Gambling Addiction Treatment Programs
"Gambling Addiction" and "Compulsive Gambling" refers to the inability to control
gambling behavior that may or may not include a substance abuse problem. It is important to get effective treatment for both disorders. An effective treatment model is when one clinician or treatment team provides both mental health
Gambling Addiction Treatment or TOLERANT?
Today the term "gambling addiction" has become common place in substance abuse treatment. But does that mean you will receive effective treatment for compulsive gambling problems at all of the thousands of substance abuse treatment centers.
Recent research shows that more than 90% of treatment centers that claim to be "gambling addiction treatment centers" really only tolerate or accept
patients that have copulation issues or emotional disorders, but do not provide effective clinical care for persons with compulsive gambling disorders, nor do they all have psychologists on staff at their centers. Also, if they do provide a visit to an actual Doctor it is brief and infrequent
. Most treatment centers only provide a single visit to a doctor at the beginning of the process. After that the patient is integrated into the Substance Abuse portion of the treatment for the rest of the time in treatment.
We believe this is only a "tolerant" approach at best and is not an effective TREATMENT for compulsive gambling patients. Treatment of a compulsive gambler is so complex it is safe to say that a certified substance abuse counselor alone
is not qualified to provide the level of care needed to help these patients. We are not implying that the substance abuse treatment is not important, if it exists
. It is vital to the overall well-being of every gambling patient. However, there are many more areas that need to be assessed by a doctor.
Speak to Trained
Mental Health Placement Professional
How can I find TRUE gambling addiction treatment?
Let's define what TRUE gambling addiction treatment includes before we find "treatment". Here is what we define as gambling addiction treatment:
Now that we know what a TRUE compulsive gambling treatment looks like, we can now ask any treatment center or program the proper questions.
- withdrawal period will be as short and as comfortable as possible.
- Next, a residential gambling addiction treatment center of 30 day or more.
(Assessment alone is NOT effective and often patients end up extending a 30-day progam to 60 or 90 days)
- Continued care is vitally important after the initial treatment. Often successful treatment consists of an after-care outpatient program for 1-2 years for most of these types of patients. Biological problems may be a very real area to consider and should be evaluated by a specialized medical doctor and lab tests during their treatment and Psychiatrists have proven to be a great help to many gambling addicts.
- Finally, the patient must have a continued treatment plan that he/she is confident they can continue after a decrease in therapy has been approved. This usually consists of a 12 step meeting or support groups, periodic visits with their therapist, and monitoring the biological problem that were discovered by the M.D. and Psychiatrist while in treatment. Usually this means having lab tests done to check the hormone and adrenal system 1-2 time per year.
Here are some of the questions you should ask to determine if the treatment center is a true gambling addiction treatment
or just gambling addiction tolerant program:
1. What is the name of the doctor on staff and do they work exclusively with your center? (look up the doctors name the doctor should have a long history of treating compulsive disorders, gambling addiction research and/or research in a related field.)
2. What is the typical medication (if any) that they use to treat gambling addiction patients? (They should not be able to tell you which medication you or your loved one will receive! Medication is not always the best solution. For example, if there is a biological problem that would need to be treated first before psychiatric medication can be used effectively)
3. Ask which tests will be administered, if any, once you enter the treatment center. (remember you MUST rule out any biological problems before they can diagnosis you or your loved one with psychiatric problems)
4. Ask how they determine when you will be done with the inpatient part of treatment and when you are ready to leave?
(the ONLY answer to this should be, "when the doctor, therapist, and you feel that you biologically, mentally, and emotionally stable.
Remember the patient can always decide to leave whenever they want, but the treatment center should answer from a medical stand point.
We have expert staff willing to help you find treatment 24 hrs. a day.
How does recovery from gambling addiction occur?
Recovery must be the individual's choice. People cannot be "pushed" into giving up compulsive gambling. Over time they can learn to manage their compulsion and to get on with their lives in meaningful ways.
The process of recovery begins as soon as someone enters a gambling addiction treatment program or becomes committed to managing their illnesses.
Recovery takes time, hope, and courage. For most people, recovery occurs over months or years.
People in gambling addiction treatment programs learn to manage long-term illnesses and build a new meaningful life. This process requires time, support, education, courage, and skills.
You can help. Everyone in your loved one's life can help by offering support, hope, and encouragement.
What are the facts about gambling addiction?
Vulnerability is important.
People who are affected by a mental illness use drugs for the same reasons people without mental illness do, such as not having jobs, not feeling happy, and not having good skills for meeting people. In many cases, people with mental compulsions are more sensitive to the effects of alcohol and other drugs.
Dual disorders are common.
Study results show that one of every two individuals with severe mental illness has the additional problem of substance abuse disorder (abuse or dependence related to alcohol or other drugs).
Integrated gambling addiction treatment works.
People with gambling addiction have a much better chance of recovery from both disorders when they receive combined, or integrated mental health and substance abuse treatment from the same clinician or treatment team.