Compulsive Gambling


Compulsive gambling is progressive, diagnosable and treatable
If you are unsure whether you or someone you know has a gambling problem, the following questions can help you identify whether we can help. Have you ever:
  • borrowed money in order to gamble or cover lost money?
  • thought you might have a gambling problem, or been told that you might?
  • been untruthful about the extent of your gambling, or hidden it from others?
  • tried to stop or cut back on how much or how often you gamble?
  • felt the need to bet more and more money?
  • had to lie to people important to you about how much you gamble?

Answering yes to one or more of these questions suggests you may have a problem that deserves further exploration. Call Recovery Services at 612-672-2736, 24/7.

Compulsive gambling disease is progressive, diagnosable and treatable. It can be as debilitating as alcoholism and drug addiction. You, your friends or family may think it can be controlled by willpower alone. Often misdiagnosed, compulsive gamblers experience extreme euphoria and depression—depending on whether they are winning or losing. The suicide rate is four times higher in gamblers than non-gamblers.

Recovery Services at University of Minnesota Medical Center can help you, a loved one or family member.  We have experts in addiction issues. With the help of highly qualified professionals you can learn to understand and overcome the pull of gambling—and achieve a more peaceful and balanced life.

The phases of gambling addiction

  • Winning phase is characterized by occasional gambling with excitement prior to and during gambling. Gambling becomes more frequent with increased amounts bet because of unreasonable optimism. An early big win is often the fuel that propels the illness.

  • Losing phase happens as gambling continues and the losses mount forcing the gambler to hide his gambling from others. The addicted gambler may seek loans from family, banks, credit cards and employers during this phase. The gambler may go through personality changes—being irritable, restless and withdrawn.

  • Desperation phase leads the gambler to gambling obsession to cover significant debts, spends increased time and money on gambling, and increasingly blames his or her problems on others. When all attempts fail, the gambler may contemplate or attempt suicide.

Evening meetings for six weeks
The Compulsive Gambling Program meets four evenings a week, 5 - 7 p.m. for six weeks. As a participant, you will meet with counselors one-on-one, talk with other gamblers in group therapy, attend lectures and view films. Our program for families is coordinated during the same six weeks and provides family members helpful information and counseling.

Our aftercare program begins immediately following the six-week primary treatment. It helps ensure you have broken the gambling habit and includes Phase 2 group meetings on Monday and Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m.
How much does gambling treatment cost?
Consider that if you don't get help, gambling may eventually cost you your life. Having hope, optimism, happiness and peacefulness is priceless. Some insurance companies do cover gambling treatment; call your insurer to ask what they provide. Minnesota provides grants that will pay for state resident’s treatment. Treatment through Recovery Services at University of Minnesota Medical Center will help you turn away from a habit that is destroying you and those around you. It offers a life-changing experience that can result in freedom from gambling.

Who do I contact?
Call our 24-hour phone line at 612-672-2736, Recovery Services at University of Minnesota Medical Center. We will arrange a free, no-obligation screening. Professional counselors will evaluate how serious your gambling problem is.