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What Is a Gambling Addiction?

The Dark Side of Gambling Gambling can be a fun social outing and a great recreational activity. Most people gamble infrequently if at all—perhaps on a vacation or for a special birthday trip—and most people who gamble do so with available money they have, after all bills are paid. But there is a darker side to gambling. Even infrequent gamblers can become problem gamblers. A problem gambler is someone who becomes addicted to gambling over time. When the person has lost the ability to control their gambling, it has become problematic. Pretty soon, a person may gamble with money that is earmarked for other things, like rent or food. The addiction can become overpowering and all-consuming, creating problems in the person’s life. According to the Mayo Clinic, gambling is classified as an impulse control disorder, one of several mental health disorders in which a person is unable to control impulsive urges. Gambling disorders can cause serious issues in a person’s day-to-day life. Gambling becomes an obsession. The gambler is constantly thinking about when he or she can gamble and is likely preoccupied with obtaining the money to


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