The link between alcohol and gambling addiction, quite simply is linked by one thing addiction. Addiction is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.
All too often many addictions or the people with addictions are looked at as weak or lazy, and criticized as though they brought on the problem themselves. This has been medically proven to be not true. All addicts, whether alcoholics, gambling junkies, drug addicts or overeaters do have a disease. Many people will disagree with this fact but the fact remains it can be seen through MRI’s how addicts brains react. In recent years they have also found the strand in DNA that carries the genetic pre-disposition to be an addict.
So what it comes down to is just as an alcoholic sets off the phenomenon of craving with just one drink, someone else whose addiction manifested as a gambling addiction will set off their craving with one bet. Win or Lose their craving for the thrill of the next bet is on and most likely will not be stopped until they are broke. Just as the alcoholic will not stop until they are passed out or worse.
As an Alcoholics Anonymous member I have been to meetings where gamblers have come because they could not find a Gamblers Anonymous meeting. I have never personally gone to G.A. meeting but I’m sure I would be welcomed if I had. I do sometimes go to Narcotics Anonymous Meeting, and was treated at a Military Command Alcohol Recovery Program side by side with overeaters.
My point being that not only is there a link between alcoholism and gambling addiction but, the link is tied to all addictions. Anytime a person starts acting on compulsions and cravings they are not in their normal frame of mind and are likely to do things that they are going to regret at the end of their “binge”. This is usually followed by extreme remorse and the addict will often “swear off” whatever their vice, only to repeat this whole agonizing process over and over again.
It will take a life change for an addict of any kind to be free from their addiction. In my opinion the best programs are the 12 step programs for recovery. They have been proven to not only help in recovery but to teach how to live joyous and free from addiction.