Recovering from problem gambling isn't easy. It takes hard work and a lot of encouragement. Many people with gambling problems are able to turn their lives around because of support from people close to them.
We can help you provide this support with information and advice specifically suited to your situation.
Why can't they just stop?
When you don't have a gambling problem yourself, it can be difficult to understand why someone with a problem doesn't just stop.
Problem gambling has a similar effect on the brain as drug and alcohol addictions, which explains why just trying to stop isn't usually enough to make it happen. It also explains why many people have to try several times before successfully stopping.
If someone close to you has a gambling problem, you can't change their behaviour or force them to stop, but you can help them. You can make it clear that their gambling is affecting others, that they need to get help, that there is help available, and that it works.
Deciding to talk about it
If you think someone close to you has a gambling problem, taking the first step to help them can be difficult. They may feel embarrassed or ashamed, or they may actually feel in control of their gambling and think they don't need to change.Learn more
Practical ways to help
One of the very first steps to recovery is talking about it. If someone close to you has a gambling problem, an honest, non-confrontational conversation may be just what they need to get started on the road to recovery.Learn more
Gambling harm podcast: Affected others
Real storiesSee full listing of stories
My adult son who is 43 has had a gambling problem on-and-off for over 16 years that I know of. His gambling was a major factor in the breakdown in his first marriage over 6 years ago; then in his next relationship about 2 years ago. Now he is gambling again ...
He is always apologetic ... I've given him thousands of dollars to help settle debts. Now I'm facing money troubles as well. It's not easy to deal with, especially with children involved.