“A gambling addict can never change”. Or, can they?

By Germaine Lee


While difficult, recovery from gambling addiction is possible. It is true that many problem gamblers are resistant to change, and the reasons include:


1. The addictive nature of gambling – e.g., having persistent thoughts of gambling, thinking of ways to get more money to gamble, and having to gamble with increasing amounts of money


2. Seeking help with the wrong intentions – e.g., agreeing to counselling so that family members may help to repay debts


3. Erroneous beliefs that deter change – e.g., beliefs that gambling will make them rich, helps to clear debts or cope with life stresses


While change is possible, it is a process that takes time and motivation. Also, having access to the right methods and tools are key to recovery.


1. Free counselling is available.

One Hope Centre offers professional counselling for those affected by gambling addiction at no charge. Other than individual counselling, couple and/or family counselling is also available.


2. There is a safe space for recovery.

Being able to freely share their struggles, challenges and experiences in a space that they feel safe in can greatly help in the process of recovery. The support group at One Hope Centre aims to provide such a safe space for people recovering from gambling addiction.


3. Getting support from loved ones can be a strength.

One of the biggest encouragement and driving factors towards recovery is support from loved ones. For many problem gamblers, knowing that they are not alone gives them great motivation to do better for themselves and their family.


The start to recovery from gambling addiction is often the genuine realisation that one’s actions have not only affected themselves, but their loved ones too. With the willingness and desire to change, the journey of recovery is possible and within reach.

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