CalGETS Free Counseling. This is a special program by UCLA and the State of California for Gambling Addiction which hides under the radar for many people but it is very real.
Problem gamblers—those who gamble beyond the limits of recreational entertainment—share many of the same misguided beliefs and troublesome behaviors. We have listed three of the most common below (From CalGETS website)
1. NEVER A GOOD TIME TO STOP
It is quite easy for recreational gamblers to set limits on time and money and stick to them. Unfortunately, for compulsive gamblers, there never seems to be a good time to stop.
Problem gamblers believe there are only three possible outcomes for each gambling session.
- WIN – I’m hot so let’s see how much we can win tonight.
- LOSE – Just a few good hands and I can get it all back.
- BREAK EVEN – No serious gambler ever plays to break even.
Notice that none of the three outcomes listed mention entertainment, having a good time, or setting self-imposed limits.
2. MOST PROBLEM GAMBLERS WILL PLAY FOR AS LONG AS THEY CAN AND FOR EVERYTHING THEY HAVE.
“Chasing”, in reference to gambling, means continuing to gamble in an effort to win back money already lost. For the newly initiated problem gambler, chasing can lead to serious consequences. No thought is given to the “fun of gambling”. Instead, “chasing” signals a desperate attempt by all problem gamblers, new and old, to win at all cost. People who are able to gamble within their limits are called “normal” gamblers and are rarely guilty of “chasing”.
3. THE BIG WIN
Most members of Gambler’s Anonymous can readily recall an “early big win” in their gambling careers. Normal gamblers recognize that the chance of winning a large jackpot is part of what makes gambling so much fun. Problem gamblers, on the other hand, are misled by unrealistic thinking, certain in their belief that big wins will come to them again, easily and often.
Researchers cannot predict with certainty who will become problem gamblers. Most agree, however, that the “early big win” is a commonality of nearly all abnormal gambling.
In addition to the early big win, several other risk factors have been identified. If you have any of the following risk factors, it does not mean you are a problem gambler or that you will become one. It does mean that you have a greater chance of developing gambling problems than people without these characteristics. How many of the following characteristics apply to you?
- Mood disorders,such as depression or anxiety
- Alcohol or substance abuse disorder
- Impulsive personality
- Highly competitive personality
- Low income
- Parental problem gambling (one or both parents had gambling problems)
- A distorted perception of luck, chance and random events
- The early “big win”
Getting help is not easy with gambling addiction please utilize this link to attend a local support group for Gambling Addiction http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/locations. Warning Signs when Gambling is a problem. Whether you bet on sports, scratch cards, roulette, poker, or slots—in a casino or online—problem gambling can strain relationships, interfere with work, and lead to financial catastrophe. You may even do things you never thought you would, like stealing money to gamble or pay your debts. You may think you can’t stop but, with the right help, you can overcome a gambling problem or addiction and regain control of your life. The first step is recognizing and acknowledging the problem.
Problem Gambling is participation in any form of gambling to the extent that it creates a negative consequence to the gambler, the gambler’s family, place of employment, or community. This includes patterns of gambling and subsequent related behaviors that compromise, disrupt, or damage personal, family, educational, financial, or vocational interests. The problem gambler does not meet the diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling disorder.
Problem gambling can affect everyday life situations. Depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, and mood swings can all be related to problem gambling and almost 1 million adults in California experience similar symptoms.
Problem gamblers and their families seeking assistance have the option of state-funded therapy. Individuals must be 18 years or older to participate in state-funded treatment.
Take a test to see if you qualify for state-funded treatment. Self Assessment. If you answer yes to at least one question, you may be eligible and should contact an authorized provider (details below).
California Gambling Education and Treatment Services Program (CalGETS) will provide state funding for the first 8 treatment sessions. These sessions must occur within 12 months of intake.