12 Steps Gambling Addiction Treatment Plan (Based on AA Program)
Are you looking for an effective gambling addiction treatment plan?
You are already thinking about quiting, which means you have taken the first step towards recovery. Realizing that gambling problem can destroy your life is the wakeup call you needed.
Breaking the gambling habit is not easy. You might have already tried a few treatment plans that didn’t work for you. It is understandable to feel dejected but you shouldn’t lose hope.
The most effective addiction treatment is the 12-step plan developed by the AA program. This treatment plan is used by various groups including gambling anonymous with slight variations to eliminate gambling addiction.
This 12-step plan is based on the notion that learning from others and hearing their stories can help you in your addiction recovery process.
According to the principles of the AA addiction treatment plan, you have to first admit that you are powerless over gambling, that your life has become unmanageable.
The first thing towards successful treatment for gambling disorder is admitting you have a problem and realizing the power that addiction has on you. Realizing your powerlessness in front of your addiction can ensure a successful recovery.
Without understanding your loss of control and power, all other steps might be in vain. This will be the most difficult one as coming to terms with the fact that you have lost control is not easy for anyone.
Understanding and accepting this fact would initiate your journey of fighting off this addiction for good.
2. Believing in the Higher Power
The second principle is to believe that a higher power can restore you to sanity. This is when you reach out for help, to find that tiny shred of hope left in you that you can be helped.
After admitting your powerlessness, you might be feeling hopeless and wondering can your gambling addiction be cured or not. This step will help you find that hope again. Attending a support group is the best way of finding this hope.
When you see others who were once hopeless like you, but are now successfully on their way to recovery, you will start believing in your recovery process.
You will believe that the higher power has not forsaken you but is guiding you towards the right path.
3. Making the Decision
If you want to seek help for gambling addiction, no matter what treatment plan you follow, you have to make a firm decision of quitting your addiction in order to make it work.
Therefore, the third principle of this treatment plan is to make that decision, to turn your will and life to the care of God. This step emphasizes the faith you have to put in the higher power.
You have to realize that your faith and willingness to become committed to the higher power can enhance your hope and encourage you towards the next steps of the recovery process.
4. Moral Inventory
The fourth principle states that you fearlessly conduct a moral inventory of yourself in order to benefit from the gambling treatment plan.
Coming to terms with the things you might have done to your loved ones due to your addiction will not be easy. You have to take a hard look at yourself and the acts you have committed.
Be prepared to experience numerous emotions as you evaluate your life, which might make you want to stop. But remember, you must be fearless and rigorous in this step.
Next step is admitting to the higher power, yourself, and to other individuals about your wrongs.
The most common characteristic of an addict is the sense of isolation. You might have felt disconnected from the people around you because of your addiction. Sharing your issues with others is the best way to recover from your isolation.
Whether you confess it to the higher power, your loved ones, a support group, or use a gambling addiction hotline to share your problems, it is important that you actually do it.
This will help you emerge from your isolation where typically the addictions always thrive. Having someone to share your vulnerabilities with will create a safe and positive environment for you to recover.
6. The Change
Now you should be prepared to let the higher power eliminate these character defects. You might already be witnessing some changes in your emotional and mental state. The urge to gamble might be becoming less.
This may make you feel like you don’t need to go ahead with the rest of the step. However, it is important to move on to reduce the possibility of a relapse and ensure that you quit this addiction forever.
Those negative feelings and thoughts are sure to resurface soon enough to threaten your recovery journey. Therefore, focus on the successful changes you made and on the changes you have to make.
There are numerous addiction centers that offer free rehab for gambling, that can help you in making these changes. Remember, the biggest change would be the change of heart that will ensure you stay on this recovery journey.
7. Adapting Humility
The next step in this treatment for gambling addiction is to humbly ask the higher power to eliminate your shortcomings.
A humble heart will make you have belief in the power of the higher power. You must remind yourself that you were powerless against your addictions and yet you are gradually gaining the control back on your life.
This realization will give you more hope and faith in the higher power and the fact that your shortcomings would be removed gradually.
8. Asking Forgiveness
The next step requires you to create a list of all individuals you had harmed and make amends.
This is a chance to clean up the mess you made due to addiction and allow you to rebuild your relationships. When you adapt humility, you will also realize the harm your actions have caused others.
Start creating that list and determine ways to make amends to all of them, no matter how hard it might seem.
However, avoid rushing yourself. Talk to your support group to determine the best way of doing it so that you have a better plan of action.
Now that you have the list of people you harmed, it is time to talk to them directly, admit your mistakes in a way that would not injure or harm them further.
You would need good judgment, prudence, and the right timing to make successful reconciliation. Remember, this step will once again test your humility and would require further help and guidance from the higher power and your support group.
This will be challenging. Make sure you are not careless or impulsive when making these amends. This is the point where you would be most vulnerable to relapse because of the fear of facing the people you had hurt.
It is normal to be fearful but resist the temptation of giving up. You have already accomplished so much, be courageous and began repairing your relationships.
10. Being Accountable
Next comes being accountable by continuously making the personal inventory to determine when you were wrong and admitting it.
In this step, you need to take accountability for your actions that created havoc in the lives of others due to your gambling addiction. As you continue to evaluate yourself, you will realize there are still some negative feelings.
Take this inventory every day, plan your day to ensure you do better than you did yesterday, analyze your motives. Questioning your moves will help in seeking balance, and to eliminate those negative feelings.
Many gambling addiction treatment centers refer to this inventory as a time-out session where you examine what you did and why, determine ways of further improvements to aid your recovery journey.
11. Making a Commitment
This step is about using meditation and prayer to determine the will of the higher power and making a commitment to carry it out.
You will now notice that your anger, resentment, frustration, confusion and self-pity have drastically decreased. It is time to make a lifelong commitment towards this continuous journey and to make a constant effort of improving yourself.
Many gambling addiction treatment services offer different programs to help you adapt a healthier lifestyle, and discover fulfillment, peace, joy and hope through the activities you stopped doing due to addiction.
Keep surrounding yourself with people who support you and love you to strengthen this commitment of moving forward with good intentions.
12. Sharing and Servicing
The last step is to carry on this message to other gambling addicts as a form of service after experiencing the spiritual awakening of this gambling addiction treatment plan.
The best way to avoid relapse is to spread this light to those that need it the most. This will not just help others but also ensure you stay on the right path after going through this rigorous recovery process.
Helping at a gambling rehab allows you to spread the message of hope to gambling addicts that are seeking the same help you were when you began this journey.
This will serve as a constant reminder to you about your struggle and why you can’t go back to your old ways. Your conviction will strengthen further as you light the path of others and save them from the darkness.