Gambling Addiction

When people gamble, they bet something of value – money, goods or services – on a random event where the likelihood of winning is determined by chance. People can gamble on sports events, lottery tickets, casino games and scratchcards. Gambling can lead to addiction, but most people can stop gambling if they try hard enough.

In addition to a desire for instant gratification, other factors can trigger a gambling addiction. Certain medications can affect the way your brain processes rewards, and some individuals are genetically predisposed to thrill-seeking behaviors or impulsivity. People whose culture values gambling may find it harder to recognize a problem, as they may view their gambling activity as a normal part of life.

There are some ways that you can help yourself if you think you have a gambling addiction, including strengthening your support network. Consider joining a book club or sports team, taking an education class, volunteering at a nonprofit organization and seeking help from a peer support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous. You can also look for a sponsor, a former gambler who has experience staying free from gambling and can guide you through your recovery.