Choosing a Top Gambling Addiction Recovery Center

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American Addiction Centers does not treat gambling addiction at any of our facilities. The information below will provide a brief overview of gambling addiction, but if you need help with this addiction, please go to, an official page of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Like chemical dependencies, gambling addictions can derail your entire life, wreaking havoc on relationships, careers, finances and even health. Professional treatment offers the tools and support necessary to overcome an addiction and live a gambling-free life.

Gambling addiction has its own diagnostic criteria in the DSM-V, the manual used to diagnosis mental health disorders. According to the DSM-V, gambling addiction has a lifetime prevalence of 0.4%-1% among the general population.1

Signs of Gambling Addiction

According to the DSM-V, a gambling addiction is present if 4 or more indicators are noted within a 12-month period. Those indicators include:1,2

  • Feeling the need to gamble with more and more money in order to get the same “high.”
  • Getting restless or irritable when trying to stop gambling.
  • Trying to quit or reduce gambling but relapsing.
  • Being preoccupied with thoughts about gambling.
  • Gambling when feeling distressed.
  • Continuing to gamble despite negative consequences.
  • Returning to gamble more after losing money.
  • Lying about gambling.
  • Losing a relationship, job, or education opportunity due to gambling habits.
  • Relying on other people for money problems caused by gambling.

Treatment Options for Gambling

Many gambling rehab facilities use methodologies similar to the approaches found in chemical dependency treatments. In fact, persons with gambling disorders are also likely to have substance use, mood, personality, and anxiety disorders.3 As a result, treatments must accommodate and address both diagnoses. Some programs specialize in treating addictions and mental health as a dual diagnosis.

Treatment methods commonly employed in gambling treatment centers include cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational therapy, medication, and Gamblers Anonymous meetings.2 Many inpatient gambling rehabilitation programs also offer group meetings, individual counseling, life skills coaching, and evaluation and treatment for other issues.

Obtaining Information About Gambling Recovery Centers

Gambling addictions often reduce personal finances to a critical state, so the last thing you want to think about when seeking treatment is money.

In some areas, it may be more difficult to find information about gambling addiction treatments than it would be to locate the same information about drugs or alcohol recovery. Don’t give up simply because your first effort didn’t turn up the appropriate information.

You can get information about gambling recovery from your doctor, your therapist, or community mental health organizations. In many states, organizations that offer gambling must publish information about how to get treatment. Look for pamphlets about treatment or signs with local treatment phone numbers at or near your favorite gambling location.

Things to Know Before Entering a Program

Gambling addictions often reduce personal finances to a critical state, so the last thing you want to think about when seeking treatment is money.

Make sure you are honest about your financial situation with admission personnel at the facility you choose. They may be able to help you obtain assistance and will know how much your insurance is likely to cover for your treatment. Facilities that treat gambling addiction have numerous resources and processes for dealing with the issue of finances.

You should also ensure that the program will be right for you. If you have family members who need to be involved in some counseling or therapy sessions, try to enter a facility that is located near your home.

Some people seek treatment far from their homes as a way to add a barrier between an old life of gambling and a new life represented by treatment.

If you have a dual diagnosis, ensure the addiction recovery program is certified in the treatment of your secondary issue. Some programs only treat gambling addictions; other programs specialize in gambling and chemical dependency, while others treat mental health issues as well.

If you have a dual diagnosis, it is a good idea to choose a facility where medical staff will be present 24 hours a day. No matter what your individual needs may be, an inpatient gambling recovery program is available to meet your needs.


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders (5th ed.).
  2. Mayo Clinic. (2016). Compulsive Gambling.
  3. Petry, N.M., Stinson, F. S., Grant, B. F. (2005). Comorbidity of DSM-IV Pathological Gambling and Other Psychiatric Disorders: Results From the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. J Clin Psychiatry, 66(5), 564-574.

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