It is important to note that while self-help is frequently successful in combination with professional treatment, acknowledging the difference between the two services is important. For example, self-help in most instances is an ongoing lifelong process for committing to change, whereas professional treatment is for a limited period of time.
Self-help support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous and GAM-ANON are comprised of individuals who have lived the experience, and walked the paths of recovery in varying stages. These groups offer strength, support, and hope to newcomers. An aspect of many self-help programs is sponsorship. Sponsors provide additional information, encouragement, fellowship and guidance to newcomers on a voluntary basis. They may also provide assistance and offer suggestions to newcomers on a case-by-case basis.
FirstLink 2-1-1, an easy-to-remember telephone number, answers calls 24 hours a day and provides referrals to local problem gambling resources. FirstLink 2-1-1 is also available for listening and support if you or a loved one have concerns about gambling.