Who is affected by problem gambling and is there help?
Problem gambling affects the gambler, the family, the employer, and the community.
The gambler spends less time with their family and depletes their family's finances. They may max out credit cards, bounce checks, ask their friends for money, obtain high interest loans, and steal money to gamble. Their work suffers as they misuse time and have difficulty concentrating.
They may always be on the phone to secure the next fix of money or to check on the outcome of their bets.
Many problem gamblers do not want to tell others about their problem.
The publication, Personal Financial Strategies for the Loved Ones of Problem Gamblers, can help to identify potential risks for financial loss.
Problem gamblers often rationalize their behavior. Blaming others is one way to avoid taking responsibility for their actions, including what is needed to overcome the problem.
It is important to remember that even though the behaviors of a problem gambler are devastating, there is help available and with ongoing treatment, there is always hope for a sustained remission.