For counseling support and help call  610-596-4222.

  • Do I have a gambling problem or addiction?
  • Do I gamble away the mortgage money?
  • Do I avoid paying bills and still go gambling?
  • Are there problems created by gambling that I am ignoring?
  • Am I hurting loved ones or my family and hiding my gambling?

These are many of the questions a problem gambler may ask themselves. What is the difference between enjoying a diversion in a casino versus the head long rush into problem gambling? The answer is the same as in many other addictions such as alcohol, drugs or shopping. I will isolate, cut out other areas of my life even loved ones, and lose my will to the games of chance. Below is a simple three question screen that may provide answers if you question your own behavior.

Brief Biosocial Gambling Screen for Problem Gambling

  • During the past 12 months, have you become restless irritable or anxious when trying to stop/cut down on gambling?
  • During the past 12 months, have you tried to keep your family or friends from knowing how much you gambled?
  • During the past 12 months did you have such financial trouble as a result of your gambling that you had to get help with living expenses from family, friends or welfare?

A “yes” response to any single item indicates potential gambling-related problems and the need for additional evaluation.

The DSM5 states and defines gambling addiction as:
…a person has to have at least four of the problems identified below, within a 12 month period, in conjunction with “persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behavior:”

  • Needing to gamble with more money to get the same excitement from gambling as before.
  • Feels restless or irritable when trying to reduce or stop gambling.
  • Keeps trying to reduce or stop gambling without success.
  • Gambling is frequently on the person’s mind — both reliving past gambling experiences, and planning future gambling events.
  • Gambles when feeling depressed, guilty or anxious.
  • Tries to win back gambling losses.
  • Lies to cover up how much they are gambling.
  • Loses not only money, but also relationships, their job, or a significant career opportunity as a result of gambling.
  • Becomes dependent on other people to give them money to deal with financial problems that have been caused by gambling.

Lehigh Valley Counselors counselors can help you overcome your addiction. Simply by visiting this website, you are taking a first step towards recovery: acknowledging you have a problem. The next step is to contact our office and set up an appointment for counseling. We offer compassion and understanding, not judgement. Patients with addiction deserve respect for the courage it takes to seek treatment and continue the hard road to recovery. Lehigh Valley Counselors is here to help. Counseling services can help you understand the root cause of your addiction and allow you to develop the coping skills needed to put down the bottle. Our counselors can also help you determine what path is best for your recovery. Give Lehigh Valley Counselors Counseling a call at  610-596-4222. We can often get an appointment set up with one of our counselors in 24 to 48 hours.


  1. Gebauer, L., LaBrie, R. A., Shaffer, H. J. (2010). Optimizing DSM IV classification accuracy: A brief bio-social screen for detecting current gambling disorders among gamblers in the general household population. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 55(2), 82-90.
  2. Brett, E. I., Weinstock, J., Burton, S. Wenzel, K. R., Weber, S., & Moran, S. (2014). Do the DSM-5 diagnostic revisions affect the psychometric properties of the Brief Biosocial Gambling Screen? International Gambling Studies, 14(3), 447-456.