College Bowl Season Means Temptation for Gambling Addicts

How Do You Know if a Family Member or Loved One Has a Problem?

Dec 16, 2010, 08:00 ET from Williamsville Wellness

HANOVER, Va., Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- As each bowl game kicks off, millions of Americans place their bets on what they hope to be the winning team. What no one is betting on is the hard reality that all Americans who gamble are vulnerable to the downward spiral of gambling addiction.

"The bowl games are a great American tradition, but when gambling moves from casual to compulsive, the risks are enormous," said Bob Cabaniss, executive director of Williamsville Wellness and recovering gambling addict. "It is vital that we are all aware of problem gambling's warning signs so we can protect and help our loved ones before their gambling becomes a serious issue."

Gambling addiction is not an isolated illness. The staff at Williamsville Wellness also frequently treats depression, emotional disorders and substance abuse, as they are all commonly linked to gambling addiction.

There are more than three million problem gamblers in the U.S. and the number is growing. Identifying addiction warning signs can help identify whether a common pastime has slipped into a compulsive, dangerous addiction:

Gambling Addiction Warning Signs in Adults:

  • Talks about betting frequently
  • Commits financially driven crimes (ex: check forgery, tax fraud)
  • Increase in tobacco, alcohol and drug use
  • Reads sports pages compulsively
  • Never admits to losing
  • Borrows excessive money from friends
  • Has multiple credit cards
  • Does not pay bills on time or at all
  • More irritable, restless and isolative than usual

Gambling Addiction Warning Signs in Adolescents:

  • Frequent dice or card games at home
  • Frequent school absences
  • Withdrawal from family
  • Drop in school grades and extracurricular activities
  • Lies about whereabouts
  • Increased irritability
  • Excessive internet use

Those who identify with several of the symptoms above could be a compulsive gambler and should seek counseling and treatment.

Williamsville Wellness, based just outside of Richmond, Virginia, provides a rural setting where patients can focus on recovery without any distractions.  Williamsville Wellness is the only treatment facility in the United States licensed to treat gambling addiction. Alongside a highly-trained staff of psychologists, counselors and social workers, Cabaniss developed an Advanced Synergized Treatment method that combines eight different therapeutic modalities, focused entirely on the treatment of problem gambling.  No other treatment center in the U.S. offers this program.

SOURCE Williamsville Wellness