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Posted in Mental Health

Gambling Addiction an Under-Recognized, Devastating Disorder

Health insurance policies that cover treatment for problem gambling are few and far between. By and large, insurance companies fail to recognize that pathological gambling is an addiction. Instead, they classify it as a compulsive behavioral problem and not as a medical emergency (which it is) requiring rapid and aggressive intervention (which it does).

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playing poker at home

Posted in Addiction Research

Gambling Problems Can Derail Substance Abuse Treatment

As a rule, people affected by substance use disorder (substance abuse and/or substance addiction) need help from trained professionals in order to suspend their drug or alcohol intake and maintain long-term recovery. However, individuals in substance treatment may still engage in behaviors that endanger their well-being in significant ways. In a study published in 2014 in the Journal of Addictive Diseases, a team of American researchers used a screening tool called the South Oaks Gambling Screen to estimate how many people receiving residential treatment for substance abuse/addiction have gambling problems that could qualify them for diagnosis of a form of behavioral addiction called gambling disorder.

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man playing cards

Posted in Mental Health

Man Who ‘Gambled Away Mental Health’ Tells of Overcoming Obsession

Ex-gambling addict “Michael” (not his real name) was deep in debt and placing up to 100 bets every day, but it wasn’t until he found himself wagering on beach volleyball that he came to understand he had a serious problem. Michael tells his story of his descent into an addiction that would ultimately cost him […]

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homeless person begging

Posted in Mental Health

Problem Gambling Common Among Homeless

The link between substance abuse, mental health troubles and homelessness is well-known and established. But much less talked about or understood is the strong connection between problem gambling and homelessness. In 2014, there were two fact-finding projects aimed at probing the relationship between pathological gambling and homelessness, and the information each uncovered was eye-opening. 

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Posted in Helpful Articles, Mental Health

Similar Brain Activity Seen in Behavioral Addiction, Substance Addiction and Obesity

When in the presence of food, people affected by obesity demonstrate similar brain activity as that of people addicted to substances, researchers report.

Obesity is a physical condition defined by a relative body weight high enough to pose serious risks to health and well-being. Rates of this condition are increasing throughout the U.S. and across certain other segments of the industrialized world. In a study review published in late 2014 in the journal Obesity Reviews, a multinational research team compared the underlying brain processes of people affected by obesity to the brain processes of people affected by substance addiction and non-substance-based behavioral addiction. Specifically, the researchers looked at the way in which the brains of people with these conditions process pleasurable or rewarding sensations.

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online gambling

Posted in Mental Health

Online Gambling Doesn’t Increase Risk for Disorder, Study Finds

Online gambling is the common term for gambling that occurs over the Internet rather than in person. Some countries (like the U.S.) heavily restrict Internet gambling, while other countries have looser laws that allow for participation in a wider range of online gambling activities.

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woman holding multiple shopping bags

Posted in Addictions

What Are Process Addictions? Are They Real Addictions?

Process addictions are addictions to an activity or process, such as gambling, eating, spending, sex, and work. As to whether they are real addictions, the prevailing view is that they are. At least, they share commonalities with substance abuse addiction. Let’s look at each of these process addictions briefly.

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Posted in Mental Health

Compulsive Work Addiction

With the national unemployment rate hovering at 10 percent – and higher in some hard-hit areas of the country – anyone who is still employed is understandably worried about the future. Will they still have a job tomorrow, next week or next month? What do they have to do to keep their job? And, with so many companies downsizing within the last year, the remaining workers simply have to do more work to pick up the slack. But even without the current economic downturn, the simple truth is that more and more Americans are slaves to their jobs. In short, they suffer from a condition known as compulsive work addiction.

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