Help for problem gambling

Being a compulsive gambler can harm your health and relationships, and leave you in serious debt.

If you have a problem with gambling and you'd like to stop, support and treatment is available.

 

​Help for problem gamblers

There's evidence that gambling can be successfully treated in the same way as other addictions. Cognitive behavioural therapy usually has the best results.

Treatment and support groups are available for people who want to stop gambling:

GamCare

GamCare offers free information, support and counselling for problem gamblers in the UK.

It runs the National Gambling Helpline (0808 8020 133) and also offers face-to-face counselling.

National Problem Gambling Clinic

If you live in England or Wales, are aged 16 or over and have complex problems related to gambling, you can refer yourself to this specialist NHS clinic for problem gamblers.

See if you meet the criteria for this service.

Gordon Moody Association

The Gordon Moody Association offers residential courses for men and women who have problems with gambling - email help@gordonmoody.org.uk  or call 01384 241292 to find out more.

It also runs the Gambling Therapy website, which offers online support to problem gamblers and their friends and family.

Gamblers Anonymous UK

Gamblers Anonymous UK runs local support groups that use the same 12-step approach to recovery from addiction as Alcoholics Anonymous. There are also GamAnon support groups for friends and family.

Self-help tips for problem gamblers

Do:

  • pay important bills, such as your mortgage, on payday before you gamble
  • spend more time with family and friends who don't gamble
  • deal with your debts rather than ignoring them - visit the National Debtline for tips

Don't:

  • view gambling as a way to make money - try to see it as entertainment instead
  • bottle up your worries about your gambling - talk to someone
  • take credit cards with you when you go gambling

For more self-help tips, see the Royal College of Psychiatrists website.

If you're affected by someone's gambling

If you're having problems because of another person's gambling, it's best to be honest with them about it. They need to know how their behaviour is affecting you.

Support is also available to people who are worried about someone else's gambling:

GamCare

Gamcare offers support and information for partners, friends and family of people who gamble compulsively.

GamAnon

Local support groups for anyone affected by someone else's gambling problem - find your nearest group.

Real stories of recovery from gambling

Tell your own story and post messages of support in the GamCare recovery diaries forum.

See original article on NHS Choices