The Importance of Self-Forgiveness on the Path to Recovery from Gambling Addiction

July 22, 2020
The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc.

Gambling disorder is treatable and is widely recognized in the mental health community. Many individuals that have or are currently struggling with problem gambling face many difficulties, including but not limited to financial and legal troubles, emotional and domestic problems, family conflict, suicidal thoughts or attempts, and other mental health and domestic challenges such as anxiety, depression, and family neglect. 

Studies have also shown that problem gambling is widely linked to crime. A review of gambling research over 25 years suggests there is a high prevalence of gamblers committing a crime to feed their habit, said the Howard League for Penal Reform in a study released on Monday, May 29th, 2020 [1]. 2018-2019 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine data showed that Illegal acts were reportedly committed by 29% of the gamblers to help finance their gambling addiction. The most common illegal acts reported were fraud (66%) (bad checks, forgery, etc.), larceny/theft (35%), and embezzlement (13%) [2]. 

In recent events right here in Florida, a dispute over a gambling debt turned violent and sadly led to the death of a 19 year-old-football player in a shootout that also left two others injured [3]. Our job at the FCCG is to provide hope and help for those individuals who are experiencing gambling-related problems. We provide the resources necessary for individuals to start on the path to recovery from gambling disorder. Listen to the experiences of these callers, as they share how they found help and hope for gambling addiction through the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine: 

Self-forgiveness is a topic that is discussed in our Peer Connect calls. The Peer Connect Program is a resource we use to connect HelpLine callers with other individuals who are further along the path of recovery from gambling disorder. When debts, crimes, and legal issues result from problem gambling, individuals who struggle with this disorder may additionally be filled with feelings of guilt and shame. However, one can begin to understand that self-forgiveness is an important part of leaving gambling disorder behind in taking steps towards recovery. The completely confidential 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine connects individuals in need with self-help, treatment, and many other resources that inspire self-forgiveness on the path to recovery. 

The first step on the path of moving forward and leaving problem gambling behind is reaching out for help.

If a loved one is engaged in gambling, or if you’re worried about yourself, know that help and hope are available through the 888-ADMIT-IT Problem Gambling HelpLine. 

The FCCG’s 24-hour confidential and multilingual HelpLine may be reached by calling 888-ADMIT-IT (888-236-4848), texting (321) 978-0555, emailing fccg@gamblinghelp.org, initiating a live chat at gamblinghelp.org, or by reaching out to us on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.

[1] Altaner, David. Problem Gambling Widely Linked To Crime, Study Says. 1 June 2020, gamblingcompliance.com/premium-content/insights_analysis/problem-gambling-widely-linked-crime-study-says.

[2] 24-Hour Problem Gambling HelpLine Annual Report., 2019 ed., The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc., 2019, 24-Hour Problem Gambling HelpLine Annual Report

[3] Reports, Staff. “19-Year-Old Former Football Player Killed, 2 Shot in Merritt Island after Dispute.” Florida Today, Florida Today, 18 June 2020, www.floridatoday.com/story/news/crime/2020/06/18/three-men-including-19-year-old-injured-in-merritt-island-shootout/3212706001/.