The Uncontrollable Diseas Of Gambling Essay Research

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The Uncontrollable Diseas Of Gambling Essay, Research Paper The Uncontrollable Disease of Gambling In the US today, as gambling is becoming more popular so are gambling addicts. As the states institute legalized gambling, their income increases dramatically. Compulsive gambling needs to be recognized and medically treated before it is too late for the gambler. The only way to treat the disease of compulsive gambling is absence from gambling. Therefore, compulsive gambling must be considered and uncontrollable disease. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, compulsive means an irresistible (uncontrollable) impulse (Mish 166). A disease is defined as being an abnormal bodily condition that impairs functioning and can usually be recognized by signs and symptoms.

Uncontrollable means incapable of being controlled (Mish 222). Pathologic gambling has been defined by the American Psychiatric Association “as a chronic progressive failure to resist impulses to gamble, and gambling behavior that comprises, or damages personal, family, or vocational pursuits” (Glazer 2). How can it be determined if an individual is a compulsive gambler or not? According to the American Psychiatric Association you are a pathological (compulsive) gambler if you exhibits theses traits: (1) you have “preoccupation with gambling; (2) a need to increase the excitement produced by gambling; (3) restlessness or irritability when unable to gamble; (4) repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling; (5) gambling in an effort to get back money

lost during gambling on a previous day; (6) gambling in an effort to escape” an unpleasant “mood; (7) lying to cover up gambling; (8) jeopardizing a significant job, relationship, or educational opportunity by gambling (9) engaging in illegal activity to finance gambling; and (10) going to someone else to relieve a desperate financial situation produced by gambling. An individual who fulfills five out of the ten criteria is diagnosed as a pathological gambler. Problem gamblers would satisfy only two, three, or four of these criteria” (Lesieur 2). If you answered five of the ten questions yes, you need to check yourself in to the nearest Gamblers Anonymous support group, because you have the uncontrollable disease of compulsive gambling. Although evidence is presently

sketchy on compulsive gambling, certain facts are beginning to emerge. In the past men were 95% of all compulsive gamblers. Today women make up almost a third of compulsive gamblers (Compulsive 1). Therapists have begun to notice many similarities between alcohol, drugs, and gambling addiction (Lesieur 6). “An addiction to gambling must be considered a sever problem, similar to that of alcohol and drugs.” Gamblers often experience an exhilarated high when gambling and withdrawal symptoms when they are not gambling (Glazer 8). Since pathological gamblers are determined to have similarities to alcoholism and drug users, which is considered to be an uncontrollable disease, pathological gambling must be labeled as an uncontrollable disease, in order to properly diagnose the

problem and solve it (Lesieur 6). “Compulsive gambling is perceived to be a disease that cannot be cured, only arrested” (Lesieur 5). In the past twenty years, gambling has dramatically increased, as has the rate of pathological gambling. By 1991, the total money spent on gambling has risen over three hundred billion dollars (Pathological 1). Although states revenues from gambling have increased immensely, the help for problem and pathological gamblers lags far behind. It has been proven that the rate of compulsive gamblers is rising at an alarming rate. The most common approach for pathological gamblers is to join self-help groups such as the Gamblers Anonymous (GA), a twelve-step program base on Alcoholics Anonymous (Lesieur 5). Many more hours need to be put into