What is gambling?

Gambling refers to wagering something of value on a game or event in which the outcome is unpredictable and largely determined by chance.

For most people, gambling can be an enjoyable form of recreation with little or no harmful effects.  Problem gambling can adversely affect the individual, the family, and society. Gabling behavior may evolve into more persistent and maladaptive behaviors know as compulsive (pathological) gambling. The compulsive gambler experiences the same effect from gambling as an addict experiences from using their drug of choice (alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines).

The impact of a gambling addiction  far exceeds the obvious financial losses incurred by repeated gambling. Approximately one percent of adults are estimated to meet the criteria for compulsive gambling in a given year. Another 2-3 percent would be considered problem gamblers. Adolescent prevalence rates of problem gambling are estimated to be 2-4 times that of adults. The highest rate is among individuals 18 to 25. The estimated annual cost for problem and pathological gambling is $5 billion per year and an additional $40 billion in lifetime coasts for productivity reductions, social services and creditors losses.


How can you tell if someone has a gambling problem? Here are some signs.

1. Increasing the frequency of gambling activity.
2. Increasing the amount of money gambled.
3. Spending an excessive amount of time gambling at the expense of job or family time.
4. Being preoccupied with gambling or with obtaining money with which to gamble.
5. Gambling creates a special and intense pleasure, an aroused sense of being in “action.”
6. Continuing to gamble despite negative consequences such as large losses, financial problems, absence from work, or family problems caused by gambling.
7. Gambling as a means to cope with loneliness, anger, stress, depression, etc
8. “Chasing” – the urgent need to keep gambling-often with large bets-or the taking of greater risks in order to make up for a loss or series of loses.
9.  Borrowing money to gamble, taking out secret loans, cashing in or borrowing on life insurance policies, or maximizing credit cards.
10. Bragging about wins, but not talking about loses.
11. Frequent mood swings, higher when winning, lower when losing.
12. Gambling for longer periods of time or with more money than originally planned.
13. Secretive behavior such as hiding lottery tickets and betting slips, having mail, bills, etc. sent to work, P.O. Box, or other address.

No charge, There is no charge for up to 15 minutes telephone or in-office consultation to explain the process and how we may be able to assist you. Call, 530-644-4588 or 916-812-9706.

Dr. Ward often works with people who have no  problem, but have the desire to obtain assistance about some personal , professional or spiritual concern that has been troubling them. In addition he assist people with wide range of “problems” but not limited to the above.