Is Someone You Know Addicted to Internet Gambling?

Is someone you know addicted to internet gambling?From that first time when we were able to log onto the Internet, it has proven to be an extremely valuable tool for communication, research and entertainment. The Internet is how we stay in touch, find new friends and get our work done. Shopping online is a great convenience. Unfortunately for all its benefits, the Internet also has its dark side as well. There are way too many websites that can play on addictive personalities, such as the hundreds of online gambling sites.

Like other addictions, an internet gambling addiction can intensify simply because of the ease of access. An addictive personality can be hit full force with those triggers that can unleash a compulsion. When that happens, the Internet goes from being a friendly source of information to a tool of distraction and devastation. If someone you know is addicted to internet gambling, there are some proactive steps you can take to help them break the habit and find the gambling treatment they need to reclaim their life.

Help for an Internet Gambling Addict

  • Begin a dialogue. There is a major difference between having a conversation and having an argument. In the case of a loved one you suspect is having a problem with internet gambling, a conversation is the way to go. Start from a place of caring and concern to ask them what’s going on and why you suspect there might be a problem. You might not get the answers you want to hear in this first conversation, but you’ve put them on notice. It’s a positive first step.
  • Define Your Boundaries. If you are living with the person who might be having an internet gambling addiction problem, then you need to be clear about how much you’ll tolerate. If they insist that their online gambling isn’t a problem, ask them to prove it. Get them to stick to a scheduled time allotment and have them share the experiences with you. This would also mean a full accounting of any money being spent. When the situation goes beyond your level of tolerance, it’s time to take the issue to the next step.
  • Protect Your Finances. Until a gambling addict gets treatment, they are going to do whatever they need to feed that habit. If you are sharing financial accounts with someone who is having a problem then cut them off. You can block or cancel credit cards, close bank accounts and transfer funds to new accounts. This comes down to a level of trust. If the addict has broken that trust, you need to protect your family from potential financial ruin.
  • Provide Treatment Resources. As the situation intensifies, the person you care about will reach a point where they will ask, “What can I do?” You should be ready for that by having a list of numbers for them to call. The toll-free number on this page is a perfect example of the kind of resources you should be providing to this person. You’ll be able to discuss many options for treatment and plot a new course for recovery.
  • Intervention. If all of the above steps don’t reach the gambling addict in your life, it might be time for an intervention. This is when friends and family get together to confront the addict with their concerns. Although you might have seen interventions played out on television, it is best to get professional help with this process.