Treating Gambling Problems
Gambling involves taking huge risks in anything of value for an uncertain event or occurrence carrying hopes of winning something that has a much greater value that what one risks, in most cases it is called betting. Betting requires lovers of practice to take risks continually, of monetary value or intrinsic value, in order to win a given object, item, or an award of both intrinsic and sentimental value. There are many locations where people can participate in gambling. For instance, Las Vegas is the leading gambling point in the United States. However, across the world, there are a number of general worldwide gambling stations such as church halls, casinos, gas stations, inclusive of both online and offshore stations. Gambling is becoming a very popular sport in the world owing to the sports fantasy leagues, multi-million dollars winners and World Series of Poker tournaments through television broadcasts (Howatt and McCown, 2007).
Gambling occurs in numerous forms and diversions depending on the people who take part in it. Common forms of gambling include scratch off tickets and lotteries whereby participants or bettors risk a few dollars for a chance to win millions in prizes or cash. These lotteries and other gambling games range from traditional games at the casino such as blackjack and roulette, to stock market and bingo. These games require chance and skill, for example, playing dominoes and throwing dice. In addition, people can also bet on other games where they do not participate directly but rely on the outcomes of the game, such as horse races, football games, elections, or for some change, the weather. Gambling involves anything whereby the outcome is uncertain. In a gambling game, odds makers determine payouts and odds while bookies handle the exchange of money. Gambling is very addictive especially if participants cannot control their desires to win (Howatt and McCown, 2007).
Addiction to gambling occurs when one has a tendency of winning, or harbors the hope of winning in every gambling or bet that they participate. For instance, if individual wins in most lotteries and scratch of tickets that they buy, they will do it frequently. They do this so often even if they do not win, harboring the hope that they will one day wins. At this stage, the individual is already an addict of the gambling game or lottery that they always participate. As such, they will prioritize every little cent or money that they take for their gambling practices rather than putting the money in more important activities such as provision of basic necessities in life such as food, shelter, clothing and education. The severe addicts of this practice of gambling are those who win from time to time, even if they do not win big. They continue to play frequently with the hope of hitting a jackpot someday (Howatt and McCown, 2007).
Gambling addiction is a very serious ‘disease’ especially those who do not know how to control their habits. For instance, numerous cases of an individual are on record of those who owe others gambling debts escalating into millions of dollars. In fact, some states such as in the United States, and in the republic of Korea, the governments has clear records of people who died from gambling debts, or gambling related causes. In fact, gambling debts are on record of bringing down wealthy aristocrats who are addicts to their gambling practices. This is because their snobbishness, and desire to expand their wealth much faster, push them to bet a significant portion of their property or wealth as collateral for their gambling bids. As a result, when they lose a gambling bet they also end up losing their money and property, and this mark the onset of their bankruptcy due to gambling (Howatt and McCown, 2007).
Furthermore, the need to reclaim their property, or win their money back from the gambling bets, drives them to take massive debts in order to use as collateral for their successive gambling bets. As such, more loses drain them off their property and wealth, sinking them deeper and deeper into bankruptcy. These persons sometimes even end up in jail paying up for their gambling debts, an occurrence that would not take place if they manage to control their gambling addictions. Therefore, it is always advisable for a frequent gambler to control their gambling practices in order to keep abreast all the repercussions that arise from such addictions, such as loss of property and wealth. Other things that an individual can lose due to gambling include the loss of friendships and acquaintances, and even the loss of their freedom when they have to end up in jail paying for their gambling debts (Howatt and McCown, 2007).
An individual addicted to gambling can undertake a number of strategies in order to control their gambling addictions. For starters, one can gamble only if he has something to bet with as collateral for the gambling bet. In this case, of company employees, most of the employees gamble because they have money to gamble with, at least what they earn from their salaries. As such, most company employees who are addicts to this gambling practice bet a large chunk of their income on uncertain gambling bets, most of which they do not even win. This makes them so poor and they do not develop financially due to the losses they encounter from gambling. As such, it is common to find a senior employee in the management position living the life of a general casual worker because he bet most of his salary on gambling, and most probably did not win (Howatt and McCown, 2007).
In order to stop gambling, one must have a sound financial respect for both his money and the money from others. This financial discipline will enable him or her to put priorities on the most significant aspects for the development and advancement of their lives, such as the necessities rather than gambling, which usually ranks as first priority for most gamblers who are addicts. Once an individual has financial discipline he or she will be able to control their betting practices, and hence control their gambling practices. This financial discipline comes from keeping money in the bank instead of walking around with cash, betting using solid property instead of credit cards, and having an entrepreneurial mind. This means all the extra cash that an individual has, and is tempted to use for gambling, he or she puts it into a lucrative venture that eventually earns him more incomes instead of driving them into poverty (Howatt and McCown, 2007).
Sixty-Day Plan of Treating Gambling Problems
Education (10 days)What educational model will you use? Disease modelHow will various age groups be served? Serve each age group separately.How will you coordinate educational programs with other agencies? Form partnerships with other related bodies in order to ensure proper achievement of the goals and objectives.These are only some of the questions that will need to be answered:
How long have you been gambling
When did you start gambling
How frequent do you gamble
How much do you spent on gambling on a weekly basis
Are you are compulsive gambler
Assessment (Individual and Family) (15 days).What assessment model will be used? Alternative assessment model.How and when will you use the skills of other behavioral health professionals? Three days into the program after observing necessary changes in the behavior of these patients What mechanisms will be employed with persons reporting to be suicidal? Use the six step model of resolving suicidal tendencies.These are only some of the questions that will need to be answered:
Why do you feel like taking your own life
How often do you have these feelings
How do you control these feelings
Do you have any measures of overcoming gambling problems
Treatment (individual, group, and family) (15 days).Explain the primary counseling theory(ies) that best meet the needs of the population to be served? Behavioral change cognitive theoryWhat will be your primary and secondary treatment modalities (ASAM)? Moderation and abstinenceWhat criteria will need to be met for successful discharge? Total abstinence from gambling by a compulsive gambler.These are only some of the questions that will need to be answered:
What losses have you incurred due to gambling
What psychological problems have you experienced from gambling
Do you have control in your gambling practices
Referral (20 days)What will compose your referral network? Refer these gamblers to the psychological unit or sections of the nearest health care institutions for them to get proper counseling on being in control of their gambling problems. How will your program interact with Gamblers Anonymous? Incorporate involvement of family members every time we deal with a serious case of gambling.Explain how you will adhere to laws and regulations governing protection of the confidentiality of those persons being served? Deal with workers separately at a personal level in a closed room, under one on one interaction.
Howatt, William and McCown William. (2007). Treating Gambling Problems. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.