From lottery tickets to bingo to loot boxes in video games, opportunities for gambling are plentiful. And, in northeast Ohio (where Travco Behavioral Health is located), residents are within driving distance of four different casinos in Austintown, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and West Virginia.
Most people who participate in gambling are able to do so responsibly, but when gambling addiction does occur, it can be accompanied by other types of addiction and/or mental health issues, relationship difficulties, financial burdens and legal problems.
Some signs that you or a loved one might have a gambling disorder include:
- A need to gamble with more and more money to experience the same feeling
- Becoming irritable, frustrated or restless from trying to cut back on gambling
- Unsuccessful repeated attempts to cut back, control or stop gambling
- Frequently thinking about gambling
- Gambling to achieve a better mood or as a form of escape
- Often returning to get even after losing money gambling (referred to as “chasing” one’s losses)
- Lying to conceal gambling activity
- Jeopardizing relationships, jobs or educational/career opportunities due to gambling
- Relying on others to help with money problems caused by gambling
According to the DSM-5,4-5 of the above symptoms would indicate mild gambling disorder, 6-7 would be moderate and 8-9 would be severe.
The good news is that effective treatment for gambling addiction does exist. At Travco Behavioral Health, we offer individual outpatient counseling treatment in which clients can either choose to pursue abstinence (stopping gambling completely) or to work within the harm reduction treatment model (learning to reduce time and money spent on gambling). We also encourage participation of family members and/or significant others in sessions focused on finances and budgeting as well as psychoeducation about problem gambling. (In the future, outpatient group counseling will also be available).
Numerous additional resources also exist to help address problem gambling, including:
- Gamblers Anonymous
- GamTalk.org and GamCare.org.uk
- Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline (24/7): 1-800-589-9966
If you’re in need of treatment for problem gambling, contact Travco Behavioral Health today!
Author: Manoli Kalouris, LPC, CDCA, RA, is a counselor at Travco Behavioral Health. He first obtained his bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Youngstown State University in2015. After graduating, Manoli provided wrap-around services in schools, homes and the community for children and adolescents diagnosed with disorders such as Autism, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD. He later earned a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Youngstown State University. Manoli has experience providing Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), inpatient residential treatment for substance abuse and outpatient addiction/mental health counseling. Additionally, he has completed specialized training intreating gambling addiction and is bilingual—providing services in English as well as Greek, when needed.