are all signs that you or someone close to you may have a gambling issue. Counseling, therapy, and treatment can help these individuals recover from their addiction.

Risk Factors of Addiction

There are several risk factors that can lead to a gambling addiction, as well as a substance abuse addiction. Some common risk factors are:

  • A family history of addiction
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Sex (males tend to struggle with gambling more than females)
  • Mental illness
  • Age (younger individuals are less likely to develop a gambling problem)
  • Hereditary and genetic factors

These certain risk factors can play a huge part in determining the root cause of your gambling addiction. Avoiding gambling and using substances of abuse altogether is the best way to ensure that you do not develop an issue. If you have a family history of gambling or substance abuse, you are at an increased risk of developing an issue. If you or someone you know is struggling, it’s time to get the appropriate help.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.