Gambling Addiction Recovery: What to Expect

Gambling Addiction Recovery: What to Expect

Gambling is a bit like a balancing act. On one side, all those negative consequences come with it, like money problems and arguments with your family. On the other side, there’s the thrill and excitement of gambling.

But as time passes, those not-so-great parts outweigh the good ones. 

That’s when you reach a crucial moment in your journey, a “turning point.” It’s when something happens that makes you realize it’s time for a big change in your life.

This turning point is your first step toward recovery. It’s followed by accepting help and avoiding things that might tempt you to gamble again. 

If you or a loved one are at this crossroads and looking forward to leaving gambling addiction behind for good, we want you to know it’s possible.

While the path to recovery may have challenges, it’s worth every effort. With the right help, support, and your strong commitment to staying away from gambling, you can lead a happy and fulfilling life. 

Let’s explore what recovery from gambling addiction looks like and what you can expect on this journey.

The Many Stages of Gambling Addiction Recovery

Recovery from gambling addiction can vary from person to person, and it doesn’t always follow the same timeline or approach. 

Yet, most people on this journey tend to go through these seven stages of recovery.

#1. Accepting You Have A Problem

The first step to addressing any issue is acknowledging its presence. 

This self-awareness goes beyond your inner world; it extends to understanding how your actions impact your surroundings, including the effects of your gambling on your relationships with family and friends.

Throughout your entire recovery journey, self-reflection will be a crucial component. Sustaining progress will involve mentally comparing your former self, entangled in the problem, with the current and improved version.

#2. Shaping Your Behaviour

This stage involves cutting down or completely stopping gambling. For most people, total abstinence from gambling is crucial for recovery. It’s a bit like how an alcoholic should avoid that first drink to stay on track. 

However, you might feel like you’re missing something once you start making changes. 

You see, gambling takes up a lot of your time and fills particular emotional needs. For example, it was something to do when you were bored. 

Changing your behaviour means looking at what’s important in your life. It’s like rediscovering hobbies or interests you had before gambling took over or even finding new ones. 

You can expect certain changes during this stage. For instance, some people notice that their work performance improves during recovery. They become more motivated, have better focus, and can dedicate more time and energy to their job, which makes them more productive.

#3. Managing Gambling Urges

Overcoming those strong urges or cravings to gamble is crucial to getting better.

Sometimes, these urges appear because of specific triggers, like withdrawing money from the ATM. 

But you know what? They can also pop up out of the blue without any apparent reason.

Getting professional help, including counselling, can help to resist those urges.

Some other approaches that help include being a part of a support group, mindfulness meditation, yoga, and exercise. 

Read more about strategies to beat your gambling urges here.

#4. Improving Your Overall Health

Gambling often goes hand-in-hand with other mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. That’s why enhancing your mental well-being is a crucial element of your journey towards recovery.

Remember those strategies we talked about earlier for controlling your emotions and urges? Well, they also come in handy here. Just like you manage the urge to gamble, you can use similar tricks to handle negative feelings like sadness, guilt, stress, and irritability.

Part of recovery is feeling good about yourself and breaking free from that negative image. So, it’s not just about managing bad feelings; it’s also about building up your self-esteem and holding onto hope.

In this stage, you’re working on boosting your mental and overall well-being. It’s like giving your mind and heart a good workout to feel stronger and happier. 

#5. Getting Support Of Your Loved Ones

To rediscover your true self, you must be open and honest with your loved ones about your gambling and associated behaviours. It might feel a bit challenging because you’ll need to overcome feelings of shame and rebuild trust. Yet it’s crucial to take this step.

Sometimes, your relationships might become even stronger when you share what you’ve been going through. This can create a strong network of support around you.

You might have felt a bit disconnected from your social life because of your gambling problem. But as you recover, you’ll start reconnecting with various roles and activities in your social world.

Now, here’s something important to remember: some relationships can harm your recovery, especially if the people around you gamble a lot. In such cases, it might be best to distance yourself from those relationships or make sure you spend time with them in non-gambling settings.

#6. Committing To Long-Term Success

No matter your treatment plan, sticking with it until the end is a must for your recovery.

Sometimes, when you start feeling better, you might think you can stop treatment. But here’s the thing: even when you’re feeling better, you’re still in a vulnerable place in your recovery journey.

Completing your treatment means you’ll get all the benefits of therapy and learn important skills to help you avoid going back to problem gambling. 

It’s like having a set of tools to make sure your recovery lasts for the long haul. 

Start Your Journey to Gambling Addiction Recovery

At Centres for Health and Healing, we have a unique and personalized approach to addiction therapy. We believe in tailoring our programs to suit your unique needs, whether you’re dealing with addiction or mental health challenges.

Our approach combines various therapeutic methods and is led by a team of experienced professionals with decades of knowledge. We provide the ideal environment, resources, and tools needed for profound transformation and a complete recovery from gambling addiction.

Our treatment programs are known for their high success rates, and we go the extra mile by offering comprehensive aftercare and ongoing support. We’re committed to ensuring that every individual continues receiving the assistance they require long after their treatment.

We’re more than happy to provide you with any additional information you might need about gambling addiction or any other form of treatment. We want to empower you to make an informed decision about your journey to recovery.

We understand that taking those first steps toward recovery can be daunting, but we assure you that as you start experiencing the benefits of our treatment, you’ll feel more at ease and confident in your choice.

You’re not alone on this journey to wellness and recovery. We’re here, fully prepared to support you every step of the way. 

Don’t hesitate any longer; the time to seek help for gambling addiction is now. 

Contact our treatment centre in Ontario today.


Pickering, Dylan & Spoelma, Michael & Dawczyk, Anna & Gainsbury, Sally & Blaszczynski, Alex. (2020). What does it mean to recover from a gambling disorder? Perspectives of gambling help service users. Addiction Research and Theory. 28. 132-143. 10.1080/16066359.2019.1601178.

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