"Problem gambling is characterized by many difficulties in limiting money and/or time spent on gambling which leads to adverse consequences for the gambler, others, or for the community.The University of Maryland Medical Center defines pathological gambling as "being unable to resist impulses to gamble, which can lead to severe personal or social consequences."Most other definitions of problem gambling can usually be simplified to any gambling that causes harm to the gambler or someone else in any way; however, these definitions are usually coupled with descriptions of the type of harm or the use of diagnostic criteria.
Gambling is now defined as separate from a manic episode. Only when the gambling occurs independent of other impulsive, mood, orthought disorders is it considered its own diagnosis. In order to be diagnosed, an individual must have at least five of the following symptoms.
Preoccupation. The subject has frequent thoughts about gambling experiences, whether past, future, or fantasy.
Tolerance. As with drug tolerance, the subject requires larger or more frequent wagers to experience the same "rush".
Escape. The subjectgambles to improve mood or escape problems.
Chasing. The subject tries to win back gambling losses with more gambling.
Lying. The subject tries to hide the extent of his or her gambling by lying to family, friends, or therapists.
Loss of control. The person has unsuccessfully attempted to reduce gambling.
Illegal acts. The person has broken the law in order to obtain gambling money or recovergambling losses. This may include acts of theft, embezzlement, fraud, or forgery.
Risked significant relationship. The person gambles despite risking or losing a relationship, job, or other significant opportunity.
Bailout. The person turns to family, friends, or another third party for financial assistance as a result of gambling.
Studies have shown that morethan $5 billion has been lost each year to gambling addictions. In addition, $40 billion has been spent on social services and creditor losses. These studies go on to state that two out of three gambling addicts will engage in illegal acts to pay for their gambling debts. The effect is that the addiction places a severe hardship on prison systems, public assistance programs and legal systems.There are many consequences of gambling addictions that result in economic costs. Some gambling addiction dangers are:
Increased rates of unemployment:
*Fraud and check forgery
*Forced home sales
*Increased alcohol and drug abuse
*Poor mental and physical health of the addict
While the addict will definitely suffer, the family also faces challenges when thereis a gambling addiction. Family members suffer physical and psychological abuse. More than 85 percent of families with a gambling addict have reported receiving threats from creditors and bill collectors.
There is also an increased rate of divorce. In the United States, 65 percent of couples that consist of one spouse with a gambling addiction, end up divorced. There is also an extreme amount ofstress placed on the family to repay debts and bills that the addict has accumulated as a result of gambling. Research has shown that three out of five gambling addicts have a family with children. The children also suffer the effects of the addiction in many ways, including:
Experiencing physical and emotional abandonment.
Children of gambling addicts are commonly left in cars while their parentgambles. This causes the child to miss out on the nurturing they should be receiving.
Children of gambling addicts are often verbally, physically and mentally abused by the person with the addiction.
Children of gambling addicts have a very high chance of developing a gambling addiction later in life. Out of the people who have a gambling addiction, more than half have stated that their...
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