Gambling Disorders and Treatment


Understanding the nature of gambling disorders and finding effective treatment options can help individuals overcome this problem. While there are no FDA-approved drugs to treat gambling disorders, many medications are used to treat co-occurring disorders. Although support from family and friends can be important, individuals must be the ones to make the decision to stop their gambling habits.

Compulsive gambling

Compulsive gambling is an extremely destructive and often deadly habit. The problem is that a compulsive gambler has little control over his actions. While he may wish to quit gambling, it is not possible to stop. The problem becomes so bad that the compulsive gambler may even resort to criminal activity or even steal from family members or friends. Compulsive gamblers also have a difficult time making ends meet, as they often end up in debt and often have difficulty paying back money they borrow.

Pathological gambling

The prevalence of pathological gambling is difficult to measure, but there is an established measure that can be used to gauge the condition. Such a measure would reflect the views of the pathological gamblers and would undergo validation testing to ensure it is valid.

Legalized gambling

There are a lot of concerns about legalized gambling. Many people believe it will boost the economy, but studies have shown that gambling actually steals customers and cannibalizes revenues from other businesses. The biggest concern is that gambling will lead to more people becoming pathological gamblers. In addition, gambling will increase employment costs.

Internet gambling

Internet gambling poses a variety of potential health risks, including gambling addiction. Research shows that problem gamblers are more likely to engage in Internet gambling than non-problem gamblers. One third to half of Internet gamblers report experiencing gambling-related problems prior to online gambling. Furthermore, problem Internet gamblers report that they prefer land-based gambling over Internet gambling.

Problem gamblers

Problem gamblers often visit their general practitioner more often than average and have a range of physical and mental health issues. These issues may include stress-related problems, family violence, and financial problems. Problem gamblers also often report that they are ashamed of their behaviors.


Treatment for gambling addiction is available in a variety of forms. Some treatments are inpatient, while others are outpatient. While inpatient treatment is more intensive, outpatient treatment allows patients to live normal lives while undergoing treatment. Private therapists or primary care physicians can assess a patient’s gambling history and recommend the appropriate type of treatment.

Posted in: Gambling