Problem gambling is something that can affect anyone. For many of us, someone we know or someone who we love will develop problems with gambling some point in their lives.
The important thing is to remember that help is available to end their addiction.
But how do you know if you or someone you love has a gambling problem? Red flags can often be found in these signs:
- The gambling is causing issues with friends and family
- The gambling is hurting you when it comes to your finances
- It is interfering with school, work or other parts of your life
- Your reputation is damaged
- Your physical health or mental health is taking a toll from gambling
Gambling hurts people more than just financially – it can strongly impact all aspects of their lives, which is why getting help is important.
Luckily, help is available.
The Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario has many resources for those looking for help with a gambling problem, with one of their helpful resources being the Ontario problem gambling hotline at 1-888-230-3505.
The hotline is open 24/7, and is anonymous, confidential and free. It even has services for upwards of 140 different mother tongues.
The main aspect the hotline can help with is linking a caller with a referral to problem gambling counselling. These can include counselling over the phone and through getting help at a treatment centre near you.
There are many of these problem gambling treatment centres in the province, so finding one best suited for you is easy as long as you’re willing to get help.
It’s important to note that they provide counselling one-on-one, in group format and also counselling involving the user’s family. These services are offered confidentially and to anyone who is impacted by problem gamblers – that means both those doing the gambling and those who are living with the results of someone else’s gambling problem.
The goals of such counselling include helping problem gamblers deal with the things that trigger their behaviour, and make them feeling like they have control over their lives after losing their grip to the thrill and debt-risk of gambling.
The institute also offers services letting people test themselves for problem gambling, and also help themselves monitor their gambling and the urges that make them want to gamble.
If your life has been overcome with gambling debts, the associates at Kevin Thatcher can help you get back on your feet, so you can focus on your health instead of your depleted wealth.