While many people can gamble occasionally as a hobby, others can seek deep into gambling and struggle with a serious addiction that can be just as debilitating as drug addiction. If you're the loved one of a gambling addict, your world can be turned upside down as you try to get the person into a treatment center that specializes in gambling addiction. Should your loved one not accept help and continue to gamble, you'll need to make several important but difficult decisions, including whether you'll remain with the person. If you choose to do so, you should consider these additional decisions.
Keep Your Money Separate
If you currently have separate bank accounts, it's a good thing. However, if your loved one has access to your account, you want to restrict it. This could involve taking his or her name as a second owner off your account, as well ensuring that he or she cannot obtain your debit or credit cards. If you have a joint account, you may wish to set up your own account at the bank. This way, your loved one won't be able to use your earnings and savings to support his or her gambling addiction.
Remove Any Valuables From The Home
You might not want to think about the worst that can arise as a result of your loved one's gambling addiction. However, you should face the reality that as he or she begins to run out of money with which to gamble, it's possible for your family member to begin selling possessions. While it might not concern you if your loved one is strictly selling his or her own things, it's a major issue if your high-value possessions begin to disappear. You can deal with them in a number of ways, including renting a small self-storage unit that your loved one doesn't know about, or placing smaller items in a home safe that only you can access.
Get Joint Items In Your Name
If you have items that you own with your loved one, work on getting them put in your name. You'll need consent from the other party, which may be difficult, but this step is necessary to protect your financial security. For example, if you own a vehicle together, it's a good idea to have the ownership transferred solely to you. This can prevent the other person from selling the vehicle for cash to use for gambling.
Contact a treatment program, like Treat with Care, for more help.