Give help to friends or family

Get practical problem-gambling help for supporting loved ones struggling to stop a gambling addiction.

Give help to friends or family

Get practical problem-gambling help for supporting loved ones struggling to stop a gambling addiction.

Give help to friends or family

Get practical problem-gambling help for supporting loved ones struggling to stop a gambling addiction.

Give help to friends or family

Get practical problem-gambling help for supporting loved ones struggling to stop a gambling addiction.

Problem Gambling Ohio Advice for Loved Ones

Problem Gambling Ohio features resources for free help for a gambling problem. By providing problem-gambling help online, we make it easier for you to seek counseling or to support your loved ones. Use our Live Chat feature to get help for a gambling problem, or check out the list below to help you determine if someone you love might have a gambling problem — and find out what you can do to help them.


  • Gambling is problematic when someone can't stop gambling despite its negative consequences.
  • Problem gambling is a disorder. Although problem gamblers don't ingest any substances, their brains function nearly identically to those of alcoholics and drug addicts.
  • There are no visible symptoms of problem gambling. If you suspect someone has a problem, don't wait until that person experiences major difficulties.
  • Learn as much as you can about problem gambling before discussing it.
  • When having a conversation, stay calm and be supportive. Explain how their gambling affects you. Remind them of their good qualities and any positive steps they have taken.
  • Unite friends and family members to refuse all requests for money, secrecy and deception.
  • How do you prefer to discuss difficult subjects? Many people prefer in-person, followed by phone and then email or texting.
  • Surprisingly, problem gamblers say any form of communication is fine, provided the person is positive, understanding and supportive.
  • Focus on your hopes and expectations that they seek treatment. Ask them if they think they're ready. Eventually, they will say yes.
  • Before you start, remind yourself why you suspect a problem (financial troubles, lying, secrecy).
  • The best time to talk might be when a person has just finished a gambling episode and is expressing regret. Tell them how their life can improve with treatment.
  • If the person tries to rationalize their gambling, remind them of the negative consequences (where you started). If they continue to argue, try again later.
  • Admitting a problem is always the first step. In the early stages, problem gamblers are in denial; in later stages, they stop trying to deny it.
  • Talking about addiction sooner rather than later can make a real difference in the gambler's recovery. If you wait too long, recovery will be more difficult.
  • Focus on the benefits of seeking treatment and living without gambling. Offer to help research treatment options and resources.
  • Provide support and reassurance once the problem gambler participates in counseling, support groups and other services.
  • Problem gamblers will experience doubt and anxiety during recovery. Remind them that you believe in them and tell them how much they mean to you.
  • Protect yourself. Consider safeguarding bank accounts and other assets so that gamblers do not have access to them.
  • Do not offer to finance, sign for or consolidate a person's gambling debts. Evidence has shown this will not help the problem gambler, and will only make matters worse.
  • Remember that problem gambling is a disorder, not a decision. Remind problem gamblers that you love them and that help is available.


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