How to Protect Yourself
While you can’t control the individual with a gambling problem’s behavior, you can control your response to their dishonest and manipulative behaviors. You can take steps that will protect you and your family and, ultimately, help the individual with a gambling problem.
The most compassionate things you can do for a problem gambler are to encourage them to get treatment and offer your support. It’s also important to take care of yourself. Problem gambling adversely affects the family and friends of the gambler in both emotional and financial ways.
Tips for family members and friends of problem gamblers:
- Take over the family finances
- Review bank and credit card statements, and college savings and retirement accounts
- Request credit reports from the three main credit bureaus
- Monitor internet use to see if the person is gambling online. A quick online search will provide information on downloadable software that will block gambling-related sites from computers and other electronic devices.
- Be honest about how the gambler’s behavior makes you feel
- Get counseling or join a support group such as GAM-ANON.