Recent research on the co-morbidity of alcoholism and pathological gambling


This article summarizes a symposium held at the 2002 Annual Meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in San Francisco, CA, and was prepared on behalf of the symposium participants by the symposium co-organizers/co-chairs. Prior research with both clinical and nonclinical populations indicates a high comorbidity between alcohol-use disorders and pathological gambling. This symposium involved a set of papers in which exciting new research on this form of comorbidity was presented. The studies spanned populations of problem-gambling helpline callers, problem gamblers attempting to recover, and community-recruited gambler research volunteers. The studies used methodologies ranging from questionnaire and interview to laboratory-based paradigms (i.e., cognitive and alcohol challenge). Study designs ranged from cross-sectional to longitudinal and from correlation to experiment. The symposium highlighted novel approaches that researchers are using to enhance understanding of functional relations that may underlie this common comorbidity.

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