Do you or someone you know have a gambling problem? Leyden can help you determine if a gambling problem is present, and if so, help you or the person you care about onto the road of recovery.

Problem gambling affects more people than just the gambler. It impacts family members, close friends, colleagues and employers. The family in particular is gravely affected, as gamblers spend more and more time and money on gambling. Relationships with spouses deteriorate, children often feel abandoned, and financial problems arise—including repossession of homes, lack of money for necessities and harassment from creditors. The distrust, fear and hopelessness that result from gambling addiction can destroy families and relationships.

What is Problem Gambling?
Problem gambling is a progressive behavioral disorder which creates an uncontrollable preoccupation and urge to gamble. The fact that nothing enters the body makes this addiction very difficult for some people to understand. It often makes the gambler’s ability to stop gambling almost impossible without help.

Signs of a gambling problem may include:

  • Loss of control

  • Increased gambling frequency

  • Financial problems

  • Borrowing money

  • Guilt or shame about gambling

  • Lying about wins or losses

  • Chasing wins or losses

  • Gambling binges

  • Depression

  • Loneliness and inability to interact with family or friends

  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

  • Use of drugs or alcohol abuse

Those Affected By Problem Gambling
The words of those affected by problem gambling are gripping and powerful. Some of their pains and sufferings are shared here:

“We can’t help the kids with their school expenses.”

“I couldn’t buy groceries or pay the mortgage. We had to ask family and friends for help.”

“My children hardly ever see me, I’m working so many hours to pay the bills!”

“I realized I was not alone. Many other people live with gamblers and suffer the effects of problem gambling.”

“I learned that by denying my husband’s addiction, I was encouraging it. I finally got the courage to tell him to get some help or leave.”

“What I got was hope. Compulsive gambling can be arrested, with help from the SHARE program.”

What Can I Do to Help the Problem Gambler?
Lying, stealing and manipulation are classic symptoms of the gambling addiction, an indication of the disorder’s progression. Just as one would not give money to a drug addict or alcoholic, one should be careful about giving money to a problem gambler. Helping a gambler with money is called a “bailout” and frequently only escalates the gambling and increases the consequences of an addiction which is spiraling out of control. Problem gamblers who seek professional counseling and enlist the help of support groups are the most successful in arresting their addiction.

Our Gambling Program Can Help
Education and treatment for problem gambling is available at our SHARE (Start Here Addiction Rehabilitation & Education) facility in Hoffman Estates. We offer individualized treatment for the compulsive gambler. Clients may attend two or three times per week, depending on their assessment and their involvement in outside support programs. Financial, physical, medical, psychological and spiritual needs are addressed through the assessment process and explored in depth during the course of treatment. Family involvement is encouraged.

The Gambling Program encourages intensive involvement in the recovery community while in treatment. This allows for a smooth transition into a new lifestyle upon completion of the treatment program. Sometimes the gambler also has a drug and alcohol problem. We can provide priority access to gambling treatment services for those also being treated for a substance abuse problem.

Some of the concepts explored during treatment include:

  • Pathological gambling and other mental disorders

  • Ideas, attitudes, values and priorities

  • Spirituality and mindfulness

  • Impulse control

  • Financial planning, restitution and amends

  • Personal growth and development

  • Relationships and gambling

NOTE:  Problem gamblers who seek professional counseling and enlist the help of support groups are most successful with their recovery.

Treatment is made affordable through funding provided by The State of Illinois’s Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. A small co-payment may be required.

Self-Exclusion Program
Problem gamblers can choose to be placed on a self-exclusion list. This allows individuals who acknowledge that they have a gambling problem to self-identify and to exclude themselves from participating in Illinois riverboat gaming operations, the Illinois Lottery and off-track betting establishments. The process requires self-excluded persons to pledge to not enter gaming areas or engage in gaming at riverboats and other gaming operations, while also agreeing to be removed voluntarily from all mailing, marketing and promotional lists and databases. Once problem gamblers take this step, they often report a huge weight has been lifted from their shoulders.

“Now that we’re free from our compulsion to gamble, and living life one day at a time, we can begin to stop making unreasonable demands upon those we love. We can show kindness where we have shown none; we can take the time and the initiative to be thoughtful, considerate, and compassionate. Even with people we dislike, we can at least try to be courteous, at times literally going out of our way to understand and help them.”

~Gamblers Anonymous - Reflection for the Day, Sept. 28th

 Contact SHARE in Hoffman Estates or the Leyden main office in Franklin Park for help or more information.

SHARE:  (847) 882-4181

Leyden Main Office:  (847) 451-0330