Problem Gambling Grouped by Experts with Substance Abuse
As a result of numerous studies over the last decade, problem gambling is being linked more and more under the larger umbrella of substance abuse. This week, experts on the recognition and treatment of compulsive gambling will meet along with drug and alcohol abuse counselors to discuss solutions at the Midwest Conference on Problem Gambling and Substance Abuse.
Theories that problem gambling is caused by exposure to a gaming market that is constantly expanding have largely been debunked by scientific studies. Instead, evidence has consistently arisen that indicates gambling compulsions derive from a similar brain chemistry as substance addiction.
Persons suffering from problem gambling were found to have significant differences in dopamine production from the average person. The dopamine receptors are also found to be central in alcoholics and drug addicts.
Dopamine levels are believed to help control and modify risk/reward impulses.
The studies are revelatory to professionals trying to combat compulsive gambling. Rather than campaigning for gambling bans and fighting casino proliferation, treatment is shifting to addressing a broader issue of addictive behavior.
As more information becomes available on what causes such self-destructive behavior, counselors and other experts continue to move toward treating specific symptoms such as problem gambling with a broader program designed to control addictive impulses in general.
This week's problem gambling and substance abuse conference is being held in Knsas City and will open on Wednesday morning. It is free and open to the public.
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