In Iowa, 88% of the population has gambled in the past 12 months. For most of these people, gambling is fun and a form of recreation. They go into the situation knowing they may lose money and don’t suffer any consequences. Yet for others, it begins to consume their lives. Hince, Sieda Behavioral Health and Treatment Services (BHTS) offers gambling prevention and treatment.
Of those that do gamble in Iowa, 3% are pathological gamblers. Above all, this is the most severe form of gambling disorders. A problem gambler is anyone whose gambling is causing a negative consequence in their life. For instance, some problems include psychological, financial, emotional, marital or legal struggles. A problem gambler may experience:
- An increase in the size or frequency of bets
- Goes gambling with increasing frequency
- Gambles to win back what he/she has lost (known as chasing)
Furthermore, anyone with an addictive disorder is at a higher risk for developing a problem with gambling. A person actively abusing drugs or alcohol that has a mental health condition or is in recovery for their addiction is more likely to develop a gambling disorder. However, anyone can develop a problem with gambling, regardless of age, gender or race.
About 22% of Iowans are affected by the behavior of a gambler. Above all, loved ones and family members. Family can be preoccupied with the problem gambler’s issues, and not be able to focus or concentrate at work or school. Children of a gambling problem person show higher rates of misuses or disorders. Such as gambling problems and higher levels of tobacco, alcohol, drug use, and overeating than children of people without gambling problems.