Gambling is like alcoholism; people start it just to get a hang of it, they are hooked before they know it. Gambling addiction is not a sin or vice; it is an illness that can be treated and prevented. Psychological help to stop gambling is offered by numerous organisations and counselling centres where former gamblers chare their experiences and help the new members to take the path of recovery. The first step in stopping gambling is the desire to stop gambling from the gambler’s side. Nobody can force a gambler to join a de-addiction club or take part in recovery program. The gambler himself must be able to face the fact that he has an emotional disorder and must feel the need to escape from the pitiable situation he is in. Once this initial decision making step is taken, the gambler can enrol for a gambling recovery program.
Learning how to stop gambling and save the person from more gambling hazards is the responsibility of the family members and friends too. Along with the gambler, the near and dear ones also get the instructions to help the person come out of the weak mental state. Practical steps like not giving money for betting, asking friends and relatives to stop lending money to the gambler, not trying to work in order to cover the debts incurred by the gambler, not allowing the gambler to handle family affairs and financial matters while he is undergoing treatment, etc. can be taken. However, no preventive measures must be taken without the knowledge of the gambler. It would only lead to frustration and trying to find out alternative ways to let out his urge to gamble. The steps to stop gambling could be taken only if the gambler is ready to accept the facts and seeks aid to help him in overcoming the addiction.
Online gambling is more secretive than an open betting place. Access to Internet cannot be denied; but it is possible to download and install software that blocks gambling sites. Exploiting the possibilities of Internet to share the problems of gambling disorders with others having the same conditions will also be effective. When the gambler realises that there are other people facing similar situations in life, it gives him an emotional support to find that he is not alone. Joining chat rooms and forums of problem gamblers who want to stop gambling can help the gamblers by offering a common space to open up to a community of likeminded people and get support from all over the world.