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Gambling Addiction


Ophelia

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Addiction is a condition in which the body must have a drug to avoid physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Addiction’s first stage is dependence, during which the search for a drug dominates an individual’s life. In contrast, Gambling addiction can be defined as placing something of value at risk in the hopes of gaining something of greater value. Most people, gamble because it is a simple form of legal entertainment after all it is legal in 48 states, but to many it becomes an uncontrollable behavior. Many terms are used to describe a person who has a problem with gambling, including pathological gambler, gambling addict, compulsive gambler, or problem gambler. 
 

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The most frequently studied treatment type for gambling disorder is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This type of treatment attempts to change the thoughts and behaviors that are fundamental to maintaining a pattern of behavior (e.g., gambling disorder). The goal of CBT for intemperate gambling is to identify and change “cognitive distortions and errors” that are associated with excessive gambling and its adverse sequelae. For gambling, CBT can include at least four components: (a) correcting cognitive distortions about gambling; (b) developing problem solving skills; (c) teaching social skills; and (d) teaching relapse prevention. There are a number of CBT trials that suggest that it is an effective form of treatment for gambling.

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