Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Treatments for gambling addiction

Date:
April 12, 2011
Source:
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Summary:
Scientists have found that a wide range of drugs can be effective for treating gambling addiction in the short term.

Pathological gambling addiction is surprisingly common in the U.S., afflicting as many as 3.4% of all adults. Like other addictions, it is highly disabling both to the individual and to society, often leading to suicide, job loss, and criminal behavior. It affects more men than women and can become worse over time.

Scientists have found that a wide range of drugs can be effective for treating this disorder in the short term, including Naltrexone, used to treat alcohol addiction. Now, psychiatrist Prof. Pinhas Dannon of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine is recommending an extended treatment regimen for optimal results.

For best success in kicking the gambling habit, Prof. Dannon says, drug therapy with Naltrexone should last for at least two years and be complemented with other treatments, including group therapy. Prof. Dannon presented preliminary results from his new clinical findings at the EPA 2011: 19th European Congress of Psychiatry this March.

Two years to stick

Earlier studies reported that after six months of treatment, a majority of the gamblers would not go back to gambling. Prof. Dannon believes that a longer course of treatment is more effective.

"The initial results were too optimistic," Prof. Dannon says. His data indicates that a drug regimen lasting two years keeps 80 percent of gamblers "gamble-free" over a four-year period. By contrast, only 30 percent of gamblers who were treated over a six-month period remained gamble-free four years later.

The preliminary study, conducted in 2006 and 2007, was encouraging, Prof. Dannon says, but for long-term effectiveness gambling addicts need to stick out a course of treatment for at least two years in order for Naltrexone to work most efficiently.

A holistic approach

Complementary treatments such as group therapy and regular attendance at Gamblers' Anonymous meetings can also help the addict lead a healthier, gambling-free life.

During his career Prof. Dannon has also conducted extensive research on other kinds of addiction, including Internet addiction. One of his recent patients was addicted to the Facebook game Farmville, neglecting her two young children to play it. While Facebook poker and Farmville can be addictive, these obsessions can be treated differently than those of hard-core gamblers who risk their marriages, houses and careers. For milder addictions, group therapy and professional counselling might be all the help that's needed.

"Gambling addiction is a chronic disorder," Prof Dannon concludes. "We need much more time to treat these patients. They require careful monitoring and holistic treatments over the longer term to avoid relapse."

Prof. Dannon has just authored a new book on behavioral addictions, Are We All Addicts?, published by Ramot-Tel Aviv University Press.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Friends of Tel Aviv University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Friends of Tel Aviv University. "Treatments for gambling addiction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110411103749.htm>.
American Friends of Tel Aviv University. (2011, April 12). Treatments for gambling addiction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110411103749.htm
American Friends of Tel Aviv University. "Treatments for gambling addiction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110411103749.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins