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Supporting A Friend With A Gambling Addiction

It is a dreadful thing to see someone with an addiction. If you have a friend who is addicted to gambling, it can be hard to know what to do.

You might find it difficult to know what you should even look out for. What warning signs are they displaying? And then it can be tough to talk about it.

But it’s really important for them to know that you’re there for them. We’ll give you a few of the ways that you can gently guide them towards getting the help that they need.

Signs to watch out for in a when you suspect your friend is addicted to gambling

Here are some of the most common signs that you might spot if your friend has a problem with gambling…

  • They find it difficult to stop spending on gambling
  • They’re spending more and more of their time gambling, whether that’s online, offline or both
  • When you ask them about gambling, they lie about it
  • They have taken out a loan to cover gambling debts
  • You suspect they have started stealing in order to gamble
  • They are fighting more and more often with you, other friends and/or family members
  • Cancelled plans and spending more time alone is becoming an increasingly frequent feature of their lives
  • The hobbies they used to love have fallen by the wayside
  • Their grades in university are slipping
  • Productivity at work has taken a nosedive, perhaps with increased sick days

Finding the words to talk to your friend about their problem

It can be difficult for friends and family, as much as for your friend addicted to gambling to find the words to talk about it. But there are places you can go to to get the resources you need to start that conversation.

Be Gamble Aware is a UK-based organisation that helps those with gambling problems, as well as their loved ones. You can access their resources online or call 0808 8020 133. If you’re not based in the UK, there are lots of international organisations who can help.

Tools to help your friend stop gambling

Of course, Be Gamble Aware and other international organisations can help your friend get to the root of the problem and stop for good.

But it is also useful to put some measures in place to remove the temptation as much as you can. For example, you can encourage your friend to self-exclude from all online gambling accounts that they hold.

Identifying problem gambling in yourself

Perhaps as you try to support a friend addicted to gambling, you might start to get concerns over your own gambling behaviours. Make sure you know the signs to watch out for in yourself too.

Other responsible gambling posts

Here are some of the other responsible gambling posts you might be interested in…


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