Betting Addiction: Things to Avoid
Recently in a group discussion patients were asking what to avoid when quitting gambling. Sometimes the answers are pretty obvious. But there are some areas where the answers might not be so clear. If you want to quit gambling for good it is important to have an open discussion about the things to avoid and why.
If you gave a gambling addiction it is evident that hanging around a casino would not be a good choice. Some of the patients though wondered about this. What if I go there to have a drink and hang out with friends? What if I commit to not gambling? This can be a very tempting environment for a compulsive gambler. Although one might have very good intentions it is not a good idea. You may be able to do this for a period of time but eventually it will catch up with you. It is similar to an alcoholic going to a bar and drinking soda or water. In either case a relapse is just an arm’s length away! It’s better to keep your addiction at a distance away.
One patient asked about playing the lottery. Another asked about buying a raffle ticket. These are very good questions to ask. Switching your addiction from slots to one of these is still gambling. It is better to be abstinent from all games of chance. With the example of a raffle ticket one could think well it could be for a good cause. One could also believe it’s okay to buy the raffle ticket and give it to someone else. Let’s think about that for a second. Someone buys a raffle ticket to win a new car and gives it to a friend. The friend wins the car. Might this be a disappointment for the ex gambler? Absolutely, and one that could push that person back to old habits.
What about playing the free slot games on a computer or phone? Or a game of Yahtzee? At first glance these might seem harmless but each can be a trigger to gambling. In these cases it is better to safe than sorry. One article points out how the brain is affected by gambling and how easily triggering one bet can be.
So, if you have questions about playing games even slightly related to gambling it is important to think it through. For someone with a betting addiction it is key to discuss it with a friend or professional because you don’t want to ever put your recovery in jeopardy!