Problem Gamblers Have Specialized Needs
Problem Gamblers need to be treated by properly trained counselors. The American Psychiatric Association classifies dysfunctional gambling as an impulse control disorder (see the APA’s Diagnostic Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition). Because gambling addiction involves something that virtually all of us carry in our pockets or pocketbooks every day—cash and debit or credit cards—it is essential that money issues be addressed with clients. An individual who has an “impulse control disorder” cannot stop doing the activity even though it begins to cause them harm. As a result, problem gambling can devastate all of these areas: personal finances, individual well-being, family and business relationships, employment, and more. Compared to addictive disorders, problem gambling has the highest rate of suicide. Professionals counseling Problem Gamblers need specialized training to be effective, and The Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling provides the training, workshops, and continuing education needed.