Problem Gambling in Canada


Problem gambling is an addiction that leads to financial and emotional damage. Problem gambling starts when an individual cannot control the urge to gamble, and it affects all aspects of their life. There are many forms of therapy available to help a person overcome the urge to gamble. Cognitive behavioural therapy is an option, and it helps to alter the way a person thinks about gambling. It can help a person become more aware of the dangers of problem gambling, and to change their thinking.

Problem gambling

While problem gambling is a common affliction, it can also cause family members to feel ashamed or stressed out. Family members may not know what to do, but reaching out to others with similar problems is helpful for both parties. Family members should encourage the problem gambler during treatment, and avoid lecturing or threatening them. It is important to remember that the problem gambler’s recovery may not be a smooth one, and that underlying problems can come up in the meantime.

The problem gambling can be defined as a pattern of risk-taking behavior characterized by an inability to control one’s impulse to gamble. In extreme cases, problem gambling may even disrupt other areas of one’s life. Primary symptoms of problem gambling include preoccupation with the game and a loss of control over impulses to gamble. These behaviors can affect finances, relationships, and even cause serious physical health problems. The individual may also hide evidence of their gambling activities and skip family gatherings, which is an indication of an increased risk for a problem gambling problem.

Treatment options for problem gamblers

Although gambling addiction can lead to severe financial, emotional, and social problems, there are treatment options for problem gamblers. Inpatient rehabilitation programs, for example, offer 24-hour supervision and provide therapy designed to combat the addiction. Residential rehab programs generally last 30 to 90 days and use dialectical behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. They may also use systematic exposure to behavior to help the gambler identify and eliminate negative thoughts and behaviors. After completing inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient rehab can help problem gamblers continue to receive support.

Although problem gamblers may resist therapy, addiction treatment can help them regain control of their lives and repair damaged relationships and finances. Individual and family therapy may be beneficial. Cognitive behavioral therapy involves replacing unhealthy beliefs with healthy ones. Counseling for problem gamblers may also be beneficial. There are many treatment options for problem gamblers, and each treatment may be specific to each individual’s needs and circumstances. Depending on the severity of the problem, each treatment option may require a commitment of time and energy.

Prevalence of problem gambling in Canada

In recent studies, more than two percent of Canadian adults report having problem gambling. This figure includes those who gamble only occasionally and those who have a history of problem gambling. The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse has also released a report about the prevalence of problem gambling. According to the research, over one-third of Canadian adults aged 15 and older had thought they had a problem gambling problem in the past year. However, only a small minority of problem gamblers actually thought they had a problem gambling problem.

In 2017, nearly seventy-five percent of Canadian adults reported participating in some form of gambling, with electronic gambling machines accounting for a large portion of the activity. While the overall pattern of gambling activity is similar to 2002, there was a slight decline in the proportion of problem gamblers and at-risk gamblers. However, in 2018, only 0.6% of Canadians were categorized as problem gamblers, which was down from five percent in 2002.