Ethiopia is not spared from the dramatic increase of addiction seen across the world following the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There is only one way to deal with addictions and that is to talk about it. We must all be aware of the different types of addictions, realize it can happen to anyone, including our loved ones. Once we realize this it becomes a lot easier to talk about, without shame, without guilt.
Since time immemorial, people have seen gambling as a source of thrills and entertainment to pass time. Eventually, many establishments like casinos, racetracks, sportsbooks, and many others fully operate and provide gambling activities to people all over the world. Even today, many online platforms do the same, and with just a few clicks on your mobile device, you can easily access many gambling activities online.
The only downside to these fun activities is that they are prone to addiction. Many people engaging in gambling activities end up becoming obsessed with the activities. Eventually finding it difficult to stop even after knowing fully well how devastating the consequences of compulsive gambling can be to their lifestyle. Without professional help, gambling addicts can keep gambling until they run into debts and sometimes propelling their lives into drastic decline without proper help. To get out of their troubles, gambling addicts could very well make decisions that are detrimental to society at large, which is why compulsive gambling is now one of the many problems plaguing our societies today.
Gambling addiction not only affects the addicts but also that their family and friends one way or the other. This is why it is important to always spot signs of compulsive gambling problems in our loved ones before it leads to irreparable consequences. Early detection could bring on early treatments and thereby reduce the risks of a total wreck. Gambling itself is not a problem. It only becomes an issue when someone no longer has control over the activity. Here are some signs you can take note of, and if you see them in your friend or family, take action to get them help as soon as possible.
One of the most obvious signs that someone is already getting addicted to gambling is the obsession that comes with it. Gambling addicts become obsessed with the activity up to the point that they don’t care about anything else. Such individuals will no longer find any pleasure engaging in all the other hobbies they used to engage in, and they become preoccupied with chasing the thrill of gambling. Such obsessive behavior is bound to start causing some problems and disrupt their normal routine with some withdrawing from their social circles.
One thing that many gambling addicts will tell you is that “I have my gambling under control and can stop anytime I want.” The fact is that they may even believe this to be true, but unfortunately, it is not. Many of them have the desire to quit gambling entirely, but they will find it difficult when they try. Some may even successfully stop gambling for a few weeks, or even a few months but ultimately, they will still succumb and start gambling again. The inability to stop gambling is one of the signs of gambling addiction.
Hiding or Lying about Gambling Activities
When you confront such individuals about their gambling activities, they will blatantly lie about it and deny having engaged in gambling even though they have. They will even go as far as concealing their gambling activities by hiding receipts or bank statements, especially if the activities negatively affect others’ finances as well.
Gambling regardless of consequences
Gambling addiction always leads to dire consequences that can be too difficult to handle. It could potentially lead to mounting financial woes, legal problems, health issues, and many other consequences. An individual whose gambling activities are already incurring many of these consequences and despite that continues to gamble is already becoming an addict.
Gambling to avoid Depression
One thing that drives some individuals to gamble is depression. In an attempt to escape from the reality of life, they take up gambling. Gambling then becomes a necessary component for them to feel happy. If they continue on this part of avoiding depression with gambling, it is a sure path towards gambling addiction.
Using Money They Can’t Afford To Lose To Gamble
Everybody always has things they need money for; money for gas, money for food, money for fees, money for rent, money for savings, and many others. These bills are an integral part of living and everyone works towards being able to afford them. Aside from these, spare cash can be used to sponsor a hobby or other fun things. When individuals start channeling cash meant for essentials on hobbies and non-essential, such an individual is probably battling an addiction that needs professional attention like gambling.
Other signs of Gambling Addiction include;
- Borrowing from friends and family to fund gambling.
- Engaging in illegal activities to fund gambling.
- Financial problems
- Mood swings.
- Chasing losses
Once you notice some of these signs in your loved ones, try and talk to them and seek help for them as soon as possible. With many organizations saddled with the responsibility of helping individuals battle gambling addiction, they sure would get all the help they can get.
About the Author: Lesedi Mbatha
Content Manager at the credible i-gaming website Africa-Casinos.com