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Gambling Addiction Help & Resources in Canada 2022

Gambling is fun, but only as long as it's under control. If a harmless hobby turns into a big problem — keep your head up, there is a way out of it. Dozens of organizations help those who can't control their gambling habits. They provide free consultations, therapy sessions, and rehabilitation programs. Read on to find the best gambling addiction treatment services.

Gambling Addiction Help Canada

Stay in Control

Gambling addiction can be treated, it's a fact, but the process might be long and complicated. That's why it's much better to keep your finger on the pulse and never let it happen. How? Here are some recommendations:

  • Spend more time with friends and family.
  • Make sure gambling is not your prior daily activity.
  • Make real money bets only after paying all the bills.
  • Do not narrow your social circle to gamblers only.
  • Do not make gambling your only source of income.
  • Do not borrow money to spend on gambling.

Resources to Help You Stop Gambling Addiction

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, there are resources to help. Most people with gambling problems don't seek help, but many family and friends want to know how to support their loved ones. Many gambling addiction resources help people understand and overcome their gambling problems. In addition, these resources can provide information, support, and treatment options.

National Council on Problem Gambling | NCPG

Canada's leading institution is dealing with problem gambling prevention and helping those affected by it. It provides informational support to promote responsible gambling and the 24/7 free helpline you can reach.

Drug Rehab & Detox Program Centers | Canada Drug Rehab Centers

It's the addiction services directory where you can get professional counselling and help if you suffer from any addiction, whether it's compulsive gambling, drug and alcohol addiction, sex and eating disorders, etc.

Canada Safety Council

It is a national, non-profit organization that promotes safety and injury prevention. This initiative aims to assist Canadians in preventing, reducing, and managing the risks they face.

Gamblers Anonymous

It's the most well-known international community of compulsive gamblers. Here, people with a gambling addiction can communicate, share their thoughts and feelings, and help each other to recover.

GamTalk

It's an online resource to assist gambling addicts who can't or don't want to seek help offline. On GamTalk, you can read the stories of other recovering addicts, find relevant information about gambling addiction treatment and support, and join an online chat.

Gam-Anon

Problem gamblers are not the ones who suffer from the addiction. Their families need help too. GamAnon is aimed at providing professional assistance and informational support to those whose loved ones got affected by gambling addiction.

  • Website: gam-anon.org
  • Phone: 718-352-1671
  • Email: gamanonoffice@gam-anon.org

Treat Addiction

To deal with a problem, you need to recognize it first. So start with checking this list of gambling addiction signs. Is there something that rings a bell? 

  1. You conceal your gambling activities.
  2. All your friends are gamblers.
  3. You get into debt to keep betting.
  4. You have conflicts with your family and loved ones because of gambling.
  5. You spend more money on gambling than you can afford.
  6. You need to constantly increase the amount you bet to feel the thrill.
  7. You feel guilt and anxiety caused by gambling.
  8. Once you lose money, you try to win it back.
  9. You are not interested in any other activity except gambling.
  10. It's hard for you to take a break from gambling — you want to bet again and again.

Stay Alive

This section covers suicide prevention resources for those who are considering suicide or their loved ones. If you suspect someone you know might commit suicide, please, reach one of the organizations below. On the other hand, if you are the one who thinks of ending things — remember that you are not alone, and there is always a way out of the darkness.

Gambling Addiction Treatment

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health | CAMH

It's a suicide prevention resource that provides you with all the information and assistance you'll need. If you or someone you know is in danger of harming themselves, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 800 463-2338.

  • Website: camh.ca
  • Tel: 1 800 463-2338

Hope for Wellness

It is a mental health online counseling service for everyone in Canada. You can reach it anytime you feel distressed or want to talk to someone who won't judge you. Chat is available in English and French.

Talk Suicide

It is a national network of suicide prevention services. This is where every person in Canada, regardless of nationality, gender, or religion, can get free professional counseling.

Centre for Suicide Prevention

It is another centre for suicide prevention. On its super-convenient website, you can find answers to frequently asked questions, attend short webinars about suicide and suicide prevention, and read topic-related articles. 

Youthspace.ca | Emotional Support and Crisis Response

It is a separate crisis and emotional support helpline for children and youth (up to 29 years old).

Manage Your Debts

One of the main side effects of gambling addiction, besides mental health problems, is that it quickly leads to financial problems. Compulsive gamblers tend to get into debt and borrow more money, hoping they will win everything back until the debt burden becomes unbearable. If you feel like you or someone you know might be in such a situation, you can get free counselling here:

Ontario Association of Credit Counselling Services (OACCS). It is the Ontario-based association of financial counsellors and coaches that promotes financial literacy and provides financial counselling to those in need.

Stop Gambling

If you can't control your gambling activities, there is one radical way out of the situation, and it's called self-exclusion. In this case, you'll be banned from all the online and offline casinos and won't let in if you can't resist temptation yourself. If you think you might need a break from gambling, you can learn how to start the self-exclusion process here.

Responsible Gambling Council 

It is a credible resource for information about gambling addiction and helps those fighting it. It's dedicated to reducing the global risks of problem gambling and promoting awareness and education.

Gambling Addiction Myths

Like any other mental condition, gambling addiction is surrounded by myths and fears. It makes it harder to detect and treat as people struggling with it can't acknowledge the problem and seek help. Here are the five most popular myths about compulsive gambling and their truth.

➡️ Myth: "I can't be a problem gambler if I don't bet every day."

✅ Truth: Actually, it's not about how often you make bets but more about the consequences it drags. If you are betting once a week, but it leads to stress, guilt, and financial problems — you are a problem gambler.

➡️ Myth: "I'm not the one to blame for it; it's my family/wife/friends, etc."

✅ Truth: Blaming others is a typical sign of addiction. It's better to take responsibility for your actions and seek help instead of ruining relationships with people you love.

➡️ Myth: "I have enough money, so gambling is not a problem."

✅ Truth: Financial problems are not the only ones caused by problem gambling. You might be safe from getting in debt, but you are not protected from depression, anxiety, and social isolation.

➡️ Myth: "I've lost a lot of money, but I can win all of it back."

✅ Truth: This thought brings compulsive gamblers to the very bottom of the addiction. In reality, your chances of winning and losing are pretty much the same at every point.

➡️ Myth: "If I or someone I know were problem gamblers, I'd know."

✅ Truth: Problem gamblers don't look like problem gamblers. They look like ordinary people, and you might never know that they have hard times struggling with addiction.

Conclusion: It's Time to Get Help!

Gambling addiction might be hard to detect and treat, but the sooner you seek help, the easier it would be to fight it. So if you suspect someone you know might be a problem gambler — pick one of the organizations from the list right now and start fighting the addiction.

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