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How can I get help?

Do you require urgent assistance? Call the emergency hotline on 116 117.

If you feel that you are no longer in control of your gambling habit, it is important to get help from a professional. No longer being in control means that your gambling habit has had major negative consequences for you in one or several areas of your life, e.g. your social interactions and network, work, school/university, finances or your mental, emotional or physical health.

The most important thing you can do is talk to somebody. For example, you can use our (i.e. the University Hospital of North Norway) chatroom, where you can chat anonymously with experts about gambling and gambling problems.

There are many places around Norway where you can get effective treatment for gambling problems. Some services require a referral from your general practitioner, NAV (the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration) or your local municipal social services. It can be helpful to take our self-assessment test before seeking help, e.g. seeing your general practitioner. We recommend bringing a printout of your results from the self-assessment test.

Not sure who your general practitioner is? You can find out on Helsenorge.no, where you can also switch to a different GP.

On Hjelpelinjen.no, you can find information about various treatment centres around Norway.

What does treatment entail?

Identifying the nature and severity of the addiction

We use a questionnaire as a way to get an understanding of how serious your addiction is. There are different variants of the questionnaire that healthcare professionals may use to identify the degree and nature of a person’s gambling addiction. You will also receive treatment for any other mental health issues your GP or therapist identifies.

Therapy sessions

If you undergo treatment, you decide with your therapist how frequently you will meet. The frequency of your therapy sessions can vary according to your own preferences, your therapist’s assessment, your current life situation, mental health and severity of your gambling addiction. Typically, you meet once a week or every two weeks at the start of the treatment.

The conversation mainly focuses on helping you find out why your gambling has become a problem for you and investigating any thoughts or feelings associated with your gambling habits. Following that, we look into measures you can take to change your behaviour and better control your impulses through practical steps related to gambling.

Remote treatment

The Innlandet Hospital Trust has a remote treatment service for gambling addiction: spillbehandling.no. This service is free and consists of a three-month programme based on written assignments, weekly telephone calls and web-based assignments.

On Hjelpelinjen.no, you can find information about various treatment centres around Norway.

I want to try to deal with this without professional help. What should I do?

Cut off all access you have to gambling. Close gambling accounts on websites, block your tipping card, tell the staff at the bingo hall that you no longer wish to play. Unsubscribe from any newsletters and text messages from gambling companies. Limit your access to the money you have available to gamble with. Ask credit card companies to block you from receiving credit cards.

Get an overview of your finances. Gather all the claims from every creditor you have and make a list of the amounts and companies. If you are not able to pay back all your debts, the best option may be to agree on a repayment plan. It can help calling your creditors, explaining your situation and asking for a postponement on repaying the loan. Make agreements with the people you owe money to. This will improve your relationship with them while making you feel less ashamed and anxious about meeting them.

Many people feel a sense of relief of not being responsible for their own finances for a brief period while also not having the opportunity to spend money on gambling. If you believe this could help you end your problem gambling, you may want to consider asking a family member, friend or legal professional to be your temporary financial guardian. While not a long-term solution to the problem, a financial guardian can help you get through the initial months, during which recovering gamblers typically struggle the most to refrain from gambling. Most NAV offices offer debt counselling.

Spillavhengighet.no

A lot of people find it helpful to have the opportunity to talk to someone going through a similar situation, or someone who has already been through what they are currently going through. Spillavhengighet Norge organises member meetings for gambling and video game addicts and their family/partners in most major cities across Norway. You can find a full list of available support groups on spillavhengighet.no.