Tips for fighting urges and preventing relapses.

1. Find other things to do

Boredom is a common problem with gamblers. You want to find new activities that you enjoy to replace gambling. Discovering new interests will add fresh excitement to life and help keep your mind off gambling.

2. Delay play

When it comes to breaking a habit, procrastination is a good thing. Tell yourself that you’ll wait 10 minutes. As you wait, the urge to gamble will often pass or become weak enough to resist.

3. Use a support system

Don’t try to do it alone. Having a strong support is essential. Reach out to a close friend or family member when you’re feeling the urge to gamble. Or go to a support group meeting.

4. Avoid your triggers

A trigger is something that creates an urge to gamble. Everyone’s triggers will be different. Some people use gambling as a way to escape uncomfortable or painful feelings, so feelings of depression or anxiety can trigger an urge to gamble. Think what triggers you to gamble. Once you have them identified, you will be better able to avoid and overcome them.

5. Limit access to money

Get rid of your credit cards. Limit access to money by having the bank make automatic payments for you, and keep a limited amount of cash on you at all times.

6. Avoid temptation

Don’t put yourself in tempting environments or locations. Sign up for the state’s Voluntary Exclusion Program, restricting you from entering casinos in Maryland.