How to Support Loved Ones in Gambling Addiction Recovery

May 30, 2024 Kevin Anyango

Supporting your loved one during a gambling addiction recovery journey is quite difficult. Seeing a loved one struggle with gambling addiction can be heartbreaking. You may feel a mix of emotions – concern, fear, anger, and even frustration. But amidst these feelings, one desire likely stands out: to help them get better. However, starting a conversation about a sensitive topic like gambling addiction can be daunting. In this article, I'll share some tips to guide you through this difficult but necessary conversation that serves as a starting point when supporting a loved one in addiction recovery. 

How to Support and Talk to a Loved One About Their Gambling Addiction

Here's how to talk to and support a loved one dealing with gambling addiction recovery.

  • Choose the right time and place – The place and time are essential and highly affect the results. Pick a time when you are calm and have privacy. Avoid initiating the conversation when the other party seems stressed or intoxicated or if there's a major event happening soon. Find a quiet space where you won't be interrupted and can talk openly.
  • Focus on "I" statements – Instead of accusatory statements like, "You are ruining your life with gambling," focus on how their addiction is affecting you. For example, "I'm worried about how much you've been gambling lately." "I" statements convey your concern without placing blame, making them more likely to be receptive to your message.
  • Express your love and concern – Start by reassuring them that you care about them. Let them know you are not there to judge but to offer support. Statements like, "I love you, and it hurts to see you struggle," set the tone for a caring and supportive conversation.
  • Be specific about your concerns – Don't generalize your worries. Clearly explain specific behaviors that have raised your concern, such as missing work due to gambling, borrowing money, or mood changes.
  • Listen actively – Give them the space to express themselves. Listen attentively without interrupting. Validate their feelings and acknowledge the challenges they might be facing.
  • Offer support – Lastly, let them know you are there to help them find the support they need. This includes sharing helpful resources like gambling addiction hotlines, support groups, and counselors with them. Don't pressure them into anything, but emphasize your willingness to accompany them to support groups or appointments.

Support towards gambling addiction recovery is really important, but remember, recovery from gambling addiction is a journey. Having this conversation will not solve the problem overnight. But it can be a crucial first step towards recovery.

Watch the video below for more about how to support loved ones during addiction recovery.

APA Reference
Anyango, K. (2024, May 30). How to Support Loved Ones in Gambling Addiction Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Kevin Anyango

Kevin Anyango likes to say, "I am still me, no matter my mental health." Find Kevin on Twitter

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