Betting on a professional when gambling becomes an addiction

With tax return season in full swing and the highly anticipated NCAA Tournaments for 2024 just around the corner, some people may be tempted to place a wager in the hopes of winning big.

While gambling can be a fun pastime, it can also lead to addiction and serious problems. In 2023, around 14% of adults in Iowa experienced issues related to their gambling habits. Moreover, almost 9,000 individuals in Iowa have taken the proactive step of self-excluding themselves from gambling to prevent further harm.

“Gambling addiction is taking unnecessary risks for larger payoffs,” said Andrew Gerodias, an outpatient supervisor at Rosecrance Jackson Centers.

Not everyone will develop a gambling addiction, Gerodias said. Individuals who have a good understanding of their finances and take care of their bills are unlikely to experience gambling-related problems. However, for those who spend excessive amounts of time and money gambling, quitting is more than just avoiding different forms of gambling. It requires additional effort.

“The tricky part of process addiction is that you can’t just quit. Sure, you can abstain from going to the casino or buying scratch tickets and pull tabs, but gambling is the ability to take a risk for a low payoff,” Gerodias said. “You cannot give up taking risks in life.”

Fortunately, with the right environment, resources, and assistance, many people can change their gambling habits and regain control of their lives. For individuals who are concerned about their gambling habits, seeking the support of a professional can be a valuable step toward recovery.

Professional assistance can help individuals recognize the underlying causes of their addiction and provide them with effective strategies to overcome it.

“If you feel like there is a problem, then seek out services. You won’t lose out on much if you speak with someone who can help,” Gerodias said.

To learn more about gambling services at Rosecrance Jackson Center, call 712.584.2030.