Riding the waves of gambling cravings


Feeling the urge to gamble is normal, but as you build healthier choices and a strong support network, resisting cravings and riding the waves to calmer waters will become easier. 

When a gambling craving swells:

  • Avoid isolation. Call a trusted family member, meet a friend for coffee, or attend a Peer Support meeting. 
  • Postpone gambling. Tell yourself that you'll wait 5 minutes, fifteen minutes, or an hour. As you wait, the urge to gamble may pass or become weak enough to resist.
  • Distract yourself with another activity, such as going to the gym, watching a movie, or practicing a relaxation or Mindfulness exercise for gambling cravings.
  • Seek support. There is always someone to talk to, no matter what time of the day or night you are having an urge you can call the PEI Gambling Support Line at #1-855-255-4255 and get some confidential free advice 24/7.

Check out this helpful video from Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation about Urge Surfing: How to resist the urge to gamble through practicing Mindfulness.

Coping with lapses

If you aren't able to resist the gambling craving, don't be too hard on yourself or use it as an excuse to give up. Overcoming a gambling addiction is a tough process. You may slip from time to time; the important thing is to learn from your mistakes and continue working towards recovery.

If you fall back into gambling, it's important to understand this is a normal part of full recovery. Slips and relapses can highlight what triggers the gambling and help you work out new tactics to manage the triggers.

Check out this helpful video from Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation illustrating "Why Relapses are a normal part of giving up gambling"

If you, or your loved one is in need of help with gambling harms or worries, the PEI Gambling Support Line #1-855-255-4255 is available 24/7 for confidential assistance and support.