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Millions of people across the world enjoy gambling. And for most of them, gambling never crosses the line into a compulsive activity, and remains just a hobby on the side, without making them experience any negative effects. However, for some people, gambling crosses this line and they start gambling compulsively and showing signs of gambling addiction. In essence, gambling addiction is a mental health disorder, and the people who suffer from it show the same signs as people who suffer from substance abuse addiction, or alcoholism. One of the signs of problem gambling is financial problems, and some problem gamblers fall into financial ruin before they, or their family and friends, realize that there is a problem. This is because just like any other addiction, when the person becomes resistant to their substance of choice and needs a bigger dose to achieve the same effect, a problem gambler often needs to bet higher and higher wages and raise the stakes in order to get the same feeling. This can lead to bankruptcy, debt, which can have a great psychological effect on the problem gambler, and in turn, have a great effect on his or her behavior towards friends and family members. One of the biggest negative effects of problem gambling is the changes it forces the person to make in their life to accommodate gambling, from not managing their finances in a positive manner that allows them to keep living normally, as well as possibly leading to legal issues if they succumb to illegal measures to get the money they need to support their gambling. The longer this continues, the bigger the problems of the problem gambler, which can lead to clinical depression, and even suicide.

This is why it is important for the problem gambler to admit that there is a problem and to seek help, by either joining Gamblers Anonymous, or looking for the right therapists and rehabilitation centers that focus on treating patients suffering from gambling addiction.

Millions of people around the world suffer from problem gambling today, because gambling is not considered illegal anymore, and the social stigma that used to follow gambling in the past has been largely dissipated, and gambling is considered a fun activity by society in general. The increase of problem gamblers around the world has initiated further research into the psychological effects of gambling addiction. Find more information here.

Today, there are plenty of successful rehabilitation centers around the world that help problem gamblers get over their addiction and go back to living normal lives. These centers are staffed by professionals specializing in treating patients who suffer from pathological gambling, and focus on treating behavior disorders and other psychological and emotional problems of the patients. In order to find the right type of help, there are several things you need to know about rehabilitation centers in order to choose the right one.

Inpatient and Outpatient Centers: What’s the difference?

There are two main types of rehabilitation centers: inpatient and outpatient centers. Inpatient centers, as the name suggest, are rehabilitation centers that focus on treating patients with severe cases of pathological and compulsive gambling. The patients live at the centers, and receive strictly planned and structured treatment to help them overcome their addiction.

Outpatient centers, on the other hand, are designed to treat milder cases of compulsive gambling, and are a good option for gamblers who wish to continue with their daily lives as they get treatment. Outpatient centers are highly successful, especially when combined with joining Gamblers Anonymous, because they offer the same treatment as inpatient centers, follow the same guidelines and look for the same psychological and emotional triggers that lay behind the patient’s problem gambling, even though the patient does not live at the facility.

In order to get the right treatment, problem gamblers need to know what type of rehabilitation center is the right for them. Inpatient treatment is needed and recommended if the problem gambler shows some of the following symptoms: gambling longer than planned, constantly thinking about gambling, while busy at work or with other tasks, borrowing money to finance gambling, neglecting bills and other payments and using the money to gamble, feeling unable to stop gambling despite wanting to stop.

If the problem gambler shows less extreme symptoms, and does not neglect his or her other duties and payments in order to finance gambling, but still feels unable to not think about gambling, or feels unable to stop gambling once they begin, then they need help from an outpatient center combined with joining Gamblers Anonymous.

Privacy and confidentiality

The best inpatient centers around the world keep the records of their patients private and confidential. The best offer single rooms at their facilities, and some luxury rehab centers are even located in remote areas to preserve the patient’s calm and privacy. Additionally, the best centers are very transparent about their success rate, and you get to know the nature of their program, and the structure of the treatment they offer before you start, which enables you to make sure that the center will be right for you.

The centers usually offer programs that last from one to three months. Of course, the length of treatment depends on the severity of the gambling problem, and the more extreme cases need programs that last for three months and even longer.

Rehabilitation programs and treatment

After being admitted into the rehabilitation center, the patient gets full medical evaluation, and is given a schedule. The days are always carefully planned, depending on the type of treatment and the length of the patient’s stay at the facility. The patient is treated by specialized therapist who are trained to look for emotional and psychological triggers in the addict that makes them want to gamble, and look for the root of the compulsion. The best centers offer cognitive behavioral therapy, 12-step programs, and education, all of which helps the problem gambler get back on their feet and take back the control over their lives and emotional states.

It is important to research many centers before making a decision. There are websites, such as VanStart in Canada, a Comprehensive directory for the Greater Vancouver Community, that serve as sources of information on centers and luxury rehab facilities where you can find the right type of help.

Remember, the best centers always offer additional therapy and outpatient treatment programs after the patient leaves the facility, because recovery does not stop at that moment, and battling gambling addiction takes a lot longer than ninety days. Patients should be offered mentors and contacts to reach out for additional help if it is needed. One of the most important things a successful rehabilitation center offers is methods of relaxation, instructions on improving their social skills, and methods of handling anxiety, depression, and stress.

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