Tips for Recovering From Gambling Addiction
If you are wondering how to beat gambling addiction, you may need to get professional help. On the other hand, if you have already received treatment and are now abstaining from gambling, you now need advice for avoiding a relapse. The drive to gamble for an addict is powerful, but you can resist it. Hopefully your therapist or counselor has given you the tools you need to live your life without gambling, but it never hurts to get some extra help. Here are some important gambling recovery tips to help you live your life to the fullest without giving into the temptation to gamble:
- Avoid triggers. This is possibly the best advice for any type of addict. Triggers are psychologically powerful and can cause you to relapse, even if you have been abstaining for years. First you need to know what your triggers are. To find out, keep a diary of when you feel the strongest urge to relapse and gamble again. When you get that urge, record where you are, what you’re doing, how you feel and who is with you. You will start to notice patterns. For instance, maybe you feel the greatest urge whenever you are stressed. This means you need to avoid stress and learn how to cope with it in healthy ways.
- Ditch old friends. If you were a social gambler, you need to stay away from friends who are still gambling. Some of them will be supportive, but others are going to try to get you back in the game. Avoid these people and stick with friends and family members who do not gamble.
- Avoid casinos. It should be obvious, but overcoming gambling addiction means you should not be in casinos. Even if you were mostly an online gambler, these places are designed to make you want to gamble. Stay away. If you were an online gambler, put an Internet block on gambling sites so you can be online safely.
- Replace gambling. Gambling was probably a big part of your life, and without it you might feel an empty spot. Fill it with healthy activities. This could mean going back to school, getting a new and more fulfilling job or just finding new hobbies like exercising or crafting.
- Rely on friends and family. Everyone needs support, but you may especially need it when you feel like you might relapse. When you are feeling the urge, contact a friend or family member. Ask to hang out or just talk on the phone until the feeling passes. Also consider going to a support group to spend time with people who understand what you are going through.
As a gambler in recovery, you have beat gambling addiction, but it doesn’t mean it won’t come back. Addiction is a chronic disease, and if you want to avoid having a relapse, you have to put in the work. Use these tips to help you, and if necessary go back to therapy for another round of professional help.