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Addiction and Mental Health Treatment California

Gambling Disorder Treatment Orange County California

Did you know the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) lists gambling addiction as a disorder similar to a substance related addictive disorder? For individuals who are addicted to gambling, it can disrupt their careers, destroy their relationships, or send them into debts. Recognizing that gambling is an addiction is the first step to seeking help and can be treated similar to a drug or alcohol addiction by licensed professionals.

What Is Gambling Disorder?

Not everyone who gambles is addicted to it, however, as of 2015, almost 9% of the adult and young adult population is reported to have gambling as an addictive behavior. Gambling becomes an addiction when that behavior causes significant distress and leads to symptoms and behaviors that severely disrupt their life.

Gambling is often referred to as a secret addiction because individuals may not recognize that it’s an addiction, and hide their gambling tendencies from their loved ones. They may have an un-suppressable urge to gamble, to the point that they may lie, steal or cheat in order to continue their habit.

Common Symptoms Of Gambling Disorder

Not every gambler exhibits all the symptoms, however the DSM-5 states that an individual must exhibit at least four or more of the following criteria to be diagnosed with a gambling addiction disorder.

  • Preoccupation with gambling
  • Need to gamble more
  • Unsuccessful efforts to control gambling
  • Restlessness when cutting down
  • Gambling as a way to escape
  • Chasing losses
  • Lied about gambling
  • Committed illegal acts
  • Jeopardized/lost a relationship/job
  • Reliance on others for money

Treatment for Gambling Disorder

There are several options for treatment of gambling addiction, including therapy and medication assisted treatments performed as a combination of inpatient treatments, intensive outpatient programs, clinical interventions, and group support programs, depending on the patient’s needs.

Semi-Residential Treatment

We offer structured semi-residential treatment called Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) for gambling disorders at our own facilities to provide the most successful option, including constant supervision by our clinical staff, daily individual and group therapy sessions, as well as holistic treatment approaches.

Outpatient Programs

Our intensive outpatient programs (IOP) as well as outpatient programs (OP) are structured to include therapeutic options to provide the most flexibility and affordability for those who have other obligations such as school, work and family responsibilities.


Our licensed clinical staff include psychiatrists and certified therapists in providing behavioral therapy (CBT, DBT, EMDR), psychotherapy, mindfulness based therapy, and several other modalities which may be combined to provide the most effective treatment plans for our gambling disorder patients.

Support Groups

One of the biggest advantages of recovering with us is that patients have an extended support group of peers to help them through difficult times and avoid relapses. Both 12-step and non-12-step options are available.

Medication Assisted Treatment

If a patient’s gambling disorder includes other mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder, antidepressants may be prescribed under supervision. Narcotic Antagonists have also been shown to reduce gambling urges in some cases.

Types of Gambling

There are several settings that are easily accessible for gamblers, both chance-based and skills-based. These are a few common areas, but for someone with a gambling disorder, temptation can be found anywhere.

  • Gambling on sports
  • Gambling in casinos
  • Playing the lottery
  • Playing sports for money
  • Gambling with stocks
  • Gambling online
  • Gambling on races

What To Do If You Have A Gambling Disorder

If you recognize yourself or your loved one having an addiction to gambling, you probably already know that it is disrupting your life and destroying your finances and relationships. If you have already tried to self-exclude having difficulty controlling your urges, it is best to consult a mental health professional. At California Prime, we provide an individual assessment of all of our patients, and create individualized treatment plans specific to their disorders. Call California Prime Recovery to see how we can help: 866-208-2390

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