Did you know that as many as two million people suffer from gambling addiction in the United States alone?

This addiction can seriously interfere with a person’s life, costing them both time and money.

You may wonder how a person even becomes addicted to something like gambling.

The risk of addiction lies in the adrenaline rush experienced when an individual wins the game or bet they are gambling with.

It is very similar to the problem facing adrenaline junkies (people who are addicted to elevated risk situations like extreme sports).

What happens when someone becomes addicted to gambling? Continue reading to find out what gambling addiction risks may occur.

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1. Your daily habits may be negatively impacted by your gambling addiction

An addiction is an obsession which slowly takes over every part of your life until it has entirely consumed it.

One of the first things which happens when a person becomes addicted to anything is that their daily habits (including things like personal hygiene and solid work ethic) begin to diminish.

Often, this is the first sign a person is developing a problem.

2. You may have erratic routines and timings due to addiction

The time of day when gambling is at its prime in places like casinos is at night.

Individuals with an addiction may often stay up until the wee hours of the morning to get their fix, even going so far as to stay awake gambling until the sun rises.

This, in turn, makes you sluggish in the mornings and hard to rise from bed.

You may begin to be late for work or school, and eventually you may not show up at all.

3. You may be less likely to engage in domestic situations

People with gambling addiction may make no effort to find a partner.

Some may even go so far as to call off weddings or decide against having children as these things could take time away from their gambling ventures.

Your home itself may suffer from lack of cleaning, and your cupboards may often be empty because you never made it to the store.

4. You may become negligent towards your family

With your next thrill always at the forefront of your mind you find yourself beginning to neglect your family, friends, and other loved ones.

You may begin missing out on major events such as your children’s sports games or your best friend’s birthday party.

You may start making to skip date night so that you can have additional time gambling.

5. You may become careless and your sense of self-preservation may be altered

Caught up in the big win or the more probable big loss, individuals may leave the casinos late at night.

Unaware of their surroundings, it is very easy for them to wander into dark parking garages or down seedy alley ways with no thought of self-preservation.

This increases the risk of being robbed, mugged, lost, raped, or even murdered.

6. You may take greater risks when addicted to gambling

A person with a gambling addiction may be prone to making large bets that only get larger as time continues.

You may even go so far as to bet away your home, car, family heirlooms, or other valuable belongings.

When the average person would normally walk away, an addicted person will continue to sit at the table until all their earnings are gone.

7. You may endanger your health and wellbeing quite often when addicted to gambling

Gamblers often drink and smoke while they are betting.

This is especially true in poker dens, casinos, and sports events.

You may become so caught up in getting your fix that you forget to eat or drink enough water.

You may fail to exercise and will sit for extended periods of time.

All these things adversely affect your health, as well as your mental well-being.

8. You may be very inconsiderate of others’ financial needs and wants

In addition to gambling away your bill money and putting your family’s financial security in serious jeopardy, those with gambling addictions are prone to borrowing money indiscriminately.

Unfortunately, these debts also often go unpaid, even when the original loaner makes it desperately clear they need the money back for their own families.

The very support group that the addict needs most is easily lost due to money issues.

9. You may consider criminal activities to fuel your addiction

When the money runs out and nobody is willing to lend you money, you may be tempted to consider criminal activities that will provide you with the money you need to gamble.

Once addicted, gambling becomes the only thing important in your life, so you will be desperate enough to do anything which will allow you that fix.

Drug dealing, prostitution, and stealing are prime examples.

10. You may involve yourself with criminal groups and elements

In the hunt for money, people with a gambling addiction may find themselves dealing with gang associations or loan sharks.

These can both be potentially life-threatening situations that are even harder to overcome than your addiction.

Once in debt to a loan shark or involved with a gang or criminal organization, the price of messing up is often death or permanent injury.

11. You may have run-ins with either the law or casino-authorities

Because of illegal activities and criminal associations, you may find yourself being arrested or picked up by the authorities for questioning.

Other things which could have you in trouble include verbal threats, physical violence, excessive drinking, and illegal drug usage.

Each of these is commonly seen in people with gambling addiction.

12. Your thought process may be taken over by the addiction

It doesn’t take long into the downward spiral of addiction for your thoughts to be continually straying towards your next opportunity to gamble.

Eventually, every part of your thought process will be hijacked, and your brain will tell you the need to gamble takes priority over all your normal obligations.

Your brain will literally begin rewiring itself.

13. Your mind may be obsessed with gambling and the high it gives you

With your thought process taken over, your mind will be unable to think of anything but gambling.

The high you get from rushes of adrenaline are as addictive as any drug, and you may experience withdrawal symptoms anytime you are forced to go too long without it.

Common withdrawal symptoms include shaking, sweating, vomiting, panic attacks, feeling cold, and insomnia.

14. Your brain neurochemical balance may be negatively modified

Eventually your casual enjoyment of gambling will turn into an obsessive need.

Addiction literally hijacks your brain and alters its’ very chemistry.

This is the reason addiction is so hard to overcome.

In order to overcome your addiction you must alter your brain’s chemistry again so that it allows you to be the person you were before falling victim to gambling addiction risks.

15. You may seek the answer to all of life’s questions in gambling

Distressing day at the office or arguing with your partner?

Aggravated because someone cut you off or stressed about a big upcoming test in your college class?

The addicted brain will bring you to the conclusion that gambling will fix all those problems.

In fact, people with gambling addiction believe their bets will pay off their rent or afford them a new car – just so long as they hit it big, of course.

For the addicted person, that big hit is always just one roll of the dice or flip of the cards away.

16. You may be likely to become a compulsive liar

It starts with a lie about where you’ve been all night, because you don’t want your partner or parent to know you’ve been out at the casinos again.

Eventually, you begin lying more about your whereabouts, as well as what you spent your money on, and who you were with.

Lying eventually becomes second nature, and you might even lie about things you don’t need to.

17. You may become antisocial and/or discontent with existing scenarios

Gambling addiction can lead to people breaking off longstanding friendships or avoiding family members.

Addicted persons may feel that their current life isn’t good enough and will seek to fill that void with yet more gambling.

It is a never-ending circle of discontentment followed by the temporary high, and back again.

18. You may lash out at counselors and well-wishers

The very thought of giving up gambling may make you sick or drive you to a breaking point you never knew you had.

The further into your addiction you are, the worse the reaction can be.

When someone seeks to help you break the addiction because they are concerned over your wellbeing, you may lash out with verbal or physical violence.

19. You may eventually become chronically depressed

At the end of every big adrenaline rush comes a “let down”. A let down is when the adrenaline leaves your body, either quickly or over an extended period.

This can leave a person feeling very empty and worn down.

Eventually the constant drastic highs and lows can cause severe chronic depression, or even anxiety disorders in some individuals.

20. You may pick up alcohol and/or substance abuse

Someone who has an existing addiction typically has what is known as an addictive personality.

In layman’s terms, this means they are more prone than the average person to develop an addiction.

It’s like the friend who smokes a cigarette once and is addicted while another friend can pick the habit up or drop it as they choose.

Once addicted to gambling, you are at a higher risk of developing an alcohol or substance abuse issue as well.

21. You may start exhibiting signs of sociopathy

Sociopathy is a personality disorder characterized by extreme antisocial tendencies and lack of a conscious.

As gambling takes over your life, you may begin to exhibit these signs.

You’ll seek to close yourself off from the world, allowing only your addiction any space in your life.

You may break people’s trust, steal, or lie with seemingly no regard for the feelings of others.

22. You may develop an aversion to anything not gambling-related in terms of leisure

One of the saddest things about addiction is the way it takes over your life, and this includes your leisure time.

Hobbies you once enjoyed no longer have a place in your life.

The places you used to enjoy visiting, and the people you enjoyed spending time with take a backseat when gambling addiction takes the wheel.

23. Your personality may be altered, and people won’t recognize your behavior

When caught up in your addiction you may find people start saying that you aren’t acting like yourself.

The truth is that you aren’t, and you won’t be until you break your addiction.

Your personality will be different, because the addiction to gambling has taken over your life and negatively impacted every part of what used to make you “you.”

24. You may consider suicide as an alternative to not gambling

Many people suffering from addiction consider suicide as their only option of escaping their new world.

With gambling, you watch as your debts pile high and every loss at the poker tables sends you a crushing blow.

Suicide becomes especially attractive when you come off your adrenaline high and are forced to face the real world.

Know, however, that suicide is never the answer.

There is help for you, and you can become the person you once were yet again.

25. You may need to reach out for help ASAP

It’s important to know anybody can be affected by the trials of addiction, and it doesn’t make you a bad person.

The addiction which has taken over your life is the “bad” part, and with help, you can become the person you used to be.

The first step is always the hardest, but once you reach out to someone with intentions of getting help you are well on your way to healing.

Addiction recovery is a long, hard road, but it is well worth the fight.

Don’t let addiction rule your life any longer.

Reach out and get the help you need now.