While the pursuit of online casino games is a pleasure for many and a chore for some, it can be a crippling addiction for others who have lost the ability to control their time spent within the virtual floors. Many governments in Europe that allow online gaming also require those platforms to provide community outreach programs or, at the very least, information leading to reputable gambling addiction help services. This isn’t the case in North America, but is becoming increasingly common partly due to the amount of players who are recognized as problem gamblers. Let’s take a look at some tips for how to deal with gambling issues when people don’t know where to turn.
The first port of call for many and sometimes the only source of help available for some is found through addiction helplines. These are manned by similar crisis intervention specialists who are trained to deal with the most vulnerable, such as those found manning suicide telephone lines, and will provide immediate addiction counselling to those who are in their most desperate state. These helplines are widely available in most areas where gambling is an established norm and can often be accessed at any time of day, but are especially populated at night when problem gamblers are likely to reach out.
Community Outreach Programs
It’s also not unusual for there to be community outreaches where gambling is a norm. These are often held within community centres, churches, or other recognized public areas where counselling can be offered. These often provide a vital link between problem gamblers and their ability to move away from the source of their issues: namely, online gambling platforms and their computers. By getting out of the house or their chosen place of play and getting to an outreach building, players afford themselves a much better chance of full recovery as they’re openly identifying themselves as vulnerable and will be in the presence of others in their situation. This creates a sort of accountability web whereby players can keep tabs on one another and offer mutual support.
This doesn’t suit every type of problem gambler though. Some may not want the physical identification amongst their peers in the outside world. Where possible, some problem gamblers may choose to travel elsewhere to another established outreach program that’s away from their place of residence. This will give them a sort of anonymity amongst others in a similar situation. However, when this isn’t possible, problem gamblers can still access hotlines and find excellent levels of support to meet their needs.
Internet Support Lines
There’s a sense of comfort in what’s familiar and this isn’t most obvious than the volume of Internet support lines that are available on the web today. Some of the leading names in this include GamCare, which is officially recognized by public bodies in the United Kingdom as a leading provider of gambling addiction support over the Internet, and Smart Recovery. The majority of Internet support lines are available free of charge and don’t require any telephone calls if players find this uncomfortable. These tend to be regarded as the least helpful of the available support lines since they don’t remove the player from the situation, but should nevertheless be considered when other options aren’t proving themselves useful or aren’t accessible by players in their current situation.
Problem gamblers can also find support through formal therapy sessions through a recognized therapist, counsellor, or psychiatrist when there are other underlying issues requiring additional support and/or medical intervention. These are usually used when players have a considerable amount of funds available to them, since formal therapy often comes as a private medical cost. However, the one-to-one support offered from a recognized and trained face is often enough to treat problem gambling and address any other issues where necessary. Of course, it’s a luxury that should only be considered by those with quite a bit of cash available to them, which doesn’t tend to include many problem gamblers on the Internet today. When this is the case, free to use options like helplines and outreach programs should be found.