The effects of gambling are often observed at many levels: personal, interpersonal, and community. Those who are close to a gambler may experience negative effects, including problems with staff retention and turnover, inflation, and shop rents and operating costs. In a number of cases, gambling has even led to homelessness. Here are the most common effects of gambling. Despite its negative impact on individuals, gambling is a widely recognized source of entertainment, and there are many benefits to gambling.
First, strengthening your social network is crucial. Rather than focusing on gambling-related activities, focus on meeting new people outside of gambling. Join a peer support group, take an education class, volunteer for a worthy cause, or sign up for Gambling Anonymous. This 12-step program is based on the model of Alcoholics Anonymous, and requires that members take on a sponsor who is a former gambler. A sponsor is an active member of the group and can provide support and guidance.
Problem gambling is a serious condition, often characterized by excessive, unhealthy gambling. In some cases, the problem can be as severe as bipolar disorder. In the latter case, it can interfere with work, relationships, and other aspects of life. It may even lead to a financial disaster. People with gambling problems may steal money and run up enormous debts. If left untreated, the consequences can be catastrophic. The recovery process for problem gamblers can help them regain control of their lives.