5 Signs of Poker Addiction and 5 Tips to Stop

Category: Poker
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Addiction is an issue that affects a lot of people worldwide. Whether it's to pharmaceuticals or drugs, alcohol or poker, its effects can be devastating on the addicted individuals, as well as the family and friends around them. This is why it's increasingly important to spot addiction-related issues early and take steps to counter them before they become an even bigger problem.

The 5 telltale signs of poker addiction

Poker, both online and in real life, is highly entertaining - as long as players don't overdo it. Recreational poker, even with real money involved, can be a great way to spend time. But people with an inclination toward addiction go far beyond entertainment. Problem gamblers often play with money they should pay their bills, or even buy groceries with. When they run out, they may sell things or even borrow - sometimes from where they shouldn't - to fund their addiction. When they lose, they chase their losses, trying to win back their cash - usually ending up losing even more. They go to extremes to find more money to play with, and will put gambling before everything else in their lives.

Tips on fighting poker addiction

The first, and most important, step toward fighting gambling addiction is to admit the problem. Addicts are reluctant to do so at first, too afraid to admit their issues even to themselves. Recognizing the problem will help start the journey toward fighting it. Turning to social games is often helpful. A poker addict might just play poker for free and get his or her "fix" on a daily basis without losing any more money. Social gambling games have been used in the past by gambling addiction support groups to fight the uncontrollable urge to gamble, with some success. Getting support is another step in the right direction. No matter if it's family or friends, or the series of gambling addiction support groups, like Gamblers Anonymous, being surrounded by people fighting the same fight can help addicts fight their own issues. Another important step is to avoid any temptation. While free games might help avoid excessive gambling for real money, they are merely a quick fix, not a long-term solution. Staying away from casinos and poker rooms, as well as having someone else control the money sources, is a much better approach. Last, but not least, professional help is often needed to get rid of the issues definitively. Addiction is a recognized psychiatric condition. Up to 70% of all gambling addicts have such a condition, and need additional treatment, often involving psychotherapy and sometimes even medication.

Prevention is the best line of defense

There is nothing wrong with an occasional bet, but when it starts to take control of an individual's life, it starts becoming a real issue that has to be dealt with. Recognizing the early signs and fighting the problem before it becomes more serious is the best way to fight gambling addiction.
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