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).
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.