Tips to Give Up Gambling by Vince Hawkins

Do treat the addiction as a money issue. Gamblers Anonymous or Debtors Anonymous or both could help.

Don’t try to give up anything else initially. Don’t worry about smoking and/or overeating. Tackle these later. No gambler ended up broke under the influence of a cigarette or a biscuit.

Do challenge the passing thought that you’d like to gamble. In your head tell it to eff off. Otherwise a seed will be planted that could grow into a real bet instead of a craving. A week or so later you will find yourself in a bookies, at the track or in a casino spending what you can’t afford.

Don’t rush the program. Be a tortoise, not a hare. Leave the self-improvement steps until later. Just getting through the withdrawals without a relapse requires your full attention early on.

Do play the video the whole way through. We can’t control the first thought that enters our heads, but we can be our own director of what follows. If the opening scene is the first rush of excitement of – sitting in a casino and asking for chips, say, don’t stop there.
How many bets will you have? What scrapes will you get into? What harm will you do yourself and loved ones? What dark spot will you end up in? How many short months of misery before you end up in dead trouble?

Don’t go there. If you absolutely have to visit somewhere near a location or in a location which offers the temptation to behave in the old way, don’t stay a moment longer than you have to. Usually no one remembers when we left, only that we were there. Greet the people that matter and always plan your own escape route in case. Make sure you have the phone number of a taxi or a friend if needed. Sometimes people make a fuss about our not joining in if they have a problem similar to our own.

Do avoid major changes like divorce, moving house and a new partner or work where possible for one to two years. These are stressful and can interfere with one’s focus on getting through the withdrawals

Don’t get bored. Meetings only take up so much time. Fill the time you used to spend gambling with cinema, evening classes, the gym or swimming. You could try new activities to see which you like. Make a list of things you’d intended to do. Later on you will be able to go to a football match, for example, without having a bet. Because the program is a bridge to normal living. You will find out if you really enjoy watching the game or whether it was having a gamble that pulled you in. Chances are you will enjoy the football afresh.