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How Gambling Affects Your Health

Gambling doesn’t just affect your wallet. It impacts your relationships, health, and wellbeing. Individuals who are addicted to gambling tend to have worse health due to ingesting caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol, even other [and illicit] substances. It can also negatively affect your mental health.

Gambling can cause anxiety, stress, depression, and even suicide. Riding the highs of a winning streak is intoxicating, but repeated losing sprees can take you down a dark road filled with negative thoughts and bad ideas. Friends, relatives, and associates of gambling addicts tend to notice a short fuse and increased irritability once any wagering takes over one’s life. Irrational thoughts like “I can break even if I increase my bets” or “I am not down that much” can be the start of a snowball effect that leads to dire consequences. Having unwanted thoughts or any psychiatric disorder related to problem gambling can lead to individuals taking matters into their own hands.

Irrational thinking becomes extremely detrimental gambling leads to self-medicating oneself to cope with their benders, losses, or general frustration.  Common effects from drug ingestion (including alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine)  include abnormal heart rate and blood pressure, hangovers, blackouts, and deficient immune systems [which can lead to easily acquiring colds, infections, viruses, and other sicknesses]. In some cases, deadly diseases can come from intravenous drug use or uninhibited sexual acts. These illnesses can include Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV and many others.

Although not all gamblers drink or take drugs, it is a common combination. Casinos offer free drinks for all of their guests over the age of twenty-one. Whether the drink be alcoholic or simply contain caffeine (i.e. Red Bull or coffee), it can increase the amount of time that you gambler. It can also lessen your inhibitions leading to risky decisions while gambling in games ranging from poker to craps. Consuming alcohol on a regular basis can lead to Cirrhosis (liver disease), heart attacks, brain damage, diabetes, and cancer. Habitual gambling and drinking can also lead to an increase in criminal activity and a decrease in work productivity.

To view NJ gamblers anonymous meetings, visit or call our 24/7 gambling help hotline at 1-800-GAMBLER today. We are here to help… one day at a time.

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