Those who are addicted to gambling should take action to deal with it. Besides visiting a gambling support group, they can strengthen their own support system by getting in touch with their friends and family. Other ways to improve their social circle are enrolling in education courses, volunteering, and joining peer support groups. Those who have experienced gambling addiction can turn to Gamblers Anonymous, which follows the same 12-step program as Alcoholics Anonymous. Once they're a member of the group, they need to find a sponsor, who is a former gambler with whom they can share their experiences and advice. Problem gamblingThe term problem gambling is used to describe a variety of behavioral problems related to gambling, from occasional to chronic. These conditions are typically classified using diagnostic criteria from the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). The term problem gambling is also used in the medical field to describe those who engage in excessive betting, despite the fact that they may not be pathological. Problem gamblers are likely to devote a considerable amount of their time, effort, and money to the problem. Various terms have been used to describe the condition, but the most common ones are "at risk", "compulsive," and "pathological." Pathological gambling, as its name implies, is a progressive addiction that adversely affects many aspects of the person's life. The individual may be so preoccupied with gambling that he or she ignores social and interpersonal problems, but still cannot cut back on gambling. This condition is characterized by the frequent occurrence of negative consequences. Signs of a problemWhen gambling becomes an obsession, the person may be suffering from a problem. Although he or she might get a thrill from winning or losing, the gambler will likely continue to pursue it if he or she is feeling down. This person may borrow money for major living expenses and make excuses to not pay it back. They may have trouble paying bills and experience service disruptions. They may also eat little food or only eat food that is easy to prepare. The symptoms of a gambling addiction can be difficult to detect, but you should be aware of them. In addition to stealing, lying, and staying up too late, these symptoms can be a sign of a gambling problem. If you are not sure if your loved one has a gambling problem, you can check their social life and see if there are any other signs they may be hiding. In addition to these physical symptoms, if they have a problem with gambling, you may notice that they are manipulating or accusing others. Treatment optionsWhile there are many types of gambling addiction treatment options, psychotherapy is the most popular choice for many people suffering from comorbid gambling and substance abuse. During treatment, clients will learn the various components of gambling addiction and learn to change their behaviors. Many rehab programs combine various types of therapy to address the root causes of the gambling problem. This therapy can help the person identify triggers and learn to change their thinking patterns. During the recovery process, the patient may also participate in support groups, similar to AA and NA, in which members share their experiences and provide support. People suffering from gambling addiction should remember that treatment is not a sign of weakness. Professional help can help them stop the addiction in its tracks. Different types of rehab programs target different levels of the addiction. Inpatient rehab programs are geared towards treating severe cases of gambling addiction. They provide round-the-clock care and peer support, which can help people recover from the disorder. It is important to remember that each person responds to different stimuli. Legality of gamblingThe Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 makes internet gambling illegal in the United States. While the UIGEA does not directly affect player ability to place wagers, it does prohibit interstate financial transactions involving the use of internet gambling services. In addition, it prohibits the acceptance of funds associated with online gambling, and some online gambling providers have shut down their US sites. This legislation does not apply to sports betting, which is legal in many states. Federal law prohibits gambling between states, but states can regulate gambling in their own state. State-run lotteries are legal in all 50 states. Many states also allow gambling at tribal and commercial casinos. Around half of states have racetracks and casinos. Some states even allow sports betting, though it is not permitted in New Jersey. In addition, many states have enacted specific rules regarding casino games. Although no state has fully legalized online gambling, many have enacted laws prohibiting this activity.