There's a lot of help out there for those that need it, or for those with loved ones who are able to get the individual to recognise the problem and get them to help. consider Gamblers Anonymous (similar premise to AA - group therapy with shared experience). Many individuals also swear by hypnotherapy. As will all types of problems, admitting the problem is the first step. Regrettably, often the problem only comes to light when someone has hit extreme financial dire straits. If this does happen, the individual should speak to their bank, their debtors, basically whoever they owe money to. There are hardship loans and financial assistance schemes for when people cannot pay their debts.