Gambling Disorders 360°

Exploring the latest news, issues and research relating to gambling disorders and responsible gaming

In the News

NCRG’s Scientific Advisory Board Chair to be Founding Chair of University of Florida’s Department of Epidemiology

by: NCRG Staff | Jun 9, 2011

Linda B. CottlerThe NCRG congratulates Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., M.P.H., on her new appointment as the founding chair of the University of Florida’s department of epidemiology.  Dr. Cottler is a long-time friend of the organization and serves in many roles, including the chair of the NCRG’s Scientific Advisory Board and a member of the advisory board for the NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction.

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The Misperceptions of Disordered Gambling

by: NCRG Staff | May 24, 2011

Last week, the American Psychological Association (APA) sponsored a “Mental Health Blog Party” where they encouraged everyone to blog about what mental health means to them, either as individuals or mental health professionals. More than 130 blogs were posted and more than 500 people participated on Twitter (hashtag #mhblogday), with topics ranging from depression and bipolar disorder to advising parents on how to talk to their children about drug and alcohol abuse. One concept that resonated throughout the wide variety of topics was the public’s misperception and stigma associated with mental health issues. The same is true for the field of gambling disorders. Even though pathological gambling was not addressed by any blogger for the APA’s blog party, we believe it is important for it to be a part of the conversation.

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New Edition of The WAGER Looks at Dopamine, Excitement Levels and Disordered Gambling

by: Institute Staff | Apr 12, 2011

The relationship between the brain chemical dopamine and disordered gambling has been well-established over the past several years (we discussed this relationship in the context of Parkinson’s Disease in the July 2010 Issues and Insights). Dopamine is associated with the reward system of the brain, which affects feelings of enjoyment and behavior reinforcement. It and other brain chemicals are, by their very nature, difficult to observe and thus difficult to translate into preventive applications. To bridge the gap between brain chemistry and disordered behavior, researchers can link the two with quantifiable emotions like excitement. The most recent edition of The WAGER (Worldwide Addiction Gambling Education Report) reviews a study that looks at those factors as they relate to pathological gambling.  

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Are Gambling Problems More Common Than Drinking Problems in Adults?

by: Institute Staff | Mar 28, 2011

Stories about a recent study on gambling and alcohol use across the lifespan have begun popping up around the Internet with contradictory titles like “Gambling Problems Are More Common Than Drinking Problems, According To First-Of-Its-Kind Study” and “Are Gambling Problems More Common than Drinking Problems? Maybe Not”. The study, published in the Journal of Gambling Studies, is from the Research Institute on Addictions at the University at Buffalo, N.Y. (Welte, Barnes, Tidwell, & Hoffman, 2010). The study is primarily about patterns of gambling behavior across the lifespan compared to patterns of alcohol use and other potentially problematic behaviors, but the researchers also report findings that compare gambling and alcohol problems in the general population. These differences have caused some confusion on the issue.

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Jon Grant Inducted into the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

by: Institute Staff | Feb 9, 2011

Jon E. Grant, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., principal investigator of the NCRG Center of Excellence at the University of Minnesota, was inducted into the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) at the ACNP meeting in December 2010. Founded in 1961, ACNP is the nation’s premier professional society in brain, behavior and psychopharmacology research.

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New Edition of The WAGER Examines Study of Personality Subgroups of Pathological Gamblers

by: Institute Staff | Dec 22, 2010

Scientists have proposed an understanding of pathological gambling (PG) as an expression of an underlying addiction syndrome (Shaffer et al., 2004). A syndrome, by definition, is expected to have generally predictable signs and symptoms, though they will vary and may not always be present. Are there definable “types” of people with PG? The most recent edition of The WAGER (Worldwide Addiction Gambling Education Report) reviews a study focused on this issue.

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New Edition of The WAGER Looks at Study Comparing Brains of Disordered Gamblers and Individuals with Alcohol Dependence

by: Institute Staff | Oct 26, 2010

Scientists have identified many commonalities between people with gambling problems and those with substance use disorders. Are there similarities in brain function? A recent edition of The WAGER (Worldwide Addiction Gambling Education Report) reviews a study focused on this issue.

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Radio Program Interviews Institute Director on the “Odds of Recovery”

by: Institute Staff | Aug 23, 2010

Viewpoints, a nationally syndicated public affairs radio program, recently aired a segment about pathological gambling that featured Christine Reilly, executive director of the Institute for Research on Gambling Disorders, and Dr. Mitchell E. Wallick, executive director of the C.A.R.E. Florida addiction recovery center in North Palm Beach, Fla. In the segment, Reilly and Dr. Wallick discussed several aspects of disordered gambling and mentioned the similarities between gambling disorders and other addictive behaviors.

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Dispatches from the Midwest Conference on Problem Gambling & Substance Abuse: Ethical Issues in Research

by: Christine Reilly | Jul 30, 2010

What if the director of a treatment organization is approached by researchers interested in testing an intervention for gambling disorders? That director is then confronted with a decision that involves weighing the risks of a clinical trial against the potential benefits for the clients who participate in the trial and the larger society. How can treatment providers ensure that such research would be conducted ethically? In this dispatch from the Midwest Conference on Problem Gambling & Substance Abuse, I report on Dr. Catherine Striley’s workshop on “Research & Practice Ethics: What You Need to Know.”

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Dispatches from the Midwest Conference on Problem Gambling & Substance Abuse

by: Christine Reilly | Jul 30, 2010

This is the first of several of our reports from the 7th Annual Midwest Conference on Problem Gambling & Substance Abuse in Kansas City, Mo. Dr. H. Westley Clark, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), opened the conference with a keynote address on the challenges and opportunities for addressing gambling disorders. CSAT promotes community-based substance abuse treatment services as part of the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

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