Gambling is often perceived as a harmless pastime that may enable an individual to retreat from the daily grind and provide a source of fun and enjoyment.
However, according to a new study, the differential between enjoying the money play and wreaking havoc on family may be closer than you imagine.
Currently, six to eight million people in the United States suffer from a gambling-related problem. This problem often extends and can profoundly impact the physical, emotional, and financial health of the family (spouses, children, extended).
This month’s issue of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy explains that the most common treatment models for problem gambling are focused on meeting the needs of gamblers.
However, the strategies do not address the needs of couples and families whose lives have been negatively impacted by someone else’s gambling.
In the paper, the authors provide a detailed description of how problem gambling impacts families.
As noted by the authors, many of the people who access problem gambling treatment services are family members. It is clear that the impact of gambling on families can no longer be allowed to slip under the radar.
The authors call for families to seek help and support by engaging marriage and family therapists to help them cope with the impact of problem gambling on their lives.