Disordered gambling and its treatment

Abstract

Pathological gambling is an increasing concern with the growth of legalized gambling opportunities, and clinicians who provide general psychotherapy, as well as those specializing in some disorders, are likely to encounter patients with gambling problems. This review article describes the diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling and screening methods for identifying individuals with gambling problems. Problem and pathological gambling are more likely to occur in certain populations, such as among individuals with substance use, mood and anxiety disorders, and medical problems. However, few pathological gamblers seek specialized gambling treatment. This paper reviews different forms of treatments that have been applied to gamblers, along with evidence of their efficacy. Clinical guidelines for identifying and treating gambling problems are outlined as well.

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