Links Between Gambling and Substance Abuse

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Problem gambling or addiction to gambling may be an affliction less frequently heard of than drug abuse or addiction. However, a new study from the St. Michael's Hospital Center for Research found that there is a link between the two addictions that is not getting the proper attention or care. The study shows that between 10 and 20% of people who suffer from mental health or substance abuse addiction also have significant gambling problems.

The connection between the two addictions is much like a vicious cycle. One main point is that both addictions support the instant gratification aspect of addiction. Most addictions are centralized around the euphoria and pleasure gained from instant gratification. In drug addiction, that pleasure comes from the drugs that are taken, while in gambling, the "small and large wins" provide the exhilaration that becomes addicting. In another point, it has been found that drug addicts may use gambling to support their habit and vice versa, gamblers may take drugs before or during the games played to improve performance or to help cope with the disappointment in losses. Both addictions can cause long-term consequences. Drugs often cause serious health side effects that can vary from less severe symptoms all the way to the harshest, death. Problem gambling on the other hand is known to cause serious financial consequences such as bankruptcy and property loss, just to name a couple.

It has been found before, that individuals who suffer from one addiction will often transfer the addictive tendencies to other avenues of abuse. Some even partake in multiple addictions at the same times. Examples of this aside from gambling paired with drug abuse, is sex addiction paired with drug abuse, sex addiction paired with internet addiction and shopping addiction paired with internet addiction. The individuals who do suffer from two or more addictions are sometimes not aware of the necessity to seek help for all addictions at the same time. This often leads to inadequate recovery from addiction in that the individual will switch to another addiction and the actual underlying problem is not properly resolved.

The study which speculated upon the average amount of people who suffer from more than one addiction found that most social agencies don't have the funds to properly treat a dual- diagnosis patient. This leaves much of the population which suffers from multiple addictions and is also at/or below the poverty line without effective treatment. Individuals who suffer from more than one addiction require a dual-diagnosis program, and this leads to therapy and recovery that deals not only with one addiction, but both simultaneously. This has been found the most effective form of treatment for dual-diagnosis addiction cases by far.

For more information on our addiction treatment programs and therapeutic approaches, call toll free at: 800-960-5041. Florida Center for Recovery offers residential drug and alcohol rehab treatment through 12-Step and Non 12-Step Programs.

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