Journey to Recovery: The Best Treatment for Gambling Addiction

Finding the best treatment for gambling addiction is a vital step toward recovery. Discover the best treatment options to regain control of your life.

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Best Treatment for Gambling Addiction: Understanding the Problem

Gambling addiction is more than just a love for games of chance. It’s a serious issue that can damage lives. This condition can lead to emotional distress, broken relationships, and serious mental health issues.

The destructive cycle of gambling can make a person feel trapped and helpless. That’s why finding the best treatment for gambling addiction is important.

What Makes a Program the Best Treatment for Gambling Addiction?

Understanding the real impact of gambling addiction is the first step toward recovery. It’s about acknowledging the problem and seeking help. And the good news is many effective treatments are available to help people overcome this addiction.

Features to Look for in Gambling Addiction Recovery Treatment

Finding the right treatment for you can be tough, but it’s much easier when you know what to look for. The best treatment for gambling addiction should have these features:

  • Understanding Why Gambling Started: The best treatment for gambling addiction should determine why the person began gambling. It’s not just about stopping the habit but also figuring out why it started. This way, the treatment can tackle the real problem behind gambling.
  • Learning How to Stay Away from Gambling: Good treatment should teach the person how to avoid gambling in the future. This helps to stop them from falling back into old patterns. With the right help, people can learn to handle situations that might make them want to gamble.
  • Helping to Build a Better Life: The best treatment should focus on helping the person improve their life and mental health. This includes fixing relationships and learning how to deal with stress more healthily. This holistic approach is important for long-term recovery and a better life.

The Best Treatment for Gambling Addiction: Exploring the Options

Various methods can be used to treat gambling addiction. Let’s dive into why these approaches are often the most successful.

Best Treatment for Gambling Addiction: Medication

Medications are sometimes used to help reduce gambling behaviors but are not usually the first treatment option. Instead, they can help treat other mental health conditions.

Some medications, usually used for other mental health issues or addictions, can also help control gambling behaviors.

Here’s a quick rundown of what we know so far:1

Opioid Receptor Antagonists

Naltrexone and nalmefene work by blocking the brain’s pleasure receptors. This can help decrease the urge to gamble and the time and money spent on gambling by making it less enjoyable.


Citalopram and escitalopram can help control gambling behaviors by lowering levels of anxiety and depression that can come with addiction.

Mood Stabilizers

Lithium and divalproex were found to be equally effective at reducing the severity of gambling addiction. However, more research in this area is needed to determine how much benefit they provide.

Antiepileptic and Antipsychotic Medications

Topiramate and olanzapine have been shown to provide no more benefit than a placebo.


In clinical trials, modafinil worked differently for different people. For people who were very impulsive, it lowered their desire to gamble and helped them take fewer risks. But for people who weren’t very impulsive, it had the opposite effect.

Open-Label Trial Findings

Memantine, acamprosate, and N-acetyl cysteine might help reduce the urge to gamble and the related behaviors according to some early trials.

Potential Benefits of Medications for Gambling Addiction

Medications can help treat gambling addiction, and they can assist in making informed choices about treatment.

These are some of their potential benefits:

  • They Can Address Mental Health Conditions: Medications used for gambling addiction can also treat mental health conditions. By addressing these co-occurring conditions, medications contribute to overall well-being and reduce gambling behavior.
  • They Can Balance Brain Chemicals: Imbalances in brain chemicals can contribute to addictive behaviors, including gambling. Medications can help regulate these chemicals, reducing cravings and impulsive behavior associated with gambling addiction.
  • They Support Mental Well-being: Gambling addiction can cause anxiety and stress. Medications can improve mental well-being by alleviating symptoms, enhancing mood stability, and promoting a sense of calm.

Best Treatment for Gambling Addiction: Limitations of Medications for Gambling Addiction

When it comes to treating gambling addiction, medications can sometimes be helpful. However, they’re not a cure-all, and there are several limitations to keep in mind.

These limitations include:

  • No Specific Medications Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA): There aren’t any medications specifically approved by the FDA for gambling addiction. This shows more research is needed to develop these medications. For now, doctors use medications developed for other conditions to help treat gambling addiction.
  • Different Results and Side Effects for Each Person: The effectiveness of these medications can vary from person to person. Thus, working with doctors is important to find the right medication and dosage for each person.
  • Medications as Part of a Larger Plan: Medications are just one part of the treatment plan for gambling problems. They can help control symptoms, but they’re not usually the only solution to tackle gambling.
  • Effectiveness of Medication Compared to Other Treatments for Gambling Addiction: Medicines and other treatments can make a difference for people with gambling problems, but how well they work vary from person to person. While some people find medications help control gambling behaviors, others may find more benefit from different types of treatments.

The best treatment for gambling addiction depends on what works best for each person. Thus, it’s important to talk with a healthcare professional to find the best approach.

Best Treatment for Gambling Addiction: Self-Help Programs

Self-help programs give people the tools and education to manage their addiction. A study of over 10,000 people found that 90.2% tried to change their gambling habits on their own. Considering personal self-management of gambling can be a helpful alternative treatment.

Here’s how self-help programs help overcome gambling addiction:2
  • Practical Tools and Techniques: Self-help programs provide strategies and resources to manage gambling addiction, helping individuals develop coping skills and make healthier choices.
  • Education and Information: Self-help programs provide individuals with in-depth knowledge about gambling addiction. This includes its triggers, risks, and consequences.
  • Strategies to Overcome Cravings and Urges: Beating gambling cravings and urges can be challenging but not impossible with tools such as distraction, relaxation, and cognitive reframing.
  • Self-Monitoring Techniques: Many self-help programs use practices like keeping a gambling diary or tracking expenses. This helps develop self-awareness and identifies patterns and progress in recovery.

Best Treatment for Gambling Addiction: Support Groups

Support groups for gambling addiction bring together individuals who have dealt with or are currently dealing with gambling-related difficulties.

These groups create a safe and supportive environment where members can communicate openly, share their stories, and provide understanding and encouragement.

How Do Support Groups Help Overcome Gambling Addiction?

Support groups offer a supportive and understanding space where people can share their experiences and find strength in each other’s stories.

Here’s how they help overcome gambling addiction:3

  • They provide a safe space where people can share their experiences and feelings without fearing judgment.
  • They give social support and a sense of belonging, which can help improve mental well-being, manage stress, and avoid gambling behaviors.
  • They let people share common experiences and understand they’re not alone in their struggles.
  • They teach ways to manage gambling behaviors effectively.
  • They keep people accountable and motivated to stay committed to making positive changes.
  • They promote feelings of connectedness and belonging with others.

Best Treatment for Gambling Addiction: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is a well-known treatment for gambling addiction. This therapy helps people understand how they think and how to change what they do.

According to a study, it helped to:4
  • Reduce depression
  • Lower anxiety
  • Cut down on money spent on gambling
  • Decrease alcohol consumption
  • Improve gambling diagnosis scores
The American Psychological Association explains that CBT is based on the idea that negative actions can lead to harmful patterns. CBT aims to identify and change these thoughts to lead to better actions.5

Why is CBT One of the Best Treatments for Gambling Addiction?

CBT helps by focusing on the thoughts and actions that lead to addictive behavior. This treatment helps people struggling with gambling addiction by:

  • Redirecting Misguided Thinking: In CBT for gambling addiction, it’s key to correct misguided ideas about gambling. This means challenging beliefs like depending on luck or always expecting to win.
  • Learning to Solve Problems: CBT helps people learn to solve problems by means other than gambling. They learn ways to identify and deal with deeper issues that lead to their gambling behavior.
  • Building Better Social Skills: Training on social skills helps individuals improve their relationships, communicate more effectively, and create a support network. By improving their social skills, individuals can form healthier relationships and get support from others.
  • Preventing Relapse: In CBT, individuals learn to identify triggers that might make them want to gamble again and find ways to avoid these behaviors. They create a plan to avoid gambling and learn ways to manage cravings.
  • Encouraging Positive Lifestyle Changes: CBT promotes positive lifestyle changes that support recovery from gambling addiction. It helps people develop healthier habits that can lead to a happier life free from gambling.
  • Empowering Individuals in Their Recovery: CBT makes people feel like they can take control of their recovery. It encourages taking personal responsibility, setting goals, and keeping track of their behavior so they can make positive changes.

The American Psychological Association explains that CBT is based on the idea that negative actions can lead to harmful patterns. CBT aims to identify and change these thoughts to lead to better actions.5

Best Treatment for Gambling Addiction: How to Determine If It Is Working

To determine if treatment is effective, we can look out for certain clues. These clues help to know if that treatment is working. Here are some important signs to keep an eye on:

Best Treatment for Gambling Addiction: Medication

Medication is one treatment option used for gambling addiction. It is typically used in conjunction with other treatments.

If medication is helping, it should lead to:

  • Less gambling and craving
  • Better control over impulses
  • Improved quality of life
  • Fewer financial problems from gambling
  • Improved mental well-being

Best Treatment for Gambling Addiction: Self-Help Programs

If a self-help program is effective, it should lead to:

  • Gambling less often and less intensely
  • Understanding gambling addiction better
  • Feeling more motivated to change
  • Using strategies and techniques learned from the program
  • A greater sense of confidence
  • Coping with challenges more effectively
  • Feeling empowered

Best Treatment for Gambling Addiction: Support Groups

Support groups can be helpful by building community and providing a space to share experiences. If a support group, you may find yourself:

  • Attending and participating more in the group
  • Building stronger social connections and support networks
  • Feeling less lonely and more connected
  • Belonging to the group
  • Having fewer urges to gamble
  • Understanding oneself better
  • Sharing experiences and insights with others

Best Treatment for Gambling Addiction: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Effective cognitive behavioral therapy can lead to:

  • Gambling less
  • Coping with challenges better
  • Changing negative thoughts and beliefs about gambling
  • Solving problems more effectively
  • Preventing relapse
  • Feeling better emotionally
  • Believing in oneself more
  • Improving overall life functioning

Best Treatment for Gambling Addiction: Support Groups and Programs

Support groups and self-help programs are important for individuals facing gambling addiction. They offer a welcoming environment and practical strategies for overcoming addiction. Some programs that can help with gambling addiction include:

Self-Exclusion Programs

Self-exclusion programs allow people with gambling addiction to ban themselves from certain casinos. Violating the ban can lead to arrest and loss of winnings. The ban duration varies from one year to a lifetime.6

Gamblers Anonymous

Gamblers Anonymous is a group of people who help each other with gambling addiction. They share their stories, support each other, and work towards stopping gambling. Anyone who wants to quit gambling can join for free.7


Gam-Anon is a support group for individuals affected by someone else’s gambling problem. They provide understanding and assistance for improving thoughts and lifestyle. It’s free to join, optional, and open to everyone.8

SMART Recovery Meetings

SMART Recovery meetings are a free and useful tool for people dealing with gambling addiction. These meetings provide a safe and friendly space where you can learn helpful tools and get useful advice to manage your addiction.9

Alumni Programs

Alumni programs provide ongoing support, motivation, and education to help individuals prevent relapse.

They organize activities that show you can have fun without gambling or substances, including:

  • National and local meetings
  • Hotlines
  • Online social network groups
  • Addiction education workshops
  • Sober activities
Best Treatment for Gambling Addiction

Best Treatment for Gambling Addiction: Treatment at J. Flowers Health Institute

At J. Flowers Health Institute, we aim to provide the best treatment for gambling addiction by focusing on emotional and behavioral stabilization. Our programs are designed to help individuals overcome gambling addiction and improve their overall well-being.

Mental Health Stabilization

Mental health stabilization focuses on helping you overcome negative symptoms associated with gambling addiction. Through our program, you will have the opportunity to learn effective and healthy coping strategies.

At J. Flowers Health Institute, our goal is to help you feel better and learn healthy ways to cope with your emotions. Our team of experts includes:

  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Trauma therapists
  • Spiritual therapists

Behavioral Stabilization

Our team at J. Flowers Health Institute offers a specialized Bespoke Stabilization Program for gambling addiction. We provide a private and customized experience with a dedicated team of addiction specialists.

Our program ensures 24/7 care in a comfortable environment, closely monitoring your needs. We help you overcome gambling addiction and gain control over gambling behaviors.

Begin Your Journey to the Best Treatment for Gambling Addiction

At J. Flowers Health Institute, we understand the challenges of gambling addiction and are dedicated to providing you with the best treatment for overcoming it. Our comprehensive programs offer the support and care you need to regain control over your life.

If you or someone you know is struggling with gambling addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re ready to help you take the first step toward recovery from gambling addiction and regain control over your well-being.