Thursday, February 14, 2008

Problem gambling - are the odds better than we think ?

The conventional wisdom about addictive gambling suggests that it is an enduring and progressive disorder that seldom gets better without professional help and gets worse over time with people placing larger and larger bets more and more frequently in an attempt to recoup their losses. However, recent research has found that drug and alcohol addictions are not always a one-way street with people moving backwards and forwards into different levels of addiction and some giving up their habit without any professional intervention. A review of 5 recent studies on problem gamblers who were not receiving treatment has found that this pattern also holds true for them. The study found no evidence to support the assumption that individuals cannot recover from disordered gambling, no evidence to support the assumption that people who had more severe gambling habits were less likely to improve than those who had less severe problems and that people with some gambling problems were no more likely to get worse than people currently without gambling problems were to develop them.

LaPlante, Debi A. ... [et al] - Stability and progression of disordered gambling: lessons from longitudinal studies Canadian Journal of Psychiatry January 2008, 53(1), 52-60

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