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Make an action plan

Returning to gambling is a common problem for people trying to stop. If you are helping someone close to you recover from problem gambling, it can be useful to have a plan in place to help keep them headed in the right direction.

Your involvement could include:

  • going to meetings with counsellors with them, if they ask and you're available
  • encouraging them to talk openly with you, perhaps discussing the problem once a week, including talking about urges to gamble
  • helping them to set out and stick to a budget, and if this involves controlling their money, making sure you can cope if they try to access their money for gambling
  • talking to others close to you both so you can support each other
  • taking steps to look after yourself – find out how you can help yourself.

You can also find out about:


Things may not go to plan. Lapses can be a normal part of full recovery. It's important to talk about lapses or loss of control, so you can both understand the triggers and work out new tactics to manage them.

Remember there is no one way to recover from a gambling problem. If one approach doesn't seem to be working, you could look at other options. For example, the 100 day challenge has been a helpful option for people who have relapsed.

Find out more about:

Getting help

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How you can tell if there's an issue

It can often be hard to tell when gambling stops being fun and starts becoming a problem. Find out some signs to see whether gambling's starting to harm someone you know.

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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.

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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.

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