In recent news, medical professionals and mental health counselors have noted an increase in patients being treated for gambling addictions. One area in Ohio, for example, indicated a marked rise of over 10% of patients undergoing therapy for these types of disorders. While it may seem on the surface that the issue is tied directly to the ready availability of casinos, the truth may actually be twofold. It may simply be the fact that therapy has become more publicized and acceptable for those affected as well.
An obvious peril of gambling is that those who play become hooked on the “high” of winning and do not know when to stop. One prominent example was within the story of a man who gambled so much in one month that he stole several thousand dollars from his employer to feed his gaming habits, which of course made him doubly susceptible to his losses and to criminal charges alike. The extremity of these circumstances make it clear that gambling can be a serious problem when it goes above and beyond just being a fun hobby or pastime.
To that end, therapists have stepped up their game in providing patient intervention and education. Tools such as hotlines have allowed former players to seek out help anonymously, which is essential for some individuals to feel safe in coming forward without judgment from friends or family members. This type of interaction, as well as platforms such as online chat areas, have allowed for forums where players can turn their addictions around before they reach problematic status. Some studies have also indicated that outreach to those who live closer to local casinos may be a prudent option. Those parties may sometimes succumb to temptation more readily as a result of their proximity to such facilities.
Due to the rising numbers of people seeking out help, counselors and other professionals do expect to see this trend to continue to increase for the immediate future. While this boost may not be a direct result of new casinos being built or implemented, creating alternative options for folks to address issues before they create devastating results in their own lives would be a wise choice to keep gambling fun,safe,and legal for all.