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How Gambling Addiction Happens

How Gambling Addiction Happens

Becoming addicted to gambling is now more of a problem than it ever has been before. Scientists are beginning to realize that the brain functions of those who get addicted to drugs is much the same as those who get addicted to gambling. According to psychiatrists, though excessive gambling used to be seen as a compulsion, it is now considered an addiction more so than it was in the past.

During the 1980s psychiatrists felt that a gambling addiction was simply a disorder of one’s ability to control their impulses. By 2013 they had discovered that gambling is an addiction that can be as strong as any other addiction.

Research has shown the changes to a person’s brain when they become addicted to gambling. An addict’s brain squirts dopamine when they are gambling. The dopamine makes people feel satisfied that they are winning money and causes them to want to keep gambling to feel even more satisfied with each victory. Too much dopamine causes the brain to not respond to something such as the sudden loss of money while gambling.

Those addicted to gambling will keep engaging in it as long as it continues to make them happy. They become desensitized to other things that used to make them happy, so that the only thing that works is to keep gambling.

Researchers have even come to realize that some people suffering from Parkinson’s disease also have a problem with a gambling addiction because the symptoms of the two are very much the same. Some of the medications typically given to those with Parkinson’s disease, release chemicals into their brain that makes them more susceptible to becoming addicted to gambling.

Therapists that treat gambling addicts have noticed that the medications prescribed to other addicts give them a better chance of beating their gambling addiction than the forms of treatment that were previously used. Cognitive behavior therapy is now often used to help cure people of their gambling addiction. This type of therapy gives people the tools they need to be able to resist gambling themselves into bankruptcy.

These advances in the treatment plans for gambling addicts have become effective in a world where online gambling can be accessed with nothing more than a smart phone. Studies have shown that for every five people in America four of them have engaged in gambling before. 48 of the 50 states allow people to gamble online legally. Because it is now so easy for people to gamble from the privacy of their own home, roughly two million U.S. citizens have become gambling addicts as a result. Millions of other people living in the U.S. who are not officially addicted to gambling still spend so much time engaging in it that their home life and even their work are adversely affected by it.

Since scientists now have a better understanding of how people become addicted to gambling, therapists are able to treat those addicts more effectively than they ever have before.

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