Julie Silver, M.D.

New book offers help for gambling addiction

Millions of Americans have a little fun playing slot machines now and then, buying state lottery tickets, or betting on horse races or other sporting activities. For some, though, gambling is an addiction that can be as intense and harmful as an addiction to alcohol or drugs. One national survey estimated that about two million Americans have experienced some gambling-related problems.

If gambling is a problem for you or a loved one, I would like to recommend Change Your Gambling, Change Your Life, a new book from Harvard Health Publications. This research-based guide was written by Dr. Howard Shaffer, a pioneer in the field of gambling addiction who directs the Division on Addictions at Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance. His coauthors include Ryan Martin, PhD, John Kleschinsky, MPH, and Liz Neporent, MA.

Change Your Gambling, Change Your Life offers a series of self-help tests to evaluate the depth of a person’s gambling problem and analyze its context. The book includes a toolbox of practical strategies and approaches to control the urge to gamble, and advice for avoiding slips and backslides.

“Pathological gambling” was first recognized as a diagnosis in 1980. More than 30 years later, the study and treatment of gambling problems is still in its infancy, with new ideas and proposed treatments appearing all the time. Given this constant change, a gambler seeking help can feel, as Dr. Shaffer put it, “like a rudderless ship adrift on an ocean of indifference and misinformation.”

Change Your Gambling, Change Your Life can help you chart a course to the kind of life you want to live. More information about the book, which gambling addiction expert Jeffrey Derevensky called “a wonderful resource for individuals with a gambling addiction seeking to improve their lives,” is available at Harvard Health Publications’ website.

Comments:

  1. tayi

    This book is sure to end all nightmare cause by gambling losses.am going to bookmark and share to soccer pundits fiends. (by is hairstyles,or womenhairdesign.com)

  2. Marielaina Perrone DDS

    Living in Henderson/Las Vegas Nevada I have seen how destructive this disease is. Glad to see there is a fresh perspective for people who need help.

    Thanks for the article/review.

  3. Anonymous

    I like this type of show because you always can learn some interesting new knowledge and at the same time revive the knowledge you already know.

  4. Paul Schlegel

    There was an interesting paper Wellesley College psychologist Erik Schlicht called “New Insights Into The Psychology Of Gambling” which also talked about the effects of gamblers WATCHING gambling:

    “So, the lesson from this study: gambling addicts return to their old ways while watching others play because of the reactivation of the same neural systems that encoded their addiction in the first place and in a broader sense, even when we are mere spectators, our brains act as performers.”

    I am looking for similar studies about why people buy into get-rich-schemes over and over again and suspect the reasons are probably similar to some of the studies on Gambling.

    Paul Schlegel

  5. Marketing Consultants

    Greed is curse and gambling is nothing more than greed. We should save our loved ones from this problem. I hope this book will produce some positive results.

  6. sale

    yes breaking habits are not the easy street for some. Especially when it involves a curse that needs to be broken.

  7. Joan Tarley

    Thanks for the recommendation on the book. I know someone personally who has this type of addiction and it’s been a negative part of his life. This should really help him get his life back together.

  8. Anonymous

    Thats what everyone should recommend to anyone you know is an addict of gambling. for its sure to be of great help

  9. askobasi

    This book is sure to end all nightmare cause by gambling losses.am going to bookmark and share to soccer pundits fiends

    • Krishna

      ya meetings didnt do anyinthg for me either the problem is family and friends mean well but gambling isnt really a disease like other addictions and most addictions arent diseases some have a chemical dependency gambling does NOT gambling is always a player WANTS to either action, money, both, escaping reality and maybe a few other reasons having someone truly explain the odds in a casino game if you are addicted to lottery or slots or table games can really open your eyes the house edge is so big you truly can not do these for a living and or expect to hit it big- if you are addicted to games that ARE beatable like Blackjack or Sports betting or Poker you just need to ask yourself is chasing a dream worth it while these games are beatable its the 1% that beats them. Now we all want to accomplish greatness but this road has a high risk and most fail. the more people you have dependent upon you should weigh heavily if your a kid with no spouse or kids dependent on you, I will give more latitude in terms of chasing your gambling dreams, but if you have people dependent on you you need to make an adult decision personal responsibility is EVERYTHING YES the choice is yours, but I would suggest that if you have a spouse or kids, you also have to consider their feelings also, gambling is a narrow road with little middle ground between Big Dreams and Heartbreak and the Falls can be great, and while maybe you can handle it, other people in your life maybe cant or don’t deserve to go through it because they are not affected by gambling and the appeal isn’t there for them to risk it all for the small chance of winning it all!!!! Meetings can only help but they aren’t the whole solution- your right they occupy your time- they give you people that have been through the same stuff they aren’t judgmental but they treat you like a child, its never your fault, your have a disease, which I dont agree with its never a bad thing to admit its ALL your fault when it is, and most gamblers its TOTALLY our fault because we risk everything and more than money for a dream and an opportunity!!!!Good luck to you

  10. brendan doyle

    Thanks,I have a few people i know who are gamblers will show them this.

    • Mimi

      You know gambling like any acoidtidn is a hard one to break because it’s based on routine and repetitious behavior. What you are going to have to do is replace this bad habit with a good one. I commend you on wanting to go cold turkey but sometimes weaning oneself off a bad habit works better. Try that for a few weeks before you quit completely. Here are tools to help you be successful; When you get the urge to gamble .STOP yourself and ask yourself why do you what to gamble(don’t stop questioning yourself until you get to the root of the answer), Next try DOING something else think of other fun things you can do to keep your mind busy, also get SUPPORT from friends or family or even support groups(no one has to go through an acoidtidn alone. I commend you for being honest enough to admit you have a problem and being willing to do something to change. You are a winner in my book!!!! Best of luck!

  11. pooja.platonic@gmail.com

    Thanks for letting us know about the new gambling addication book.

  12. Nick

    I have live in Japan and Australia, and while the forms of gambling are different, the damage gambling addiction does is the same. I lost my business because my partner secretly had a problem with gambling.

  13. pame stoixima

    Gambling addiction is the worst problem a person can face. It can lead u to bankruptcy and many many family problems.

  14. zoren

    I have a friend who loose all his money,his house, and even his wife due to gambling.because some people dont listen. They believe that money is power and they can do every thing with it and when they finally realized it. its already too late.
    anyways, nice article.

  15. Jessica

    Hi your blog is really nice thanks for the share

    • Alexis

      You know gambling like any addioticn is a hard one to break because it’s based on routine and repetitious behavior. What you are going to have to do is replace this bad habit with a good one. I commend you on wanting to go cold turkey but sometimes weaning oneself off a bad habit works better. Try that for a few weeks before you quit completely. Here are tools to help you be successful; When you get the urge to gamble .STOP yourself and ask yourself why do you what to gamble(don’t stop questioning yourself until you get to the root of the answer), Next try DOING something else think of other fun things you can do to keep your mind busy, also get SUPPORT from friends or family or even support groups(no one has to go through an addioticn alone. I commend you for being honest enough to admit you have a problem and being willing to do something to change. You are a winner in my book!!!! Best of luck!

  16. simmon toffle

    Gambling addiction is not a bad habit for everyone because some people enjoy the benefits of gambling as to make fun and spend time with happiness.Luck is the main thing that helps you to make money from gambling and experience with gambling improve your skills.

    Thanks

  17. mandos

    thanks for nice article . i learn more here in your blog