Just like having an alcohol addiction, problem gambling can take a large effect on your life too. Those with gambling addiction spend majority of their time thinking about gambling and how to get money in order to fund their gambling. They feel the need to bet money more frequently and become irritable if they stop gambling. The co-occurrence of alcoholics and problem gamblers can impact them financially, cause legal problems, strained relationships, career loss, and much more.
In Europe, according to studies from Nottingham Trent University, the highest gambling countries are Ireland (€279 per person), Finland (€239 per person), Luxembourg (€194 per person), Great Britain (€181 per person), and Sweden (€176 per person). 20% of people in Belgium also suffer from alcoholism as well as those in Estonia and the UK. One in ten people in Finland also have a problem with alcohol and 25% of people in Spain.
The connection between alcohol and gambling is when alcohol is used to celebrate a problem gambler’s winnings or for helping them with depression when they lose. It can either build up their confidence to continue their winning streak or it can wear them down if they lose a blunder. They replace one addiction with another. The major problem is that alcohol is free in a lot of gambling revenues in order for gamblers to continue being in their seats. This can encourage gamblers to keep betting as alcohol can affect their judgment and cause them be impulsive in their behaviors and decisions. This makes it difficult to control their gambling, to gamble longer, spend more money gambling, and drinking more.
In order to be in recovery for both alcohol and gambling, alcohol must be treated first. Detox treatment must be done for the body to be cleansed of alcohol by a medical professional in order to ensure their safety and minimize their cravings. In Europe, Nottingham Trent University also says that 60% of electronic gamblers in Belgium seek treatment for their addictions as well as in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, the UK, Spain, France, and Sweden. In Vienna, the only institution for gamblers is Spielsuchthilfe which offers counselling and therapy for problem gamblers and families. The largest facility in Denmark is the Center for Ludomani. Gamblers Anonymous exists in Ireland, France, Germany, and many other Member States as well as Alcoholics Anonymous to be in recovery for both alcohol and gambling.