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Is There A Link Between Gambling Addiction and Substance Abuse?

September 13th, 2013

problem gambling, substance abuse

A new study conducted at St. Michael’s Hospital’s Center for Research on Inner City Health by research scientist Dr. Flora Matheson shows that there is a potential link between problem gambling and substance abuse. The sturdy was performed in partnership with the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, and the results can be found published online in the journal ISRN Addiction. There were two interesting results that some found surprising. The first is that there is between 10% and 20% of the population that have both problem gambling and substance abuse issues, but this population is also least likely to find effective treatment programs that can provide results with both issues. The second interesting result was that individuals who had both problem gambling and substance abuse were less responsive to typical treatment programs, leaving them with fewer resources that can help.

 

Both substance abuse and problem gambling have an impulse component, and some researchers have speculated that a single disorder may cause both issues. The treatment programs that are currently available are not targeted to treating both problems at the same time, and few who suffer from substance abuse and problem gambling are being reached. The study involved reviewing the literature on both problem gambling and substance abuse. This research showed a correlation that is high and a treatment response that is less than average. Problem gambling alone can be effectively treated in many cases, and so can substance abuse. When these two factors are combined the individual is less likely to seek treatment or find a permanent recovery. The Crossing Point has programs that can address both these issues at the same time for a better recovery.  

 

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