What_Is_Compulsive_Gambling_ by paydot888


									What Is Compulsive Gambling?

Word Count:

How do you know if you are a compulsive gambler and what can you do if
you are?

gambling, compulsive, alcohol, drug, problem, compulsive gamblers,
gamblers, develop \tolerance\, period, compulsive problem gambling

Article Body:
Moderate gambling, like moderate alcohol use, is an accepted part of our
culture and causes no problems. As with alcohol use, however, gambling to
excess is a common weakness that may lead to serious security problems.

Compulsive gambling, or pathological gambling as most psychiatrists
prefer to call it, is an inability to stop gambling even when one
recognizes that gambling is causing serious financial, family, work, or
other problems.

Compulsive gambling parallels alcohol and drug addiction in many ways.
Compulsive gamblers lose control over their behavior and commonly lie and
cheat in order to continue their gambling. They frequently try,
unsuccessfully, to cut down or quit.

Compulsive gambling does not involve use of a psychoactive substance, but
the "action" which compulsive gamblers crave is an aroused, euphoric
state comparable to the "high" sought by drug users. This aroused state
is accompanied by changes in brain chemistry similar to those caused by
alcohol or drugs. There may be a "rush," often characterized by sweaty
palms, rapid heart beat, and nausea which is experienced during the
period of anticipation.

Alcoholics and drug abusers develop "tolerance" for their drug of choice
and then must increase their consumption in order to feel the same
effects. Similarly, compulsive gamblers develop "tolerance" for the
"action" and must increase the size of their bets or the odds against
them to create the same amount of excitement.

About 2 1/2% of the adult population now has some degree of gambling
problem. The rates of compulsive and problem gambling among 16 and 17
year olds are similar to those for adults.

The key difference between compulsive or problem gambling and social
gambling is self-control. Each social gambling session usually lasts for
a set period of time and involves pre-determined spending limits. It
typically occurs with friends or colleagues rather than alone. The player
gains satisfaction whether he/she wins or loses.
The key to gambling is money management and gambling in moderation.   If
you think you have a problem, seek help.

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