Q. My husband’s gambling has gotten out of control to the point that we’re in danger of losing everything, including our marriage. How can I get him to stop?
A. from Mark Bombara, M.A.
Licensed Psychologist and Social Worker
Certified Addictions Counselor
Holland Hospital Behavioral Health Services
Your husband is not alone. Gambling addiction has grown to alarming proportions, fueled in part by the popularity of online gambling and easy access to local gambling sites. In Michigan, studies report that 2% of residents have a gambling addiction and twice that many have struggled with it in the past. Nationwide, more than 5 million adults have this problem*.
A problem gambler is a person who feels a compulsion to gamble even though the behavior causes serious disruptions in his or her life. As with other addictions, families are damaged by a lack of trust and respect, financial insecurity, and manipulation and lies. Here are some signs of a problem gambler:
If any of these statements sounds like your husband, be assured that help is available. Holland Hospital Behavioral Health professionals offer evidence-based treatment plans designed to suit your needs, including cognitive behavioral therapy, marital/family therapy, and medication if needed. Call (616) 355-3926 to make an appointment.
* www.michapg.com, Michigan Association on Problem Gambling, 800-270-7117