Problem Gambling Treatment Options
Overcoming a gambling problem is never easy but treatment options are available, and recovery is possible. Each person is unique, so it is important to find a path for treatment fit to your specific needs. There isn’t just one “best” way to treat problem gambling – often, a mix of approaches are used during treatment.
The National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-GAMBLER) is available via call, text or chat and can provide detailed information regarding treatment resources available in your area.
Counseling is conducted by trained therapists or counselors with expertise in gambling addiction and is tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of each individual. This type of treatment can be delivered in various settings, including individual sessions, group therapy and online counseling platforms. Therapeutic approaches may include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Motivational Interviewing to identify and change problematic thought patterns and behaviors related to gambling.
Peer Support involves individuals who have experienced gambling problems themselves and provide help and guidance to others who are struggling with similar issues and navigating their recovery journeys. Some peer support groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous (GA), follow a structured 12-step program similar to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Peer support complements other forms of treatment and provides individuals with a sense of community and understanding as they work toward recovery.
Outpatient Treatment Programs
Outpatient Treatment Programs provide treatment for individuals struggling with gambling addiction while continuing to live at home. Individuals attend scheduled therapy and counseling sessions and carry on with their daily lives. Outpatient treatment is suitable for individuals with gambling problems of varying severity. Intensive Outpatient Programs provide 9 or more hours of structured programming per week in an outpatient setting, while other less intensive options may offer the flexibility to receive treatment while still managing daily responsibilities.
Residential Treatment Programs
Residential Treatment Programs provide a specialized treatment facility for a designated period, providing a controlled and supportive environment that minimizes exposure to gambling triggers. Residential treatment programs typically follow a structured daily schedule that includes individual and group therapy sessions, educational workshops and various therapeutic activities. Residential treatment for problem gambling is often recommended for individuals with severe gambling addiction or those who have not responded well to outpatient treatment.
Inpatient Treatment Programs
Inpatient Treatment Programs provide coordinated and integrated care in a hospital setting. Inpatient treatment is provided 24 hours, 7 days a week. Inpatient treatment programs include a comprehensive approach to treatment with a key component being close coordination of services with other service providers treating the individual. The goal of inpatient treatment is to provide a protective environment that includes medical stabilization, support, treatment for psychiatric or addictive disorders, and supervision. Such programs operate in designated space that allows for an appropriate medical treatment environment.
Choosing the Right Treatment Program
Choosing the right gambling treatment program involves careful consideration of your specific needs, preferences and goals. Asking these questions can help you make an informed decision and select a program that best supports your recovery journey.