Recent research funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation has found that 14% of people receiving treatment for substance abuse also experience problems with gambling.
There are many similarities between substance abuse and gambling problems – both may be used to escape uncomfortable feelings such as depression and anxiety, both can result in preoccupation (either with using the substance or gambling), both may be associated with a ‘thrill’, and more is needed over time to achieve the ‘thrill’.
Gambling under the influence can lead to feeling out of control and those who gamble while under the influence of alcohol or drugs are at an increased risk of negative consequences. It can lower your resolve if you’ve decided not to gamble and lower your inhibitions leading to betting more and taking bigger risks while gambling. Gambling under the influence also increases the risk of other consequences such as depression, anxiety and relationship problems. An additional side effect can be depending on these activities to reduce problems such as depression, not realising that it is actually contributing to the very problem you are trying to escape.
If you’ve found yourself gambling whilst under the influence and are concerned about the impact this is having on your wellbeing, call Gambling Help on 1800 858 858 for free and confidential support and treatment.