Gambling addiction can be harmful. Are you a gambling addict?

Gambling addiction isn’t widely recognised by institutions as harmful like alcohol and drugs are. You see, gambling addiction isn’t harmful to your health like say downing a bottle of vodka per day or spending all your money on cocaine is. Both of these substances can kill you in the end. It’s widely recognised that substance abuse can kill. But gambling addiction can have second hand harmful effects on you, and it’s lesser talked about but still highly relevant. I knew one lady that stole money to gamble, got caught, and lost her family in the end. Now as she sits alone, she faces prosecution also. Harmful? Yes.

Addiction; any addiction, is borne from the dopamine receptors in your head getting a good fill of feel good from a rush. An alcoholic may get a rush from feeling the thrill of being invincible for a night, as would a cocaine addict. A gambler would get a rush from winning a jackpot and feeling the euphoria of having all that money. Make no mistake, jackpots and high winners are designed exactly to stroke those parts of your brain. The rush of the win.

They want you to come back.

But it states that an addiction is only harmful when it stops you from living a healthy and productive life. So being addicted to writing stories is an addiction, but it’s really not limiting you from having a healthy life. In my eyes you can get addicted to mostly anything. Coffee for example. I must have a coffee in the morning, and I know full well that I’m addicted to it, but I can sip it alongside being productive and living happily so there’s no issue there.

When gambling really takes hold is when you’re trying to keep hold of the rush of winning. Playing endlessly, and with money you need; stealing money even, to get that little bit of euphoria again of the big wins. Gambling addicts can find themselves in a lot of debt really fast, and sometimes to people that they don’t want to be in debt to – I’ve heard some stories.

One man got in so much debt from gambling (and hid it from his entire family) that one day the bailiffs came into his house and took absolutely everything and left his wife and daughter sitting on the floor. Of course, he wasn’t able to explain this to them and he ended up losing them. And it all started with playing with money he couldn’t afford to lose.

One day he was playing with some bill money that he couldn’t afford to pay. He lost that and then borrowed money to see if he could win that back. Before you know it he was remortgaging his house to see if he could recuperate his losses – and he lost it all. This is why you should never play with what you can’t afford to lose else you will lose it all.

Learn to gamble safely. If you like gambling, then set aside a little each week to play with and stop at that if you lose it. Stop gambling when you win. Get a hobby that doesn’t involve spending money. Write about gambling? There’s an idea! Just be safe.