The Rutland Centre, an addiction treatment center based out of Ireland has released figures outlining an alarmingly steady increase in the incidence of gambling addiction. In 2013 only a mere 3% of addiction admissions were for a gambling problem, fast forward to 2016 and the percentage has climbed significantly at around 9.5% as it stands currently. That is a whopping 6.5% boost from the period between 2013-2016, suggesting some troubling trends brewing in Ireland and elsewhere for that matter. Community advocates blame the problem on stalled legislation aimed at regulating the gambling industry. The Gambling Control Bill was introduced in 2013 but never ratified formally by the legislative bodies in Ireland. Since that time there has been an influx in the number of individuals addicted to gambling. With the advent of new technology and online platforms directed at making it more accessible it is apparently succeeding at the detriment of the community.
One glaring example of this emerging trend has been the astonishing amount of advertising dedicated to promoting the lifestyle of gambling to consumers. Depictions of the glitz and glamor abound but rarely do we see the true extent of the damage an addiction to gambling has on society. The advertising industry is only concerned with promulgating the positives associated with gambling, which unfortunately don’t exist. The reality behind gambling is far more depraved and equally as devastating. There are many cases of people literally losing everything and then in their lowly state even going as far as taking their own life to suicide leaving behind distraught friends and family in their aftermath. One individual in particular reported that he was gambling away his mental health alongside his material resources wagering upwards of 80-100 bets a day and losing substantially large sums of money in the process. Like any addiction his gambling came on innocent enough before it spiraled out of control and he soon found himself betting the outcomes of random beach volleyball matches. That is when you know you have a problem.
Gambling is a Disease
There is nothing to glorify or idealize when it comes to the gambling lifestyle. What makes gambling even more dangerous is its ability to ensnare users into a combination of addictive substances and activities to complement the gambling vice. Individuals who become hooked to gambling often have one, or, more multiple addictions to drugs and alcohol in addition to the gambling. Drugs like cocaine and alcohol are the ones most associated with a gambling addiction. Eventually these lose their effectiveness and the addict is forced to experiment with even more hardcore substances like heroin, opiates and opioid painkillers to treat their disease. It is a black never ending abyss of despair, shame and guilt when going down this proverbial rabbit’s hole. If the gambling itself doesn’t destroy you it will be the subsequent addiction to drugs and alcohol that end up claiming your life and forever altering the lives of your friends and family in the process. Gambling is a serious issue that needs to be confronted head on when taking the first initial steps toward the road to recovery. Until the propensity to gamble, along with other vices such like drugs and alcohol are wiped out completely the user falls risk to relapsing again when triggered.
Help is Around the Corner
If you need help with a gambling or drug addiction please give one of our professionals a call immediately. It’s never too late to walk the path to treatment and ultimately recovery. Don’t fight addiction alone! A solid support system is critical to your success when choosing to break the addictive patterns and reclaim your life. We stop at nothing to make sure you get the help and treatment you deserve.
Dr. Vikram Tarugu, M.D, is the CEO of Detox of South Florida, Inc and medical professional focused on addiction. A veteran in the medical field with over 25 years of professional experience. He is a consultant for many South Florida Rehab centers. Patients travel from allover the US to seek his help with addiction and Hepatitis C treatment.
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