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DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ADDICTIONS: SUBSTANCES vs. PROBLEM GAMBLING Delaware Council on Gambling Problems, Inc. www.dcgp.orgwww.dcgp.org (302) 655-3261.

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Presentation on theme: "DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ADDICTIONS: SUBSTANCES vs. PROBLEM GAMBLING Delaware Council on Gambling Problems, Inc. www.dcgp.orgwww.dcgp.org (302) 655-3261."— Presentation transcript:

1 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ADDICTIONS: SUBSTANCES vs. PROBLEM GAMBLING Delaware Council on Gambling Problems, Inc. (302)

2 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ADDICTIONS: SUBSTANCES vs. PROBLEM GAMBLING Although substance addiction and gambling addiction have many things in common, there are also some distinct differences between them. What are they?

3 SUBSTANCE ADDICTION Addiction to a substance that is ingested or injected into the body GAMBLING ADDICTION Addiction to the activity

4 SUBSTANCE ADDICTION Substance-induced high GAMBLING ADDICTION High brought on by the anticipation or the achievement of the win

5 SUBSTANCE ADDICTION No betting involved GAMBLING ADDICTION Betting required

6 SUBSTANCE ADDICTION Drug seeking behavior GAMBLING ADDICTION Chasing losses

7 SUBSTANCE ADDICTION Visible physical signs of addiction GAMBLING ADDICTION No visible physical signs of addiction

8 SUBSTANCE ADDICTION Addict enabled by family (making excuses for or covering up the addict’s behavior instead of making them personally accountable for their actions). GAMBLING ADDICTION Family “bails out” problem gambler (giving the addict money to pay off his debts)

9 SUBSTANCE ADDICTION May have some financial problems GAMBLING ADDICTION Usually involves BIG financial problems

10 SUBSTANCE ADDICTION Drug tests and breathalyzers can confirm suspected use GAMBLING ADDICTION Gambling problem can be easily hidden until money runs out

11 SUBSTANCE ADDICTION Overdose possible GAMBLING ADDICTION Continues indefinitely (until all the money is gone)

12 SUBSTANCE ADDICTION Death is often unintentional GAMBLING ADDICTION Higher suicide ideation and attempts

13 SUBSTANCE ADDICTION Once in recovery, an addict may be able to avoid problem substances in everyday life to reduce temptation for relapse GAMBLING ADDICTION Once in recovery, an addict cannot avoid using money (the agent of gambling addiction) so temptation to relapse is often near at hand

14 SUBSTANCE ADDICTION Substance addictions are more commonly recognized by the general public. Addiction to nicotine, alcohol, prescription and street drugs are frequently the topic of discussion in the news, around the dinner table, on TV shows, and in all other forms of media (billboards, newspapers, magazines, TV, etc.). Scientific research to learn about substance addictions is well funded and has been going on since the early 19 th century.

15 GAMBLING ADDICTION It has only been in recent years that the American Society of Addiction Medicine has recognized compulsive gambling as a “true” addiction. The general public still thinks of compulsive gambling as a symptom of a substance addiction (alcohol or drugs) and not as an addiction unto itself. In truth, these addictions often co-occur but are not dependent on each other to exist. Behavioral addiction research is not well funded and has a long way to go to catch up with what we know about substance addictions.

16 DELAWARE COUNCIL ON GAMBLING PROBLEMS The Delaware Council on Gambling Problems (DCGP) is a private, non-profit health agency that is gambling neutral. Our mission is to raise public awareness that compulsive gambling is a treatable disorder, and to facilitate the development of a network of services for compulsive gamblers and their families in Delaware. To learn more about us, please check out our website:


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