Problem gambling affects more than the gambler. If you're the loved one of a problem gambler, you are suffering, too. You have legitimate worries about finances or legal ramifications. You may feel anger, grief, distrust and even isolation and depression. As a family member, you need and deserve counseling and support.
Remember that you are not to blame.
You cannot force your loved one to stop gambling or even admit that there is an issue. Only the gambler can stop the gambling. But also know that gambling is the problem, not the person.
The first step is to get help for yourself.
Call or text 1-833-BetOver (238-6837)
Counseling is free for Nebraskans and their families.
You will be helped immediately by Helpline Specialist Justin Antons (MA, LIMHP, LADC, CDGC).
Other sources of support
In addition to talking to a professional who understands problem gambling, self-help groups can provide invaluable help to you and other family members.
Steps for family members to minimize financial harm.
Families affected by problem gambling are often at financial risk.
Take steps to protect yourself and your family.
Seek professional advice about how to protect your family's credit and finances.
Do not lend the gambler money or pay his or her debts.
You may need to maintain separate bank accounts and credit cards.
Remove your name from joint accounts to avoid inheriting the gambler's debt.
If possible, take control of the family's finances and limit access to cash.
Budget and allow each member of the family some spending money, including the problem gambler.
Check the mail yourself for bills.