In the same way that a majority of people can consume alcohol recreationally and not experience problems, many people also place a wager in the gaming industry now and then without experiencing problems. But, conversely, much like alcohol becomes poison to the alcoholic who develops a chronic yet treatable illness, gambling may become compulsive and toxic to the problem gambler who develops a pathology that requires similar treatment.

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, Problem gambling is gambling behavior which causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational.

The term “Problem Gambling” includes, but is not limited to, the condition known as “Pathological” or “Compulsive” Gambling, a progressive addiction characterized by increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences.

Problem gambling can destroy families and marriages, force bankruptcies, and jeopardize employment. Problem gamblers have higher rates of suicide, divorce and criminal behavior. Seeking professional help for a gambling problem is nothing to be ashamed of and it is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it is a sign of strength to recognize that gambling has become a real problem and to responsibly seek assistance.

Helping the person with the gambling problem is not the only issue. Those around the problem gambler need information and tools of their own to deal with the problem gambler and to weather the collateral damage of problem gambling. Help should be sought by those with a problem gambler in their midst, regardless of whether the problem gambler seeks help.

Lawyers, judges and their family members may seek help from the Iowa Lawyers Assistance Program.

Your call is confidential as a matter of law and you do not have to give your name.

Self-Assessment Tests:
Problem Gambling Test

Related Web Links:
Gamblers Anonymous

Iowa Lawyers Assistance Program