The Importance of Assessing Gambling


As the number of gambling enthusiasts grows, primary care practitioners are increasingly evaluating patients for addiction and problematic behavior. Gambling is often seen as a legitimate activity with a low risk of harm but has addictive potential. The relative importance of assessing this behavior depends on its risks and benefits. Below are some key factors to consider. Listed below are some ways to recognize signs of problem gambling and other problems associated with gambling. Weigh the risks versus benefits carefully.

Problem gambling

The term problem gambling is not a new one. Health professionals have long debated the definition of this disorder. Various terms, including pathological gambling and compulsive gambling, have been used to describe this disorder. The latest term is disordered gambling, and the criteria have evolved over time. Currently, people with problem gambling need to wager increasing amounts of money in order to feel the same level of excitement. They are also restless and irritable when they cut down on gambling, and they have repeatedly failed to stop.

Alcohol dependence

The pathogenesis of gambling disorders is complicated by multiple factors including genetic vulnerability, dysfunction of the dopamine reward system, prenatal alcohol exposure, and conduct disorder during early childhood. Other factors include emotional regulation deficits, structural disorders, and executive function problems. Despite the complex nature of alcohol addiction, treatment options are limited. Pharmacotherapeutic interventions for gambling addiction have not shown positive results in reducing the frequency of relapses or improving compliance.


Some people suffer from depression, and this problem can worsen compulsive gambling. Substance abuse may contribute to compulsive gambling. Substance abuse is also common among gamblers, and some even turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the losses and emotions brought on by gambling. Gambling and substance abuse often go hand in hand, as many people use gambling to buy drugs. The use of drugs and alcohol can cause more stress to the sufferer, whether in the form of financial loss or relationship problems.


The social costs of gambling are estimated to be as much as $7 billion in Victoria annually. Furthermore, the prevalence of financial stress among Australians is quite high. According to a survey conducted by the Melbourne Institute, the overall financial stress rate among Australians ranged from 54.9 to 61%, in both regions with the lowest and highest poverty rates. However, despite these negative effects, gambling continues to be a popular past time for Australians.

Non-gambling health problems

Despite being a legal activity, gambling is a highly addictive activity. The relative importance of assessing gambling addiction depends on the benefits and risks of the activity. People who gamble may develop a wide variety of health problems, including cardiovascular and psychiatric conditions. Problem gambling is growing in the US. While the health risks of gambling are largely unknown, this article highlights some of the key findings and implications of gambling addiction.


In addition to inpatient rehab, intensive outpatient programs are also available. These programs are designed to give patients up to nine hours of structured therapy each week but still allow them the independence to manage their schedule. They also serve as a step down from residential treatment centers and can prevent a person from needing to move up a level of care later. Treatment for gambling addiction should focus on psychotherapy rather than medication. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and systematic exposure therapy are two common psychotherapies that can help individuals control their urges to gamble.