The Vicious Circle of gambling and substance abuse

by annclaravaillancourt on September 11, 2013 - 11:34pm

A new study shows that anywhere from 10 to 20 per cent of people with substance abuse problems also have a significant gambling problem and yet only a few programs are targeted for these people. The main problem is that most of the social service agencies don't have the funds to treat them.

In their review the authors found many reports that gambling problems and substance abuse are related, or may even be one disorder, because of underlying traits such as impulsivity. A substantial body of literature indicates that both problems typically begin in adolescence or early adulthood and have common risk factors such as sexual abuse, depression and delinquency.People with substance disorders may use gambling to support their drug habit. Substance abuse and gambling problems are conditions that may become substitute from one another.

Reporting also that the number of women with gambling problems is on the rise, perhaps due to changes in the availability and legal status of many gambling activities. An Australian study found that of 1,520 people seeking help for gambling-related difficulties, 46 per cent were women (Dr.Matherson 2013). Compared to non-substance-abusing gamblers, higher proportions of substance-abusers endorsed gambling for social activity, to be around people, for excitement and to win money.

After reading this article, I believe that substance-abusers need to be aware that they can possibly be living in a viscious circle. Raising awareness towards them by making publicity in public building like home shelters and public transit. Studies need to be continued to learn more about the link between these two problems.Social service agencies knows how to treat the individual in need but can't improve the result because of missing funds.

A condition in which a disorder or disease gives rise to another that subsequently affects the first; this is the definition of vicious circle. Can we ever imagine a change in this critical chain ?


I agree with you when you say that people with gambling problem and substance abuse problem are a vicious circle. Both can become strong addictions. People with these problems are not anymore autonomous in a way that they are under an independence condition. They have an internal compulsion that lead to an impulse of feeling better mentally. Also, I agree with the fact that we live in a society were some values are not shown in a good way. For example, the casinos want to make money and profits. Therefore, publicity strongly attracts people that have gambling problems. What I think is not ethical is that the government accepts these kind of situation when the government takes advantage of the weak person in the society. Also, you say that the social services don’t have enough funds to really help people in needed without showing any statistics or facts. But, even if they have all the money they want, would gamble and substance abuse’ problems will really decrease? Because the first step of being delivered from these problems comes from us as an individual. So even if people go in a rehabilitation center, if they don’t want to do any efforts, they will never reach their goal.