Gambling Addiction Not Necessarily Permanent

Published Monday, February 16, 2009 -
Harvard Med School study shows there is hope for problem gamblers

Presumably quoting from the Harvard Medical School report commissioned by the Vienna listed online gambling company Bwin, the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry has published the results of an HMS study that found many gambling addicts recover from their addiction naturally, without treatment, and that problem gambling is a more dynamic phenomenon than was previously believed.

The published review paper, "Stability and Progression of Disordered Gambling: Lessons From Longitudinal Studies," covers five important studies conducted by Harvard researchers, whose findings challenge conventional wisdom about problem gambling.
Problem gambling bodies have long held the belief that addiction to gambling is a degenerative condition, with victims betting more as the condition progresses, and continued betting fuelling the addiction.

However, the Harvard researchers found that gambling addicts do not necessarily get steadily worse over time, and they can fall in and out of problem gambling. Some may even recover from the addiction on their own.

"Although it might be tempting to assume that stability or progressive worsening characterizes disordered gambling, longitudinal study of classification patterns does not support this conclusion," say the researches in their review paper.

In their findings, the researchers point out that short-term and long-term follow-up periods indicate that individuals with some gambling problems can experience considerable movement in the levels of gambling disorder. Often, their condition ameliorates, moving them out of more serious to less severe levels....and they are able to keep from returning to serious levels.

"These findings challenge many common beliefs about the course of gambling-related problems and disorders," say the researchers. "Correcting such misconceptions is particularly important to youthful fields of inquiry, such as the study of disordered gambling."

Lead author Debi LaPlante, a psychiatry instructor at the Harvard Medical School, told the The Ottawa Citizen, that the conclusion is surprisingly similar to what researchers have found about other addictions, such as alcoholism and heroin addiction.

Many Canadian researchers are reaching the conclusion that addictive behaviours can come and go, and that they are conditions that afflicted people can learn to control with the right assistance. In the U.S., the prevalent thought is similar to that of the 12-step disease model which states that the addiction is always progressive. editors note: The above news article is based on the findings by a Harvard Medical School report - a report that is apparently sponsored by an online betting company: BWIN. Our website offers our readers a not-sponsored and objective article about Gambling Addiction as a part of our beginners guide to gambling. We advice people to read our Gambling Addiction article if they want to know more about Gambling Addiction.

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