While treatment to help problem gamblers is still being developed , the principles – and much of the cohort – are the same as with problem drug and alcohol use . ‘ You can manage the addiction , but then you need to manage the other bits ,’ Dr Clare Gerada tells the SMMGP conference
We don ’ t have a single patient who has a primary gambling problem ,’ Dr Clare Gerada , co-lead of the Primary Care Gambling Service and medical director of the NHS Practitioner Health programme told the conference . ‘ Gambling is sometimes coincidental to their other problems – alcohol or cocaine misuse , or that they ’ re victims of domestic violence – or it ’ s part of a whole gamut of disadvantage . It has to be seen in the context of people with multiple problems and co-morbidities .’
Only about 10 per cent of problem gamblers ever made it into treatment , she said , and in recent years there had been a diminution of some of the more traditional forms of gambling – such as in high-street betting shops – combined with an explosion of online gambling , with people gambling on their phones and computers in their own homes . ‘ It ’ s now really a hidden problem , and a solitary problem .’ Online gambling was also very possibly even more addictive than traditional forms , she said – ‘ you get intermittent positive reinforcement repeatedly , and very quickly ’.
Gambling had been the first behavioural disorder to be classified as an addictive disorder , she told delegates . ‘ And there are many , many similarities between gambling and substance use disorder – so the patients that
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