There are many ways to address gambling addiction it seems, and the role of psychological interventions and family support is finally coming into focus. According to Dr Rosalina Caoile, more attention should be put on these practices as they could prove pivotal in stemming addictive practices in the bud and enable individuals to feel better and overcome what is becoming a common psychological disorder.
Problem Gambling Can Be Spotted and Stopped Early with Family
Caoile works at the Treatment and Rehabilitation Center of La Union and believes that upbringing plays a big role in whether individuals end up being influenced by gambling later on. This could be one of the reasons why people from non-drinking families rarely drink alcohol themselves, but it seems also applies to gambling.
Families who gamble or expose their children to gambling normalize this activity from an early childhood which stilts the perception of the activity. However, introducing children to good values when they are young, provides them with the coping mechanisms and character strengths they need to succeed later on.
Caoile is cognizant of the fact that gambling is all about curiosity and the thrill of chasing the unknown, but what starts this way can quickly become vice.
Speaking at the Philippine Information Agency Ilocos regional office during a forum, Caoile explained that empirical research suggested that observing family members and intervening to stop them from experiencing problem gambling or engaging in excessive gambling patterns is what could prevent bigger problems.
Caoile’s observations are reminiscent of what is being done in the United Kingdom, where GambleAware has been investing heavily in training individuals to recognize the signs of gambling addiction in others and intervene. Explaining further on gambling addiction, Caoile said that the problem may run deeper:
“They should be aware of any changes in behavior and they should monitor the activities of the suspected gambling addict to prevent it from getting worse as early as possible.”
Dr Rosalina Caoile
Problem Gamblers Who Are Already Struggling Must Turn to Rehab
Caoile did not rule out professional help and argued that depending on how serious the symptoms in an individual were, they may need to seek professional help, such as rehabilitation. She clarified that common addictive symptoms were impulsiveness, irritability, and restlessness.
Addiction, she clarified, may not be treated through interventions or family support alone. A person who suffers from problem gambling would need to admit themselves to a rehabilitation facility. She agreed that addiction is a family problem and the involvement of family members is important in ensuring that individuals stay on track.
Gambling has been quite widespread. The activity has seemed to find its way into our daily lives, social media and even streaming services such as Twitch, and there have already been reports that people have been falling victims to addiction fueled by the omnipresence of gambling and its availability.