Addiction to gambling is a growing concern in primary care settings. Even though it is not considered a drug, it still carries a high level of addictive potential. The relative importance of gambling behaviors depends on the health risks and benefits they may pose. This article explores screening for pathological gambling. It also discusses some treatment options. In addition, it explains how to identify potential patients for addiction to gambling. This article was prepared to help primary care providers better understand the disease and the best ways to address it.

Treatment for gambling addiction involves strengthening the support system of a person suffering from the condition. Family and friends should be consulted about the condition. There are other alternatives to gambling, such as volunteering for a worthy cause, enrolling in education classes, and joining peer support groups. The 12-step program Gamblers Anonymous, for example, provides support and guidance for people suffering from gambling addiction. It is also possible to find a professional sponsor through a referral from a health care provider.

Understanding your reasons for gambling can help you make responsible decisions and stop impulsively. While gambling can be an exciting social activity, it can become a serious problem if you are not responsible. In order to prevent impulsive behavior and prevent gambling addiction, you should understand the odds and how to stop when the urge arises. You should also consider your financial situation. If you cannot afford to lose everything, get rid of credit cards and make someone else manage your money. Close your online gambling accounts and keep limited amounts of cash in your pocket.