Gambling addiction

Gambling is an addictive behaviour. Many people who gamble are unable to explain why they continue to gamble despite the problems it can cause.

Even though winning money may be the initial attraction to gambling, most people who gamble use gambling as an opportunity to escape from the problems in their lives.

Gambling is a disorder of habit, and habits are learned behaviours with short-term gains and long term pains. Just as they are learned, they can be unlearned.

There is not one single answer that will stop you from gambling. Gambling problems are complex and it is important to understand the role gambling plays in your life. Once you have acknowledged a problem exists, you have taken the first step towards deciding you want to change.

Based on the Canadian Problem Gambling Index, it was estimated that approximately 6.1% or about 47,000 adults in Nova Scotia were at any level of risk for problem gambling. About 0.9% (7,000 adults) are identified as Severe Problem Gamblers.

The following are signs of a gambling problem:

  • Concealing, denying or lying about gambling behaviour.
  • Spending significant amounts of time gambling or thinking about gambling.
  • Excessive or uncontrolled spending.
  • Debt.
  • Withdrawing from family life.
  • Spending significant amounts of time on a computer.
  • Absence from work or college.
  • Deteriorating relationships with family and friends

Counselling can be a safe and confidential way to start exploring your gambling behaviour, to examine the effects gambling is having on your life and to connect it with your life experiences.

Residential treatment provides the opportunity to take time away from your gambling, to participate in individual counselling sessions, group therapy, relaxation, massage therapy, experiential therapy, relationship therapy and to focus on changing behaviour and reawakening the possibility of a better life.