Gambling Disorders 360°

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

Research Update

Study Finds Surprising Relationship Between Prescription Drug Misuse and Problem Gambling

by: Institute Staff | Mar 10, 2011

Addiction researchers have found associations between numerous addictive behaviors, with individuals often being involved with many addictive substances and behaviors at the same time. Though this relationship is common, it is not well understood. The intermingling relationships of less thoroughly studied addictive behaviors, such as gambling and prescription drug misuse (PDM), are particularly unclear. A recent study led by Cheryl Currie, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Alberta, Canada, was published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry and explores the relationship between prescription drug misuse, demographics and addictive behaviors including gambling (Currie, Schopflocher, & Wild, 2011). Currie won the Outstanding Poster Award at the 2010 NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction, and discussed early findings from this study with us in an audio interview conducted at the conference.       

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Sensation-Seeking and Gambling Disorders: NCRG-Funded Study Explores the Relationship

by: Institute Staff | Mar 7, 2011

Treatment and prevention are two of the most important and challenging areas for addiction researchers. Prevention is a particularly difficult undertaking even when working with the most understood disorders, and can be even more difficult in an emerging field such as gambling disorders. One way to advance prevention research is to better understand the relationship between pathological gambling (PG) and psychological traits that have been more thoroughly studied. One recent study by Erica Fortune and Adam Goodie, Ph.D., at the University of Georgia, takes this approach. The study, which was published in the December 2010 edition of the Journal of Gambling Studies (Fortune & Goodie, 2009), was partially funded by a grant from the NCRG to Dr. Goodie and attempts to clarify the relationship between PG and sensation seeking.

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New Study Reveals Public Perceptions of Gambling Disorders and Recovery

by: Institute Staff | Feb 25, 2011

Society’s beliefs about a health condition can have a huge impact on the people who suffer from the disorder. Public opinion can influence public health policy, public and private harm minimization efforts, research funds, and treatment support. At the individual level, negative public views of a disease and the stigma it creates can strongly discourage individuals from admitting that they have the problem and seeking treatment. There is little data available on public opinion of gambling disorders; however, a new study published in the Journal of Gambling Studies fills this void with a systematic examination of public opinion on gambling disorders (Cunningham, Cordingley, Hodgins, & Toneatto, 2011).

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New Research Finds Youth and Underage Gambling in Minnesota Declining

by: Institute Staff | Feb 2, 2011

While there have been a number of studies conducted on youth gambling, there is no clear consensus about whether gambling rates in this population are increasing, decreasing, or staying the same. Recent reviews of the literature have yielded mixed conclusions and found a variety of results depending on when, where, and how the research was conducted (e.g., Volberg, Gupta, Griffiths, Olason, & Delfabbro, 2010; Jacobs, 2004). In order to get a clearer view of such complex population issues, researchers conduct longitudinal research, which studies a population and attempts to measure a variable in the same way at the same place over the course of time. A recently published article in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors presents the findings of a longitudinal study that found significant declines in youth gambling over the past 15 years (Stinchfield, 2011).

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New Study Examines Potential of Alzheimer’s Drug for Treating Pathological Gambling

by: Institute Staff | Jan 26, 2011

Although pathological gambling (PG) has been recognized as a psychological disorder since 1980, there are still no FDA-approved medications to treat the disorder. Until now, most pharmacological treatments for PG have been adapted from treatments from other addictive disorders such as alcohol dependence. A recently published article in the journal Psychopharmacology reports on the use of a drug from an unexpected source: a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (Grant, Chamberlain, Odlaug, Potenza, & Kim, 2010).

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New Research on Youth Video Game Playing

by: Institute Staff | Jan 5, 2011

With publication of the DSM-5 likely to move Pathological Gambling from its current clinical classification as an Impulse Control Disorder to a new category called “Addiction and Related Disorders,” there is growing interest in other potential “behavioral addictions.” One such behavior, video game playing, is the subject of a new study conducted by researchers at Yale University School of Medicine and published in the journal Pediatrics (Desai, Krishnan-Sarin, Cavallo, & Potenza, 2010).

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Balancing Research and Respect: Researching Indigenous Populations

by: Institute Staff | Jan 2, 2011

Gambling among ethnic and racial minorities, especially indigenous groups, is an important and largely untapped area for research, which has historically fallen short of its potential because of tensions between researchers and aboriginal peoples. For example, in the U.S., many Native Americans believe that research conducted on their tribes, especially projects on addictive behaviors, has been characterized by unethical practices (as discussed in our Jan. 2010 Issues & Insights). Reminding us that these issues have worldwide import, a recent study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health explores the relationships between researchers and Indigenous Australians, and proposes several practical solutions to these problems in the context of a community survey of gambling behaviors of aboriginal Australians (Hing, Breen, & Gordon, 2010).

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December Issues & Insights Examines Motivational Interviewing for Gambling Addiction

by: Institute Staff | Dec 8, 2010

Recovering from addiction is all about changing one’s behavior. Anyone who has tried to diet, quit smoking or get off the couch and exercise knows that changing behavior can be very challenging. It is especially true for individuals struggling with an addictive disorder.

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The 10 Most Influential Research Papers on Gambling Disorders

by: Institute Staff | Dec 7, 2010

One way to measure the success of a research study is to calculate its influence on the field. The Web of Science is an online index of peer-reviewed publications that monitors the number of times a particular article is cited in other publications. A count of how many times a paper is referenced can be used as a rough estimation of the impact of a study on the field, although it is not a measure of quality.

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Cold Turkey vs. Warm Turkey? New Research on Recovery without Abstinence

by: Institute Staff | Nov 4, 2010

Conventional wisdom assumes that individuals with gambling problems must quit “cold turkey” and abstain from gambling in order to achieve recovery. However, a new article in the journal Addiction reports on individuals who are recovering from a gambling disorder without abstaining from all gambling activities (Slutske, Piasecki, Blaszczynski, & Martin, 2010). This study of Australian twins examined the behavior of a representative cross-section of the population, and not just people in treatment for gambling disorders. Population surveys like the one used in this study are useful for understanding how recovery occurs, as roughly 80 percent of people who recover from a gambling disorder do so without any kind of formal treatment (Slutske, 2006). This type of research is particularly noteworthy because much of what is known about people with gambling disorders has come from studies of people in formal treatment programs.

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