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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Addiction to gambling

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South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (Click Here) is responsible for general health and addiction services in this state, and may also have information on problem gambling. For statistics on gambling addiction in South Carolina, see: South Carolina Gambling fact sheet

For more information about gambling services in South Carolina, contact:
Christopher Reid
DAODAS,
101 Executive Center Dr., Suite 215
Columbia, SC 29210
telephone: 1-877-452-5155.



What is a gambling addiction?

In America alone, problem gambling affects more than 15 million people. More than 3 million of these are considered severe problem gamblers, otherwise known as gambling addicts or pathological gamblers.  Gambling addiction is a mental-health problem that is understood to be one of many kinds of impulse-control problems a person may suffer from. The types of gambling that people with this disorder might engage in are as variable as the games available. Betting on sports, buying lotto tickets, playing poker, slot machines, or roulette are only a few of the activities in which compulsive gamblers engage. The venue of choice for individuals with gambling addiction varies as well. While many prefer gambling in a casino, the rate of online/Internet gambling addiction continues to increase with increased use of the Internet. Gambling addiction is also called compulsive gambling or pathological gambling.

What are symptoms and signs of a gambling addiction?

Pathological gambling involves persistent and recurring problem gambling that includes several of the following symptoms and are not the result of another mental-health problem, like during a manic episode:

A preoccupation with gambling, either by reliving past gambling, planning for future gambling experiences, and/or thinking of ways to secure money to finance gambling

Needing more and more money for gambling in order to achieve the desired level of gambling enjoyment

Repeated unsuccessful attempts to stop or reduce betting behaviors

Becoming uneasy or easily irritated when trying to reduce or stop gambling

Gambling for the purpose of escaping problems or to relieve sadness or anxiety

Returning to gambling after losing money in an effort to recoup losses

Lying to family or other loved ones, mental-health professionals, or others in an effort to hide the extent of the gambling behavior

Committing crimes (for example, stealing, fraud, or forgery) in an effort to finance gambling

Risking important relationships, employment, or other opportunities due to gambling

Depending on others for money to resolve dire financial situations that are the result of gambling.


Treatment for a gambling addiction:

Where can people get support for gambling addiction?

Compulsive Gambling Center
924 East Baltimore St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
1-800-LOST-BET (1-800-567-8238)
http://www.lostbet.com

Debtors Anonymous
General Service Office
P.O. Box 920888
Needham, MA 02492-0009
Phone: 781-453-2743
Fax: 781-453-2745
http://www.debtorsanonymous.org

Gam-Anon International Service Office, Inc.
P.O. Box 157
Whitestone, NY 11357
718-352-1671

Gamblers Anonymous (GA) International Service Office
P.O. Box 17173
Los Angeles, CA 90017
213-386-8789
isomain@gamblersanonymous.org

Problem Gambling.com
24 Hours a Day
7 Days a Week
U.S. Gambling Hotline: 1-800-522-4700
Canadian Gambling Hotline: 1-888-391-1111

United States National Gambling Help Line
1-800-522-4700

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