While the economic costs and benefits of gambling are often well-documented, few studies have addressed the social impacts of gambling. These include the social costs and benefits of problem gambling and any costs or benefits resulting from gambling addiction. Many of these costs are invisible and remain hidden until a gambler or their family members seek help.
There are numerous ways to overcome a gambling addiction. One of the most important ways is to strengthen your support system. This includes reaching out to friends, family members, and coworkers. Creating a social network can help you find other activities to take your mind off your gambling addiction. Joining a sports team or book club can help you socialize with people who share your interests. Volunteering for a cause that helps those in need can also be helpful. Another option is to join a peer support group like Gamblers Anonymous. This is an organization modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous and follows a 12-step program. One of these steps is to find a sponsor, which is a former gambler who is willing to provide support and guidance.
The social impacts of gambling can be seen at the individual, interpersonal, and societal levels. In some cases, the effects can be long-term and can alter a person’s life course. Some people who gamble are even left homeless due to their behavior.