Resources for Loved Ones of Problem Gamblers
"What should I do?"
The question of 'what should I do?' is a common one among the loved ones of those struggling with a gambling disorder. The information below are some resources to provide assistance.
Now is a great time to “have the conversation” about the risks of gambling and gambling addiction in a non-judgmental and conversational matter-of-fact manner. Removing Stigmas associated with addictive behaviors can often start with the language that is being used.
Problem gambling impacts more than just the individual. Often times family members and friends are also impacted, as problems can extend far beyond the gambler. If you know, or believe, that your loved one has a gambling problem, CreditCards.com offers the following tips for protecting yourself:
Lock your credit. Though “locking” a shared credit account may temporarily prevent you from having access to your own funds, it will help prevent the situation from getting any worse than it already has.
Open a new credit card and bank account in your name only. There are plenty of married couples who manage their finances entirely separately. By detaching your name from damaged accounts and creating new accounts that only you will have access to, you can prevent your loved ones from draining your funds while also ensuring that your credit score is protected.
Lock or transfer any of your long-term accounts. Gambling addicts are especially likely to focus on long-term assets — college savings, retirement funds, vacation savings — because they will not have to face the consequences of these actions until much further down the road.
Speak with a financial advisor. Experienced financial advisors have likely worked with people in situations similar to yours in the past. They may have expert advice regarding other actions you can take.
For a professional assessment and treatment resources near you, visit GamblingHelpOhio.com. There are over 80 outpatient gambling counselling and treatment organizations available.
In Ohio, problem gambling treatment services are free for the individual as well as their loved ones. Contact the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline at 800.589.9966 to speak to a referral specialist.
While In-patient treatment services are not available in Ohio, Residential Gambling Treatment Programs are available nationally.