Is Gambling And Gaming An Addiction?

Pathological Gambling

Definition and Prevalence
Problem gambling is characterized by loss of control over gambling behavior and being largely controlled by gambling, due to a lot of time and money being spent on it. It is also characteristic that gambling behavior can have a strongly negative influence on a person’s work-life (for example, someone goes gambling instead of going to work) or relationships (the gambler borrows money from colleagues, family, or friends, which he cannot repay). The gambling problem can have a major impact on a person’s life due to the debts and the negative financial consequences – even long after treatment. The majority of people who come to counseling with problem gambling are gambling on slot machines (90%, both inside and outside casinos) or playing casino games (30%). But there is an online casino where you can play, just visit Malaysia bet online for more details.

Research into problematic gambling: insights and developments

The main biological, psychological and social factors that influence the development of gambling addiction are described below. It is important to keep in mind that these factors do not function independently of each other, but are also interconnected and can interact with each other.

Treatment of Problem Gambling

Scientific evidence
In recent years, there has been an increase in randomized controlled trials demonstrating the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy for the treatment of gambling problems. Two meta-analyses by Pallesen et al. (Pallesen, Mitsem, Kvale, Johnsen, & Molde, 2005; Pallesen et al., 2007) found that psychological treatments, which mainly consisted of cognitive-behavioral interventions, had a larger effect size. than pharmacological treatments, and that pharmacological treatment are more effective than no treatment ( effect size psychological treatment: 2.01; effect size pharmacological treatment: 0.78; Pallesen et al., 2005). In the pharmacological treatments, in particular, naltrexone and nalmefene (opioid receptor antagonists) appear to be effective, while of the antidepressants only paroxetine has been shown to be effective, and the latter is only recommended in an Australian guideline for comorbid depression or anxiety (Problem Gambling Research and Treatment Centre, 2011 ).

In a more recent literature review, Stea and Hodgins (2011) examined the scientific basis for seven different treatment methods for gambling problems. The effectiveness of these treatments was classified according to the criteria of the American Psychological Association (APA), with the strongest evidence for category I treatments, and the evidence declining for category II and III treatments. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, and brief motivational and self-directed treatments, were rated as Category I and II treatments, but pharmacotherapy was also ranked as Category I treatment. Psychodynamic approaches and Gamblers Anonymous approaches were classified as Category III treatment. A Cochrane Review on the effectiveness of psychological interventions in pathological gambling (Cowlishaw et al., 2012) also concludes that of the psychological interventions for this disorder, the most evidence-based treatment exists for CBT and that individual treatment is as effective as group treatment. An Australian guideline for the treatment of gambling problems also highlights the evidence for CBT, and in some cases for naltrexone (Problem Gambling Research and Treatment Centre, 2011).

Addiction to social media

Young people spend by far the most time on the internet for social activities (via PC, laptop, or smartphone). Youtube, Whatsapp (or variants of this form of digital SMS), Twitter, and Instant Messenger are mentioned as the most used functions of the smartphone. There are signs that using social media sometimes resembles an addiction. About 6% of Dutch young people indicate on questionnaires that they sometimes use social media in an addictive way. For example, they experience problems as a result of using social media (such as rushing through homework and having a hard time stopping; see ‘Read more at the end of this article).

However, as far as the clinical treatment of patients with ‘social media addiction’ is concerned, the situation is completely unclear. Compared to gaming, the problem is rarely mentioned in addiction care. In view of the limited information, very little is known about the origin or course of ‘social media addiction’. Nevertheless, Kuss and Griffiths published a review in 2011 on the state of play in the psychological literature surrounding excessive use of social networking sites (SNS). It becomes clear that there are a number of negative issues associated with the use of social networks: a decrease in academic achievement decreased social activity outside the internet and relationship problems (Kuss & Griffiths, 2011).