Treatment is a proven solution to help you overcome a number of types of addictive behavior. Most treatment centers target specific addictions such substance abuse or gambling. The facilities that will treat addictions outside their scope of expertise are rare. There are outpatient treatment centers that target specific addictions such as gambling.
However, there are frequent situations where there are problems created by multiple addictions. Let’s look at what an addiction is and then explore situations where an outpatient treatment center might address a non-substance addiction such as gambling.
What is an Addiction?
An addiction does not always involve the abuse of a substance such as drugs or alcohol. There are a myriad of addictions. Once someone becomes addicted to something, there are invariably consequences. There are substance addictions such as alcoholism, and process addictions such as pathological gambling.
The addiction can be either physiological or psychological, or both. Addicted gamblers may feel a physical sensation when they gamble, but this is a result of a chemical reaction in the body which is spawned by anticipation.
Drug addicts and alcoholics may experience a similar euphoria as they anticipate that next drink or drug. However, the physiological similarities between a substance addiction and a non-substance addiction such as gambling are different.
Substances can create a habit-forming physical craving. The physical withdrawal from drugs or alcohol can be intense. It can even be life-threatening. In general, an addiction is a behavior or activity that has harmful physical or psychological effects, or both.
What is a Gambling Addiction?
The American Psychiatric Association has only recognized pathological gambling as an addiction within the last decade. Prior to earning its place as an addiction, problem gamblers were labeled as having an impulse control disorder.
When gambling becomes a compulsive disorder, something that the person can no longer control, the person is said to be addicted. The urge to gamble, regardless of any consequences, begins to destroy personal relationships, family ties or job performance.
Are There Similarities Between Gambling Addiction and Substance Addictions?
An addicted gambler may experience a number of the trademark symptoms of substance abuse, including withdrawal. The person can become anxious and irritable. The psychological withdrawal from gambling can easily trigger dangerous panic attacks.
Addicted gamblers can experience horrific emotional withdrawal from gambling, but a physical danger is rare. An addicted gambler does not crave a chemical substance. There is no chemical reaction in the gambler’s brain or body.
However, gambling has been shown to cause similar feeling as those exhibited by an alcoholic. The addicted gambler feels an incredible sense of euphoria when they gamble. As they become more addicted to gambling, this pursuit of this gambling high intensifies.
As with the alcoholic who has lost all control over his or her drinking, so too the addicted gambler loses the ability to stop on his or her own. If an addicted gambler tries to stop on his or her own, they may experience headaches, extreme anxiousness and insomnia.
Anxiety withdrawal for an addicted gambler can become so intense it causes heart palpitations and severe anxiety attacks. Addicted gamblers have reported chest pains so intense they thought they were having a heart attack.
Suicidal thoughts are also common for gambling addiction withdrawal. Gambling addiction may not be the result of an abuse of chemicals and substances, but it can be extremely serious.
Will Outpatient Treatment Centers Treat Non-Substance Addictions?
There is often a common thread between substance abuse and a gambling problem. Alcohol is a common drug of choice for individuals who meet the definition of an addicted gambler. If drugs or alcohol are included in a professional dual diagnosis with a non-substance impulse addiction, an outpatient treatment is definitely an option.
However, in lieu of a problem with drugs or alcohol, someone with a gambling problem needs to seek out an outpatient treatment program that targets their disease. While many gambling addiction treatment models use similar approaches to substance abuse recovery, they are not one and the same.
What Should You Do?
If you think you have a substance abuse problem, seek help immediately. An addiction to substances, including alcohol, can take your life. Gambling addiction should be taken no less seriously.
However, if you do not have a problem with chemicals and substances, make certain to speak with a trained addiction specialist. Being addicted to gambling is real, and it can devastate your life.
Regardless of whether you suffer from an addiction to substances, or have a problem with non-substance addictions, there is help. All you have to do is take the first step and reach out for help. Make the call today at 833-610-1174, and you can begin a new way of life free from your addiction.