Problem gambling over time: History, current status, and future prospects

Abstract

Reviews the book, The History of Problem Gambling: Temperance, Substance Abuse, Medicine, and Metaphors by Peter Ferentzy and Nigel E. Turner (see record 2013-14819-000). The book examines the history and evolution of the disease model of addiction as it relates to problem gambling and substance abuse in general. It evaluates the challenges generated in the field of problem gambling that result from this medical conception and provides alternative perspectives on gambling addiction with a view toward potential future developments in the field. The authors discuss the connection between early views on alcoholism and their influence on problem gambling, as well as the validity of the public health model as an alternative to the disease model of addiction. The intended audience includes professionals in health care, researchers, and persons who have experienced problems with gambling and substance use. The book acts as a useful summary of the state of scientific and public perceptions of problem gambling, as well as an overview of the relevant history of addiction. Ferentzy and Turner successfully assess how problem gambling fits into public health and suggest ways to fill current knowledge gaps in the area. Research data and historical texts are cited throughout to support all discussions.

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