Last updated: 11/14/2018
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 3 minutes
According to the USDA, “Like other addictive behaviors, compulsive gambling is treatable.” Many individuals are able to attend regular Gamblers Anonymous meetings and slowly learn better behavioral techniques and ways to avoid triggers for problem gambling. There are, though, certain individuals who need to attend rehab at an inpatient treatment center. It is not always necessary, but in some cases, this type of program could change a person’s life.
“Compulsive gamblers frequently also suffer from other addictions such as alcoholism, drug abuse, compulsive shopping or bulimia.” A person who suffers from more than one type of addiction or mental disorder may want to choose a more comprehensive treatment program like those found in inpatient centers. In one of these programs, patients can be treated for both disorders at the same time instead of leaving one untreated.
This will actually result in a healthier recovery and better longer-term relapse prevention. An individual who suffers from two or more disorders will often struggle with quitting if they are not treated for both. As stated by the NLM, many gambling addicts gamble “to escape problems or feelings of sadness or anxiety.” When these issues are addressed as well in addiction treatment, a person has a more well-rounded recovery while being better protected from the possibility of relapse.
Many compulsive gamblers lose those closest to them as a result of their destructive behavior. Because they will often lie, steal, or do anything necessary to continue gambling, they can isolate themselves from others before realizing the need to get help. In an inpatient treatment center, patients can relate to other individuals who have experienced the same issues which will make it much easier for them to build new and positive relationships based on recovery.
In addition, many inpatient centers allow individuals to attend therapy sessions with family members, spouses, and other loved ones in order to repair the damage done by the addiction. This kind of program could help rebuild those relationships many patients thought were irreparable.
For certain individuals, the call of their addiction is too strong. They could choose to attend a support group meeting or two but may later be drawn in by a nearby casino or an ever-available Internet gambling site. While they may want to quit, they need a controlled environment in order to give them enough time to build a stronger defense against their addictions.
Inpatient gambling treatment centers provide this option to patients who, otherwise, may not be able to stop gambling long enough to recover. In some cases, a family member may even be able to sanction the treatment of a loved one who truly needs needs it, as according to the NIDA, “treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective.” Then, an individual who has always experienced an intense struggle when trying to quit gambling will be able to stay away from dangerous situations while slowly gaining back their control.
There are many ways in which an inpatient gambling treatment center can change a person’s life. With caring clinicians, intensive therapeutic treatments, and aftercare transitional help, patients who have struggled with rehab in the past may find a better fit in one of these programs.