From the casual weekly poker game at a friend’s house to the glittering lights of the Las Vegas strip, gambling can be a fun diversion for many people. However, for a small minority of the population, this hobby turns into something dark and menacing. Instead of being something the person does for fun, it becomes something that controls their life. If this is happening to someone you care about, you may want to intervene. This article describes how to confront a family member about their gambling.
A compulsive gambler is one who will risk his or her financial security, personal wellbeing, and relationships over and over again. Compulsive gambling can come from biological, genetic, and environmental factors. Certain drugs, such as the antipsychotic Abilify, are also linked to this disorder.
Signs of Compulsive Gambling
The first thing to do if compulsive gambling is suspected is to determine whether there is a real problem. Is this person just enjoying their hobby or is it something more destructive? Here are some of the signs you can look for:
- Gambling amounts of money beyond what they can afford
- Personal relationships are being damaged by the activity
- The hobby is getting in the way of work or school
- Not being able to stop
- Increasing the time spent gambling
- Hiding the activity from friends or loved ones
- Stealing or committing crimes to be able to afford to gamble
Depending on the gambler’s personality type, treatment options can vary. It helps to identify which category your family member falls into. Extroverted people are often drawn to games of skill such as poker. These “action gamblers” like to beat the odds. Introverted people are often drawn to games that help them escape from real life. Often they are depressed and the games help relieve their depression.
It is important to realize that you may see a problem before the gambler does. You might want to consider asking them if they think a problem exists. Even if your loved one isn’t ready to admit it during the immediate conversation, he or she may begin to notice patterns they hadn’t seen before.
Abilify Linked to Compulsive Gambling, Hypersexuality, and Binge Eating
Abilify is an antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and more. In addition to compulsive gambling, Abilify has also been linked to hypersexuality and binge eating. These ‘extreme’ side-effects are thought to be caused by the release of dopamine and serotonin.
Abilify manufacturer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, has made billions from the drug. The pharmaceutical giant is at the center of multiple lawsuits. The lawsuits allege that the company failed to warn consumers and health care providers of the risk of these dangerous, and life-altering side effects.
Treatment Options for Compulsive Gambling
There are several treatment options for gamblers. These include medication, therapy, and support groups. Often, compulsive gamblers have co-morbidities like bipolar disorder, ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorder, or depression. Treating these problems may help alleviate the gambling.
The Goldwater Law Firm – Nationwide Drug Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one is concerned about compulsive gambling after taking Abilify, we can help. Contact the drug injury attorneys at the Goldwater Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation today.