Statistics on gambling show that $10 trillion is wagered annually, with the illegal portion of that total likely to be higher. Legal gambling is dominated by lotteries, with state-run and licensed lotteries extending rapidly in the United States and Europe during the late 20th century. Organized football pools are found in almost all European countries, several South American countries, and even a few African and Asian nations. State-licensed wagering on sports events is also prevalent throughout most countries.
In addition to increasing social inequality, problem gambling has negative consequences for individuals and society as a whole. It has been linked to greater gambling accessibility and the presence of casinos near homes, and with increased social inequality. Problem gamblers have increased odds of experiencing domestic violence, dating violence, and severe marital conflict. Further, problem gamblers have increased risks of sexual assault and homicide in their families. In Finland, only 2% of cases of alleged gambling-related violence have been reported.
Researchers have identified three characteristics of problem gamblers that are related to their lack of employment. The three characteristics include excitement, financial need, and inability to resist the temptation. Problem gamblers were more likely to have smoked at least 100 cigarettes during their lifetime. They also report lower levels of work performance than recreational gamblers. In addition, the increased revenue from gambling can lead to criminal acts in the workplace. To understand the potential impact of gambling on an individual, it is important to look for treatment options.
Pathological gambling is a mental disorder characterized by an inability to control impulses to gamble. It can cause a person to become addicted to gambling and even engage in criminal activity. In the DSM-IV, pathological gambling is listed under the addictive disorders category. Currently, the diagnostic cut-off is five. But according to some studies, four symptoms are sufficient to diagnose pathological gambling. This recommendation is being considered by the Workgroup.
Treatment for pathological gambling typically involves a combination of psychotherapy, medication and self-help. In a DSM-IV study, pathological gamblers had lower levels of a hormone called norepinephrine than normal gamblers. Consequently, pathological gamblers may gamble to make up for the underdosage of norepinephrine. They may also experience an imbalance of serotonin, a chemical that is released during stress or a high-pleasing thrill.
Addiction to gambling
If you or a loved one is struggling with a gambling addiction, you may be wondering how to get help. Many treatments for this problem range from group meetings that bring people together in similar situations to counseling and professional doctors. The good news is that there is help available whenever you need it. Here are some tips to help you overcome a gambling addiction. First, learn to set clear boundaries. Do not give your loved one money to gamble. If your partner gambles, create a solo bank account.
An addict who is unable to stop gambling will likely break the law. Some will steal or commit fraud to fund their habit. These actions are considered serious crimes, and can even land an addict in jail or on probation. Gamblers who have to resort to deception are often in denial about their problem. Rather than denying it, you should seek professional help if you suspect that a loved one is suffering from an addiction to gambling.
Prevention of problem gambling
Prevention of problem gambling includes many different types of programs. Primary prevention programs target vulnerable youth populations. Secondary prevention programs address children and adolescents with known risk factors. Tertiary prevention programs target individuals who are already showing signs of disordered gambling and incorporate treatment programs. Effective prevention programs have dual benefits of improving competencies and reducing both internal and externalizing problems. They are a low-cost way to target vulnerable individuals. A range of interventions has shown promising results.
Public and private organizations should invest in gambling prevention measures that will decrease the incidence and costs of problem gambling. Cost estimates of treatment and prevention programs should be calculated with regard to the prevalence of the problem. In Sweden, only about 1.3% of the adult population has problem gambling, compared with 2.4% in Australia. The Czech Republic study found an estimated 123,000-170,000 problem gamblers. The total cost of treatment programs in Sweden is estimated at AUD 4.9-8.0 billion.