Many families, loved ones, and friends of problem gamblers can be severely impacted by this hidden addiction. In order to cope with the stress caused by this addiction and help support the problem gambler in finding recovery, it’s crucial to set boundaries and take care of yourself. The addiction can dramatically change the behavior and demeanor of the compulsive gambler, leading to denial, shifting blame, manipulation, and pathological lying. It is important to keep yourself safe while dealing with the person struggling with addiction.
If you fear for your safety, there are hotlines available 24/7 to provide support. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233, the Florida Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-500-1119, and the Florida Abuse Hotline is 1-800-962-2873. You can also contact 911 if you are in immediate danger.
In Florida, there are resources tailored to loved ones impacted by problem gambling available through the 888-ADMIT-IT Helpline. Experienced Specialists are ready to connect you with different support options, including the GamAnon Self-Help Support Meetings, recovery workbooks, financial debt and budgeting toolkit, counseling referrals, and the Peer Connect Program.
Here are a few suggestions to help yourself through this challenging time:
1. Don’t blame yourself: Recognize that you are not to blame for your loved one’s addiction. Protecting yourself and your family from further financial hardships is important.
2. Take care of yourself: Living with a compulsive gambler can cause anxiety, depression, and grief. Reach out to the 888-ADMIT-IT Helpline for support.
3. Focus on your family: If problem gambling leads to financial problems that threaten basic needs, contact the helpline for connection to local resources for temporary housing, food banks, and other emergency financial supports. Focus on supporting your children emotionally and engaging them in group activities and hobbies.
Remember, immediate support is available by calling or texting the 888-ADMIT-IT Problem Gambling Helpline. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help in your own recovery as a loved one impacted by problem gambling.