Treatments for Gambling Addiction
Counselling provides a supportive, safe and confidential environment in which you can discuss your gambling issues and concerns with a professional. Counsellors can offer support and strategies to help you make changes to take back control, as you move through your process of change. Financial counselling and counselling for loved ones affected by a person’s gambling are also available.
Often people will seek counselling on the phone, online or in person. Some counselling options may be done one-on-one and others might be in groups with people who are going through similar experiences. Research shows that these ‘talking’ therapies work and are effective in helping people with their gambling.
A great first step into counselling can be through the national telephone or online services - call 1800 858 858 or visit Gambling Help Online - both services are free, confidential and available 24/7.
In some instances, medication may be considered to manage gambling. Naltrexone is one medication that has shown encouraging results for people experiencing problem gambling in clinical trials. Your doctor may consider this but usually with input from an addiction medicine specialist, as naltrexone is not registered as a medication for gambling in Australia and has to be prescribed ‘off-label’.
Medication is usually not the only answer however and it is important to understand that naltrexone may not work for everyone. Even when medication works it is good to remember that addiction is a complex disease, and recovery works best when any medication used is combined with support and other treatments.