Gambling is a risky activity in which a person stakes a sum of money on an uncertain outcome. It requires consideration of the risks and the prize. For people with gambling problems, there are several treatment options. In addition to counseling, a number of organizations offer financial aid to help individuals deal with this problem. Compulsive gambling If your loved one has a history of compulsive gambling, you may want to look into behavioral therapy. This type of treatment focuses on changing unhealthy beliefs with more positive ones. Some programs also include family therapy. Other forms of treatment include antidepressants and mood stabilizers. A narcotic antagonist may be prescribed for those who have a gambling problem. The causes of compulsive gambling are not completely understood, but there are some risk factors that make certain people more likely to develop the disorder. People with a history of mental illness are also at increased risk. Several studies suggest that proximity to a casino is a risk factor. In fact, people who live within 50 miles of a casino are twice as likely to develop a gambling problem as those who don’t live near a casino. Additionally, individuals with lower incomes are more likely to develop compulsive gambling. It is difficult to quit gambling without help. It is best to seek out a treatment program or a support group that will help you overcome your urges. While it can be a difficult task to quit without professional help, it can be helpful to have a supportive family and friends who will be there for you. Prevalence of problem gambling in the United States The rapid growth of legalized gambling in the United States has created a tremendous demand for information. Prevalence studies have played an important role in advancing gambling research because they help verify findings from clinical studies and suggest new avenues for future research. The authors of this study analyzed the results of over 200 such studies in the United States. Problem gambling rates are higher among blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans. The rate for whites and Asians has decreased. In addition, problem gambling rates are highest in the youngest age group (18-30) and decrease dramatically with age. Further, it is more common among those who earn less than the median income, and decreases as SES increases. The rates of problem gambling vary significantly by socioeconomic status, and those with low incomes are at higher risk. The highest-risk problem gamblers also reported higher rates of substance abuse and serious mental health problems in the past month. Furthermore, they were more likely to have attempted suicide. In addition, these gamblers were significantly more likely to report addictive behaviors, including smoking and binge drinking. Treatment options for problem gamblers Problem gamblers can seek treatment in a variety of ways. They can seek individual or group therapy to help them understand their behaviors and learn new coping strategies. Some forms of therapy, such as motivational interviewing, can be particularly effective. Others, like group therapy, focus on building a support system of peers who share their experiences. Self-help support groups are also useful for problem gamblers. Problem gambling treatment can take the form of therapy, medication, or a combination of these. While some problem gamblers may reject treatment, the right treatment can help them regain control over their lives and heal any relationships they may have damaged. Behavioral treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can address the root cause of the problem and teach problem gamblers coping skills. People with problem gambling may also suffer from underlying mood disorders. These disorders may be triggered by compulsive gambling, making the condition worse. However, even if gambling is no longer a part of a person’s life, the underlying condition will persist.