Gambling Addiction – Things You Can Do to Help Yourself Get Back on Track


Gambling is an activity in which you stake something of value on a random event with the potential for a prize win. It can happen at casinos, racetracks, sports events and even online. There are several different types of gambling and many people enjoy it as a form of entertainment, but it can also be problematic if you’re not careful. Some people even develop an addiction to gambling and have difficulty stopping their activities. If you’re struggling with gambling addiction, there are things you can do to help yourself get back on track.

One of the most important things you can do is to strengthen your support network. Whether that’s friends, family or a peer group like Gamblers Anonymous, it’s tough to battle any addiction without a solid support system. If you can’t find anyone to turn to, try joining a book club, a sports team or other social groups that will allow you to meet new people and make connections. Another option is to enroll in a class or volunteer for a good cause. This will give you something to focus on other than gambling and may help you stay away from it altogether.

Another way to combat problems with gambling is to understand how it affects the brain and factors that can trigger problematic gambling. When you gamble, your brain releases dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter that makes you excited. This is why so many people feel compelled to keep gambling, even when they lose. Those who struggle with problem gambling often have an underactive brain reward system, and they can’t regulate their impulses or weigh risk.

In addition, some people may have a genetic predisposition to thrill-seeking behavior and impulsivity, which can be difficult for them to recognize when they’re gambling too much. They can also have poor understanding of the odds, or use it as a way to escape from boredom or stress. Lastly, some cultures view gambling as a positive pastime, which can make it hard for them to admit that they have a problem.

Despite its downsides, gambling does have some benefits for individuals and society as a whole. It provides an income for some, reduces crime rates and helps the economy. It is especially helpful to communities where jobs and tax revenue are scarce. In fact, gambling contributes a significant percentage of the GDP of countries all over the world. This figure is even higher in areas where gambling is common, such as Las Vegas.