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Compulsive gambling is a disease, and it's often a hidden one. But it doesn't affect only the victim. When you consider the fact that most victims have family, friends and co-workers, the number of real victims of compulsive gambling can skyrocket.
It is a chronic and progressive disease, much like alcoholism or drug addiction. But in Pennsylvania, as in many other states, there is help for the compulsive gambler. In Pennsylvania, that help is called the Pennsylvania Compulsive Gambling Hotline.
Who Can I Talk to about Compulsive Gambling?
The first step in getting help with a compulsive gambling problem is recognizing that you or someone you care about has a problem with gambling. The next step is to call the Pennsylvania Compulsive Gambling Hotline, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The hotline is an information and referral service for people with gambling problems, or who are concerned about someone who is gambling.
When you call the Pennsylvania Compulsive Gambling Hotline, you will be referred to professionals who can provide assistance to persons with gambling problems.
About Compulsive Gambling
How do you know if you or someone you care about has a problem? Here are some warning signs to look for:
Denying there is a problem
Lying about where the money is going
Borrowing money to gamble or pay off debts
Taking time off work to gamble
Losing touch with friends
Looking for the "high" that comes from gambling
Compulsive Gambling is a recognized disease, just like alcoholism or drug addiction. It's difficult to detect and difficult to treat because you cannot remove the drug of choice, money, from the gambler's life. However, treatment is possible and necessary when there is a problem. There is hope.
Listen to your instincts. If you think there is a problem, chances are there is one. Call the Pennsylvania Compulsive Gambling Hotline. They can help you decide. You don't have to be a trained counselor to tell. Act on your gut feelings. All you risk is finding out.
The Recovery Process
The first step comes from recognizing there's a problem and asking for help. Help is there for those who need it. The Pennsylvania Compulsive Gambling Hotline can help you get in touch with support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous and Gam-Anon. These support groups can help in the recovery process.
Recognition and a sincere desire to stop gambling are all a person needs to start the recovery process.