Mental Health Treatment

Gambling Disorder

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 unsuppressable 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.

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.

Inpatient Treatment

We offer structured residential treatment 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.

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 us to see how we can help: 866-415-6313

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Alyssa Mueller


Alyssa Mueller is an Associate Clinical Social Worker. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Community Mental Health from California State University of Fullerton as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis on intercultural and interpersonal communication from California State University of Long Beach. Compassion, empowerment and unconditional positive regard are the foundations of her clinical practice, Alyssa has a passion for helping others and her priority is to hold space for clients to feel heard, to feel safe and to find fulfillment and self-love on their recovery journey. Alyssa specializes in addiction treatment, self-esteem building, mindfulness practices, grief and loss, trauma informed care, and self-compassion as well as individual and family therapy. She has extensive experience working with high risk populations in various clinical settings such as partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient care, outpatient treatment, schools, and community outreach. Alyssa uses a client centered and holistic approach to address the client as a whole person in order to help them to feel empowered and facilitate their confidence and independence.

Charee Marquez

LMFT - Clinical Director

Charee has worked in the recovery field for 10 years.Charee is dedicated to supporting and inspiring clients to live a healthy lifestyle filled with meaning and purpose.Charee has extensive clinical experience within the recovery field in both inpatient and outpatient settings.She specializes in working with individuals and families affected by the disease of addiction however she has also clinical experience in assisting individuals,couples and families in working through a variety of concerns,including: depression,anxiety,relationship & communication issues,substance abuse,grief & loss,trauma, life transitions, and many others.Charee works with each client to specialize their treatment plan with what works best for the client in a compassionate and effective way. She emphasizes the strength of every individual client and fosters an environment of personal growth and internal healing from a mind, body and spiritual approach.Charee received her Bachelor of Arts from Seton Hall University, Majoring in Psychology and Minoring in Women and Gender Studies, in addition to her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California.

Stephen Carmel

Founder & CEO

I began my journey to recovery back in 2011 when I moved to California from New York.Along wiht my recovery and beginning a new way of life,I began to develop a heart for others struffling with sobriety.My journey to California was filled with many trials and lessons learned, but most of all, personal growht.I truly believe i would not have found success if I didn’t come to California.I started CPR as a way to work with people in recovery on a daily basis and it evolved into something much more beautiful. I have also come to realize that my own personal happiness and recovery depends on being involved in the lives of people in recovery. Helping others recover is a cornerstone of many 12 step programs, as it is here. Giving back to those still suffering, is the only way not to lose what you have gained. It is the paradox that we live by every day.