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2009 National Center for Responsible Gaming. All rights reserved. Parts of this publication may be quotedas long as the author(s) and the NCRG are duly recognized. No part of this publication may be reproducedor transmitted for commercial purposes without prior permission from the NCRG. TABLE OF CONTENTS
by Phil Satre, NCRG Chairman
Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
by Christine Reilly and Howard J. Shaffer, Ph.D., C.A.S.
Changing Your Mind: The Promise of Cognitive Therapy
by Robert Ladouceur, Ph.D.
A summary of “Cognitive Treatment of Pathological Gambling”
(Robert Ladouceur, Caroline Sylvain, Claude Boutin, Stella LaChance,
Celine Doucet, Jean LeBlond, & Christian Jacques)
Relapse Among Disordered Gamblers
by David C. Hodgins, Ph.D., C. Psych.
A summary of “Retrospective and Prospective Reports of Precipitants to
Relapse in Pathological Gambling” (David C. Hodgins & Nady el-Guebaly)
Testing Three Paths to Improvement: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy,
Self-Directed Workbook and Gamblers Anonymous®
by Nancy M. Petry, Ph.D.
A summary of “Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Pathological Gamblers”
(Nancy Petry, Yola Ammerman, Jaime Bohl, Anne Doersch, Heather Gay,
Ronald Kadden, Cheryl Molina, & Karen Steinberg)
Getting Well on Your Own: Natural Recovery from Gambling Disorders
by Wendy S. Slutske, Ph.D.
A summary of “Natural Recovery and Treatment-Seeking in Pathological
Gambling: Results of Two U.S. National Surveys” (Wendy S. Slutske)
Managing Disordered Gambling Behavior with Medication
by Jon E. Grant, M.D., J.D., M.P.H.
A review essay on promising new drugs for disordered gambling
Resources for Recovery
DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Pathological Gambling
About the National Center for Responsible Gaming
The first volume of Increasing the Odds, Youth and College Gambling, is available via the NCRG's Web site, www.ncrg.org.
INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
by Phil Satre
Chairman of the Board, National Center for Responsible Gaming
Retired Chairman and CEO, Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc.
I am pleased to report the inaugural issue of Increasing the Odds: A Series Dedicated toUnderstanding Gambling Disorders, focused on youth gambling, was welcomed as amilestone in the translation of gambling research to the public. This publication seriesenables us to disseminate the scientific findings beyond academia to health careproviders, public health workers, the gaming industry and individuals who might beconcerned about their own gambling. Efforts to close the knowledge gap between scienceand the public will always be a priority for the National Center for Responsible Gaming. Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction highlights new research on various aspectsof recovery including professional treatment, self-help, and relapse. These studies areproviding the building blocks necessary for the eventual development of both a treatmentstandard for gambling disorders and creative new interventions for individuals who willnot or cannot seek professional treatment. Best of all, they offer hope for individuals andfamilies affected by gambling disorders by demonstrating that recovery is indeed possible. INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
by Christine Reilly
Institute for Research on Gambling Disorders
Howard J. Shaffer, Ph.D., C.A.S.
Harvard Medical School and the Division on Addictions, Cambridge Health Alliance
Researchers are just beginning to understand what influences the transition from healthy,recreational gambling to disordered gambling. Similarly, research is starting to unravelhow and why people move from disordered gambling to health. Gambling studies andtreatment are part of a youthful and dynamic field. Although treatments for excessivegambling have been available for many decades, the young field of gambling research hasnot yet provided many scientifically tested intervention strategies. During the past decade, the explosion of scientific research focusing on gambling and theimproving quality of research design have resulted in scientifically based clinical trials ofbehavioral and drug treatments, as well as a new focus on natural recovery and briefinterventions. This research has important implications for how health care providers,communities, insurance companies and public health planners respond to the needs ofpeople struggling with gambling disorders. Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addictionprofiles research projects that reflect the new directions in the gambling field.
The road to recovery from addiction is often marked by many detours. About 80 percent to90 percent of individuals entering recovery from addiction will relapse during the first yearafter treatment (Marlatt & Gordon, 1985). This phenomenon has been studied extensivelywith alcohol dependence and other substance-use disorders. Until David Hodgins andcolleagues began to focus on this phenomenon, as described in pages 10-13, few studieshad focused on relapse among disordered gamblers. Dr. Hodgins’s work demonstrates theimportance of understanding the “triggers” that might cause a person to return toexcessive gambling. What we learn from such investigations will inform the developmentof relapse prevention strategies. GAMBLERS ANONYMOUS®
Gamblers Anonymous (GA) is a self-help fellowship that provides mutual support forindividuals experiencing gambling-related problems. GA is based on the 12 Steps ofAlcoholics Anonymous (AA). The major goal of this fellowship is to garner from itsmembers a commitment to abstinence from gambling, a lifelong commitment to theprinciples of GA, and participation in GA meetings. Although GA and AA are perhaps thebest-known paths to recovery, few controlled studies have evaluated the effectiveness ofthe 12-step programs. As Keith Humphreys explains, scientists in the 1970s and 1980swere skeptical that voluntary, peer-led self-help groups could be studied scientifically(Humphreys, 2006). Fortunately, a new generation of researchers has resolved themethodological challenges of such research. The results are showing positive outcomesfrom the use of 12-step programs. In the field of gambling, Nancy Petry and her colleaguesare filling the gap by including GA as one of the interventions compared with cognitivebehavioral therapy (see pages 14-16).
INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
> Introduction
According to conventional wisdom, there are only two WHAT ARE CLINICAL TRIALS?
ways out of addiction: treatment or death. It is A clinical trial is used to determine the commonly assumed that a doctor, a counselor or a rehabilitation center is essential to breaking free of addiction. The description of pathological gambling ensure objective results — that is, results in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as “chronic and persisting” (American Psychiatric Association, 1984) reinforces this view.
Similar ideas were pervasive within the cocaine abusetreatment community until Shaffer and Jones (1989) The randomized clinical trial is one in published the first accounts of natural recovery from cocaine dependence. Wendy Slutske is one of the first to document that approximately one-third of people with a gambling problem seem to recover on their own, without formal treatment (see page 17). This estimate is consistent with the rates of natural recovery in other addictions (Sobell, Ellingstad, & Sobell, 2000).
The presence and extent of natural recovery suggests that brief interventions, such as self-help workbooks or guides, might be effective strategies for gambling an “experimental group” and a “control disorders. Natural recovery is much more common group.” The experimental group is given than the conventional wisdom suggests (Shaffer & the control group is given either astandard treatment for the illness or a ASSISTED RECOVERY: TALK THERAPY
scientists compare the results of the twogroups. Not everyone can, or believes that they can, get wellwithout professional help. Because of the lack of Scientists often use double-blind trials in clinical trials of treatment programs for gambling disorders, health care providers have had to borrow participants are unaware of, or blind to, clinical strategies designed for similar mental health the nature of the treatment the participant problems, such as alcoholism, or rely on anecdotal information when developing treatment plans.
thought to produce objective resultsbecause the expectations of the Researchers are now beginning to make significant researcher and the participant are limited; inroads in their search for evidence-based treatments.
Cognitive therapy (CT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are two of the few approaches that have been scientifically examined, and the outcomes have been extremely promising. These strategies focus on reducing the individual’s excessive gambling bycorrecting erroneous perceptions about probability,skill, and luck that only reinforce problematic gambling behaviors. Cognitive behavioraltreatment techniques include: cognitive correction, social skills training, problem solvingtraining and relapse prevention. Robert Ladouceur and colleagues at Université Laval havebeen at the vanguard of this research, and this monograph includes a summary of one of INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
> Introduction
his important studies (see page 6). Nancy Petry has also contributed to this area by testingthe effectiveness of CBT, as summarized in pages 14-16.
Research indicates a clear relationship between biological vulnerabilities and thedevelopment of a gambling disorder. For example, a vulnerability might be insufficientlevels of chemicals — or neurotransmitters — in the brain that regulate mood andjudgment. If the low mood is elevated by an activity like gambling, the person coulddevelop a gambling problem. Furthermore, the simultaneous occurrence of depressionand other psychiatric problems with a gambling disorder underlines the importance ofexploring drug treatments for pathological gambling.
As Jon Grant’s review essay reveals (see page 20), scientists are now experimenting withseveral classes of drugs for gambling disorders including antidepressants, moodstabilizers, and opioid antagonists. Although some drug treatments have had positiveoutcomes, others have yet to fulfill their promise. Continued research is needed todetermine the most effective drug-treatment strategies.
The evidence is clear — a treatment standard for gambling disorders remains on thehorizon. Until then, clinicians should consider a “cocktail” approach that involves variouscombinations of drug therapy, psychotherapy, counseling, fellowships (e.g., GamblersAnonymous), financial education, and self-help interventions. Helping clinicians stayabreast of new developments and resources is essential to the process of treatmentplanning. The BASIS (Brief Addiction Science Information Source), an online resourcedeveloped by the Harvard Medical School faculty of the Division on Addictions atCambridge Health Alliance, offers free access to updates on new research in theaddictions, including gambling disorders, and other resources for health care providers(www.basisonline.org). The annual NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction providesanother forum for health care providers to discuss the newest developments in gamblingresearch (www.ncrg.org).
Public health planners should consider creative interventions for reaching individuals not in or unwilling to enter professional treatment. Self-help CBT manuals and onlineresources such as “Your First Step to Change” (www.basisonline.org) offer alternatives forpeople who cannot or will not enter formal treatment. This approach might be the bestway to catch those individuals who are subclinical or having problems as a result of theirgambling but do not meet diagnostic criteria for the disorder. This view requires us to cast off conventional wisdom about the proverbial “need to hit rock bottom in order torecover.” Why not try to prevent people from reaching the most disordered state? Despite the challenges associated with helping people recover from gambling addiction,the future is bright. The research projects profiled in this volume demonstrate theenormous strides made by the field during recent years. These investigators have made a great contribution to public health with their pioneering research on recovery fromgambling addiction.
INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
> Introduction
American Psychiatric Association. (1984). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth ed.): American Psychiatric Association.
Humphreys, K. (2006). The trials of Alcoholics Anonymous. Addiction, 101(5), 617-618.
Marlatt, G. A., & Gordon, J. (Eds.). (1985). Relapse Prevention. New York: Guilford.
Shaffer, H. J., & Jones, S. B. (1989). Quitting Cocaine: The Struggle Against Impulse. Sobell, L. C., Ellingstad, T. P., & Sobell, M. B. (2000). Natural recovery from alcohol and drug problems: methodological review of the research with suggestions for futuredirections. Addiction, 95(5), 749-764.
About the authors…
Christine Reilly is the executive director of the Institute for Research on Gambling Disorders,
formerly the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders. She administers
the Institute’s research programs and coordinates educational activities such as the annual NCRG
Conference on Gambling and Addiction and EMERGE (Executive, Management, and Employee
Responsible Gaming Education).

Howard J. Shaffer, Ph.D., C.A.S. is associate professor of psychology in psychiatry at Harvard
Medical School (HMS) and director of the Division on Addictions at Cambridge Health Alliance,
teaching affiliate of HMS. His research, writing and teaching on the nature and treatment of
addictive behaviors have shaped how the health care field conceptualizes and treats the full range
of addictive behaviors. Shaffer’s gambling research yielded the first reliable prevalence estimates
of disordered gambling behavior; the first longitudinal study of casino employees; the first national
study of college gambling; and a new model for understanding addiction as a syndrome. Shaffer,
a licensed psychologist and certified addictions specialist, is the editor of the journal, Psychology
of Addictive Behaviors.

INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
Cognitive Treatment of Pathological Gambling
Authors: Robert Ladouceur, Caroline Sylvain, Claude Boutin, Stella LaChance, Celine
Doucet, Jean LeBlond, & Christian Jacques
(Université Laval, Ste-Foy, Quebec)
Published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
(2001, volume 189, number 11, pp. 774-780)
Changing Your Mind: The Promise of Cognitive Therapy
by Robert Ladouceur, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology, Université Laval, Ste-Foy, Quebec
People’s attempts to gain wealth is clearly one of the primary motivations behindgambling. Most rational individuals understand the odds of winning and are aware of theactual returns on wagers and, therefore, avoid gambling to excess. However, there aresome individuals who do not understand or accept the miniscule chance of acquiringwealth by gambling and continue to engage in an activity that will in all likelihood havethe opposite effect. This is the principal paradox of problem gambling. Cognitive theoriesof gambling resolve this paradox. If cognitive factors play a role in developing andmaintaining gambling habits, confronting and correcting these mistaken beliefs andexpectations should reduce or eliminate the excessive gambling. To evaluate theeffectiveness of this approach, our team studied pathological gamblers in a cognitivetherapy treatment program. The treatment included two components, cognitive therapy and relapse prevention. The cognitive therapy included four targets: • Understanding the concept of randomness: The therapist explained the concept
of chance — that each turn is independent, that no strategies exist to control theoutcome, that there is a negative expectation of return, and that it is impossible to predict the outcome of the game.
Understanding the erroneous beliefs held by gamblers: This component
mainly addressed the difficulty individuals had understanding the principle ofindependence among random events. The therapist explained how the illusion ofcontrol contributes to forming gambling habits and corrected the mistaken beliefsheld by the gambler, such as believing that you can use past events to make abetter prediction or a sound bet.
Awareness of inaccurate perceptions: The participant was informed that incorrect
perceptions prevail during gambling.
Cognitive corrections of erroneous perceptions: The therapist corrected
inadequate verbalizations and faulty beliefs using a recording of the patient’s vocalexpressions made during a session of imaginary gambling, such as: “If I lose fourtimes in a row, I’m sure to win next time.” The relapse prevention component was adapted from the model for alcoholics. Thepossibility of relapse was discussed with the participants, and they learned to becomeaware of high-risk situations and thoughts that might lead them to start gambling again.
Participants described past relapses and identified high-risk situations and flawed thoughtsassociated with these situations. The therapist helped the participants correct theseperceptions to help avoid relapses.
INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
> Changing Your Mind: The Promise of Cognitive Therapy
The results of this study proved to be both clinically and statistically significant. Upon completion of the treatment, participants in the treatment group improved on four key variables: • Perceiving a higher level of control over their gambling • Believing they could refrain from gambling in high-risk situations (self-efficacy • No longer meeting the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) criteria for pathological gambling On percentage of change, 19 of the 35 treated participants improved by at least 50 percent on all four dependent variables, compared with only two of 29 controlparticipants who did not undergo treatment. In addition, 33 of the 35 treatedparticipants improved by 50 percent or more on at least three of the four variables in comparison with four of the 29 control participants.
Mean (Average) Scores on Four of the Main Variables
Post-test 6 months 12 months


Follow-up evaluations at six and 12 months showed the treated participants weremaintaining the gains from therapy (refer to Table 1). Eighty-six percent of the treatedparticipants were no longer considered pathological gamblers at the end of treatment.
Gamblers try to control and predict outcomes of games of chance. An illusion of controlmotivates them to construe strategies to win more money. However, the very essenceof gambling is unpredictability. For example, with slot machines, casino games, andlotteries, many gamblers forget that the notion of randomness is the basic principle;each game is a new game, regardless of the outcomes of the previous games.
If a gambler’s understanding of randomness can be improved and his or her misconceptionscorrected, the motivation to gamble should decrease dramatically. This study focused onthe poor understanding of the notion of randomness as the most important target forchange, mainly that no sound prediction can be made in a gambling situation. INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
> Changing Your Mind: The Promise of Cognitive Therapy
Cognitive therapy targeting erroneous beliefs about randomness is a promisingtreatment for pathological gambling. Future studies should replicate and compare this cognitive treatment with an alternate treatment group or an attention placebo.1 1 An ineffectual but harmless treatment provided to control group members in order to ensure that both thecontrol group and intervention group believe they are receiving treatment. The placebo protects against thepossibility that intervention group members improve relative to controls simply because they believe they arereceiving treatment, rather than because the intervention is truly effective. Attention placebos are appropriate instudies where there is a reasonable possibility that this might occur, such as a study of a counseling program totreat depression, where participants’ beliefs that they are receiving treatment may actually alleviate theirdepressive symptoms.
Psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck developed cognitive therapy (CT) in the 1960s. He was dissatisfied withlong-term approaches to psychiatric treatment that were based on gaining insight into unconsciousemotions and drives. He believed the way in which his clients perceived, interpreted and attributedmeaning — a process known as cognition — was the key to therapy. CT seeks to influence emotionand behavior by identifying and changing distorted or unrealistic ways of thinking.
Beck stressed the importance of the elemental ways in which people process information — aboutthemselves, the world around them, or the future. Testing beliefs, as well as cooperation between theclient and therapist, are the foundations of cognitive therapy.
During the 1970s, a cognitive conversion occurred in the field of psychology. Cognitive therapytechniques and behavioral modification techniques merged, resulting in cognitive behavioral therapy(CBT). This is a psychotherapy aimed at influencing disturbed emotions by modifying cognitions,assumptions, beliefs and behaviors. Considered a cost-effective psychotherapy, the CBT approach iswidely accepted as evidence-based, and is the primary treatment studied today in psychologyresearch. It is commonly used in treating mood and anxiety disorders.
The specific therapeutic techniques of CBT vary according to client or problem, but commonlyinclude: • Maintaining a diary of important events and associated feelings, thoughts and behaviors • Questioning and testing cognitions, assumptions, evaluations and beliefs that might be • Taking part in activities that may have been avoided in the past • Testing out new ways of behaving and reacting Since CT has always included some behavioral components, the term “cognitive behavioral therapy”is sometimes used interchangeably with “cognitive therapy.” ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Academy of Cognitive Therapy http://www.academyofct.org Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research http://www.beckinstitute.org Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies http://www.aabt.org National Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapists http://www.nacbt.org INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
> Changing Your Mind: The Promise of Cognitive Therapy
The Study’s Objective & Hypothesis
This study evaluated the effectiveness of an intervention based exclusively on thecorrection of erroneous perceptions reported by gamblers. The hypothesis was thatcorrection of erroneously perceived links between random events in gambling willsignificantly reduce gambling behavior, compared with the wait-list/control group, which was not expected to show any improvement.
Sample & Methodology
Of the initial sample of 217 participants, 48 did not meet the selection criteria, and 81chose not to participate. Eighty-eight qualified participants volunteered for the study.
All were identified as pathological gamblers according to DSM-IV criteria. Fifty-nine ofthe 88 immediately began the therapy program; 29 were assigned to the wait-list/control group. Seven participants in the control group began treatment at the post-test stage, so a total of 66 individuals were evaluated as part of the study. Little morethan half (35) who began treatment completed the full program. On an individual basis, the participants met once a week for 60 minutes with apsychologist; the maximum treatment time was 20 hours. Three psychologistsadministered the treatment, supervised by a psychologist with 20 years of experiencein cognitive therapy.
Dependent measures were completed at pre-test, post-test, and six-month and 12-month follow-ups.
This research was supported by a grant from the National Center for Responsible Gaming.
About the author…
Robert Ladouceur, Ph.D. is a professor of psychology at Université Laval in Quebec. After his
doctoral studies, he completed post-doctoral fellowships at Temple University in Philadelphia, Penn.
and at Geneva University in Switzerland. During his career, he has published 450 scientific papers,
made 500 presentations and published five books. Ladouceur’s work on gambling is internationally
known and his research has been recognized by the National Council on Problem Gambling (1996)
and the National Center for Responsible Gaming (2003). Ladouceur is a member of the scientific
advisory board for the Institute for Research on Gambling Disorders.
INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
Retrospective and Prospective Reports of Precipitants
to Relapse in Pathological Gambling
Authors: David C. Hodgins & Nady el-Guebaly
(University of Calgary)
Published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
(2004, volume 72, number 1, pp. 72-80)
Relapse Among Disordered Gamblers
by David C. Hodgins, Ph.D., C. Psych.
Department of Psychology, University of Calgary
While there are many treatment options for gambling disorders, relapse rates remain high.
Understanding relapse — gambling again after a period of not gambling — is essential todeveloping lasting interventions. Despite its importance, little research has focused onrelapse in gambling. Research also has been varied, so the implications for treatment havenot been clear. Relapse has been studied extensively for other addictive behaviors, however. Identifyinghigh-risk situations or triggers that have, in the past, signaled an addictive behavior is acentral factor. Interventions prepare individuals to avoid relapse by recognizing and evading or coping with these situations. In research on addictive behaviors, participants are often asked to report after an episode of activity — a retrospective report. However, anindividual’s emotions and moods often influence how the activity is reported. For example, individuals who are depressed when giving a retrospective report might give a more negative description than previouslyindicated. It is likely this is also true in reporting on gambling activity.
In this study we wanted to examine triggers of relapse and how gamblersdescribed their mood states, both leading up to the relapse and after the relapse. Understanding predictors of relapse can aid in developing prevention strategies.
Relapse rates among pathological gamblers trying to quit gambling are very high —only 8 percent of those successfully monitored for 12 months did not gamble duringthe study period. Overall, about half of the relapses were associated with extremelynegative consequences in the participant’s life, most often financial. Moods prior to relapses were as likely to be positive (happy, active, relaxed, quiet) asthey were to be negative (frustrated, bored, tired, sad). The most frequently reportedimpulses for both men and women were optimism about winning (23 percent ofrelapses) and feeling the need to make money (16 percent). Both are related tofinancial issues and are often targets of current cognitive-behavioral treatmentapproaches. INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
> Relapse Among Disordered Gamblers
Main Reason for Relapse by Gender
Men Women Overall
Main Reason for Relapsing
Giving in to urges, habit, or opportunity overall. Many believegamblers are motivated byexcitement, but this finding calls that assumption into question. DISCUSSION
Before a relapse, participants reported a wide range of moods and emotions with no dominant pattern. Men and women also attributed relapses to different causes. This suggests there is no quick fix or single treatment model for gambling relapse. Reports of positive moods were as common as negative moods among theparticipants. This finding stands in contrast to previous findings that negative moodsare the most frequent predictor across a range of addictive behaviors. The reasons for quitting gambling match up with the reasons for relapse to somedegree. Participants most frequently described financial and emotional reasons asimportant in their decision to quit, yet these same factors appear to lead to relapse. IMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH AND PREVENTION
This study reinforces the importance of identifying triggers and high-risk situations as a key component of successful therapies. Men and women reported differences intriggers to relapse and this suggests the need to consider gender in treatment plans. Classifying the severity of relapse should be considered for future research. In thisstudy, an arbitrary definition of a relapse was used — gambling after two weeks ofabstinence. Participants were allowed to determine the end of their relapse. For some,two days of gambling within a week was one episode, for others it may have beendescribed as two episodes. INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
> Relapse Among Disordered Gamblers
The Study’s Objective & Hypothesis
The purpose of this study was to 1) examine triggers of relapse to gambling in a sample of pathological gamblers who were attempting to quit, and 2) compareprospective (potential or anticipated) and retrospective reports of mood statesassociated with relapses. We hypothesized that, because of the influence of mood on memory, participants who reported greater negative moods at the time of theretrospective report would over-report negative moods as a relapse trigger ascompared with prospective reports. Sample & Methodology
Media announcements were used to recruit individuals who had recently stoppedgambling. Inclusion criteria were: • Self-perception of a gambling problem • South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS)1 score of five or greater • No gambling in the past two weeks but some gambling in the past four weeks • Willingness to be followed for 12 months and to nominate three individuals to corroborate one’s gambling reports Volunteers were initially interviewed face-to-face and were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: • A retrospective condition in which participants were interviewed face-to-face initially and at three, six, and 12 months • A prospective condition in which participants, in addition to the interviews described above, provided a weekly telephone report of gambling, life events, and moods for the past few days;weekly contacts continued until a relapse to gambling occurredor for a maximum of three months • 76 percent - English Canadian, 8 percent - French Canadian, 5 percent - European ancestry, 2 percent - Native, 9 percent - other groups • Mean score on the SOGS was 12.2, which indicates a substantial level of problems • 89 percent met the DSM-IV criteria for pathological gambling • Participants reported experiencing a mean of five years of problem gambling 1The South Oaks Gambling Screen is a 20-item questionnaire that evaluates the presence of pathological gamblingand is widely used in studies measuring the prevalence of gambling disorders in populations. Leseiur, H.R., & Blume,S.B. (1987). The South Oaks Gambling Screen (The SOGS). A new instrument for the identification of pathologicalgamblers. American Journal of Psychiatry, 144, 1184-1188.
INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
> Relapse Among Disordered Gamblers
• All participants had a goal of abstinence from the types of gambling that had • 33 percent described their goal as abstinence from all forms of gambling • Past gambling treatment (including Gamblers Anonymous involvement) was • Current treatment involvement was reported by 25 percent • Previous quit attempts were reported by 25 percent Of the 51 participants who were randomly assigned to weekly contact, the averagenumber of contacts was 6.9. For follow-up rates, of the 101 participants: This study was funded by the National Center for Responsible Gaming.
About the author…
David C. Hodgins, Ph.D., C. Psych. is currently a professor in the department of psychology at the
University of Calgary with an adjunct appointment with the faculty of medicine. Hodgins is also a
practicing clinical psychologist. His research publications and clinical work are in the area of
recovery from addictions. The United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration
has recognized a brief treatment approach for problem gamblers involving self-help and telephone
support, developed by Hodgins and colleagues, as a promising treatment for problem gamblers.
INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Pathological Gamblers
Authors: Nancy Petry, Yola Ammerman, Jaime Bohl, Anne Doersch, Heather Gay,
Ronald Kadden, Cheryl Molina, & Karen Steinberg
(University of Connecticut Health Center)
Published in Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
(2006, volume 74, number 3, pp. 555-567)
Testing Three Paths to Improvement: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy,
Self-Directed Workbook and Gamblers Anonymous®
by Nancy M. Petry, Ph.D.
Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut Health Center
Despite the troubling consequences of gambling disorders, little is known about effectivetreatments for pathological gamblers. Gamblers Anonymous (GA) is the most widely utilized treatment intervention, but less than 10 percent of attendeesbecome actively involved in the program, and overall abstinence rates are low. Professional treatment programs often recommendattendance at GA; a combined approach of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and GA may improve outcomes. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of short-term CBT and compare it to a real-world control condition — referral to GA.
Participants were randomly assigned to three groups: 1. Referral to GA only.
In a one-time meeting, 10-15 minutes in length, participants were provided a list of locations and meeting times for 22 GA meetings held throughout the state ofConnecticut. GA was discussed, including the participants’ prior attendance,expectations and potential concerns. Participants were told that many people whobecome involved with GA reduce or stop gambling, and they were encouraged toselect a GA meeting to attend. The participants did not meet again with thetherapist.
2. Referral to GA plus CBT in workbook format.
In a meeting like the one described above, participants were referred to GA andalso given a 70-page workbook containing CBT exercises and a 24-page section onhandling gambling-related debt. The workbook contained descriptions and fill-in-the-blank exercises identical to those in the CBT therapy group described below.
The therapist instructed participants to complete one chapter a week for eightweeks. No other meetings between the participant and the therapist occurred.
3. Referral to GA plus professionally delivered CBT.
After GA referral, participants met individually with a therapist one hour per weekfor eight weeks. Sessions were structured with handouts that addressed: • Functional analysis (a common exercise to explore the benefits and INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
> Testing Three Paths to Improvement
• Self-management planning (e.g., brainstorming alternatives to gambling) • Assertiveness training and gambling refusal skills Gambling-debt information was also provided and most sessions had homeworkexercises. KEY FINDINGS
GA attendance was comparable across the three groups, with about 40 percent attending GA at Median Amounts Gambled in Past Month
received the CBT workbook completed at least treatment treatment follow-up
six of the eight chapters, while more than 60 percent of those in the professionally delivered CBT group became actively involved in the CBT workbook
GA with

Gambling activity decreased among the majority CBT
of participants in this study, including those inthe “GA only” group and even if they did notattend GA. While reductions in gambling were evident across all three groups, theaddition of CBT was statistically significant in further decreasing gambling relative toGA referral alone. Those receiving the individual CBT had the best short- and long-term outcomes. Table 3 provides an example, showing the amounts wagered eachmonth also decreased, with the CBT group showing the greatest reductions.
In terms of total abstinence, only 7.1 percent of those in the GA-only group, 8.1 percentof those in the CBT workbook group, and 16.5 percent of those in the professionallydelivered CBT group did not gamble throughout the treatment and 12-month follow-upperiod. Gambling abstinence was verified by independent interviews with collaterals —spouses, friends or relatives knowledgeable about the participants’ gambling habits.
The results from this study suggest that some gamblers can decrease their gamblingwith very minimal intervention, although complete abstinence is uncommon.
Individualized CBT is also shown to decrease gambling more than referral to GA alone,and some of these benefits remain long term. IMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH AND PREVENTION
Referral to GA is a common practice among counselors, but adding a CBT componentto that treatment plan can significantly improve outcomes. Patients are more likely toengage in CBT when delivered by a professional than when CBT is provided via a self-directed workbook. A follow-up study is ongoing to compare CBT with anotherindividualized therapy. INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
> Testing Three Paths to Improvement
The Study’s Objective & Hypothesis
The purpose of this study was to evaluate theeffectiveness of a short-term, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in a large sample and compare its effectiveness to a real-world control condition —referral to Gamblers Anonymous (GA). The hypothesis was that the CBT would result in decreased gambling Sample & Methodology
• Participants were recruited through media announcements between 1998 and • Individuals who met DSM-IV criteria for pathological gambling, had gambled in the past two months, were 18 years or older, and could read at the 5th grade levelwere included.
• 231 participants were eligible and randomized to one of three treatment groups; sample size was 63, 84, and 84 respectively for the three groups: – referral to GA plus CBT in workbook format – referral to GA plus individual, professionally delivered CBT • Using a variety of screening tools, assessments were conducted at baseline, post treatment, and at 6- and 12-month follow-ups. Relatives and personal friends wereinterviewed to obtain an independent perspective of the individual’s gambling. This study was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health.
Nancy Petry presented this study at the 2006 NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction.
About the author…
Nancy M. Petry, Ph.D. is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut Health Center.
Petry conducts research on the treatment of addictive disorders, ranging from substance use
disorders to pathological gambling, and she has published more than 150 articles in peer-reviewed
journals. Petry was the first recipient of the National Center for Responsible Gaming’s Young
Investigator Scientific Achievement Award, and she received the American Psychological
Association’s Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contributions to Psychology in 2003.
She earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1994.
INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
Natural Recovery and Treatment-Seeking in Pathological Gambling:
Results of Two U.S. National Surveys
Author: Wendy S. Slutske
(University of Missouri-Columbia)
Published in the American Journal of Psychiatry
(February 2006, volume 163, pp. 297-302)
Getting Well on Your Own: Natural Recovery from Gambling Disorders
by Wendy S. Slutske, Ph.D.
Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
According to the fourth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic andStatistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), pathological gambling is described as “apersistent and recurrent maladaptive gambling behavior.” Recent studies, however, showthe course of the disorder varies and is not always chronic. Natural recovery is suggestedas a possible alternative to formal treatment.
To investigate the phenomenon of natural recovery and to verify its success amongpathological gamblers, I reviewed and compared two national studies: the GamblingImpact and Behavior Study (GIBS) and the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol andRelated Conditions (NESARC). KEY FINDINGS
Among individuals with a history of pathological gambling at some point in their lifetime, 36 percent to 39 percent did not experience any gambling-related problems within the past year.
Only 7 percent to 12 percent of those had sought either formal treatment or attended meetings of Gamblers Anonymous, so thevast majority of these recoveries were achieved without treatment.
In other words, 33 percent to 36 percent of the recoveries from pathological gamblingdisorder (from the two samples) can be classified as natural or self-directed recovery. The rates of natural recovery for problem gambling — a gambling disorder defined asa lesser degree of pathological gambling — were similar to those for pathologicalgambling.
With one-third of pathological gamblers experiencing recovery without formal treatment,the disorder may not be as rigid as the DSM-IV implies and may not always follow achronic and persisting course. For some pathological gamblers, the disorder ispersistent, but for others, it is sporadic. One surprising finding from this study is thatpathological gambling was typically a single episode of about one year in duration.
The results from this analysis may eventually overturn the established wisdom onpathological gambling disorder. While living and dealing with a pathological gamblingdisorder is challenging, these results imply recovery may be possible without formaltreatment. INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
> Getting Well on Your Own: Natural Recovery from Gambling Disorders
Future studies on natural recovery will likely provide helpful information for formal treatment approaches. For example, the means by which people can get better using resources in daily life, such as support from family and friends, might eventually be incorporated into formal treatment. There is evidence tosuggest that a substantial percentage It is unclear the extent to which minimal interventions, such as the use of gambling help lines, fit into the natural recovery story. Gambling help lines are being widelypromoted to gamblers and may be part of the reason why many individuals are able to recover without any formal treatment. Participants were not asked about their use of such help lines in neither the GIBS nor the NESARC study. gambling suggests that naturalrecovery might be relatively common People with more severe gambling problems, that is, those experiencing a greater number of symptoms of pathological gambling disorder, those whose problems have persisted for a long time, or those also dealing with other disorders — such as alcoholism, drug abuse, or depression — may have a much harder time achieving recovery on their own and are likely candidates for formal treatment. However, it is not possible at this point to predict who will be able to recover on their own versus who will be benefit from formal treatment. The number of individuals seeking formal treatment was low in both surveys. This may indicate a gap between the number of people needing or wanting treatment and the number actually receiving treatment. Participants were not asked about their reasons for not seeking treatment in neither the GIBS nor the NESARC study. Previous research has suggested a number of external barriers to treatment as well as personal factors, such as embarrassment, wanting to handle problems on their own, and a lack of awareness of treatment options or availability. Byincorporating questions about reasons for not seekingtreatment into systematic community-based surveys, such as the GIBS and NESARC, we may be in a better position to determine what changescould be made to better provide services to those individuals in need of additional helpfor their gambling problems. INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
> Getting Well on Your Own: Natural Recovery from Gambling Disorders
The Study’s Objective
The purpose of the study was to document the rates of recovery, treatment-seeking,and natural recovery among individuals with DSM-IV pathological gambling disorderin two large and representative U.S. national surveys. Sample & Methodology
Data were drawn from two U.S. national surveys: the Gambling Impact and BehaviorStudy (GIBS) and the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and RelatedConditions (NESARC). Both studies obtained lifetime and past-year DSM-IV diagnosesof, and treatment-seeking for, pathological gambling.
• The GIBS, conducted in 1998-1999, included a telephone interview of 2,417 adults and obtained an overall survey response rate of 56 percent.
• The NESARC, conducted in 2001-2002, was an in-person interview of 43,093 adults and obtained an overall survey response rate of 81 percent.
Although the two surveys used different measures to assess DSM-IV pathologicalgambling, the assessments of lifetime and past-year pathological gambling did notdiffer much. Minor adjustments were made to make the assessments morecomparable and to more closely conform to the DSM-IV definition of pathologicalgambling.
This study was supported in part by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. The GIBS survey was conducted
by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and funded by the National Gambling Impact
Study Commission (created by an act of Congress in 1997) with supplemental support from the U.S. Treasury
Department, National Institute of Mental Health, and National Institute on Drug Abuse. The NESARC survey was
conducted by the Laboratory of Epidemiology and Biometry, Division of Intramural Clinical and Biological Research,
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and
Alcoholism, with supplemental support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

About the author…
Wendy S. Slutske, Ph.D. is a professor in the department of psychological sciences at the
University of Missouri-Columbia. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University
of Minnesota and postdoctoral training at the Washington University School of Medicine. Her
research focuses on the description and etiology of addictive disorders — especially alcoholism and
pathological gambling. She mainly uses epidemiologic and behavioral genetic methods in her work.
INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
Managing Disordered Gambling Behavior with Medication
by Jon E. Grant, M.D., J.D., M.P.H.
Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota Medical School
Drug treatments have had a significant impact on chemical addictions. For example,recovering heroin users have been taking methadone since the 1970s and people who are trying to quit smoking can take Zyban to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
But what about drug treatment for gambling disorders, a non-substance-related addiction?While drug treatment is new territory for the gambling field, progress has been made inthe search for effective drug therapy. Scientists now know that multiple chemical substances in the brain, calledneurotransmitters,1 are implicated in the development and maintenance of pathologicalgambling. Dysfunction of the neurochemical serotonin appears to contribute to impulsiveactions and thrill-seeking behaviors. In other words, when serotonin is low in the brain,people may be less able to inhibit their behavior, and this is one possible explanation forwhy people engage in risk-taking behaviors such as gambling. Another neurochemical, dopamine, is related to the rewarding feeling associated withbehaviors. Problems with the dopamine system may contribute to vulnerability to addictive behaviors. Pathological gambling is alsoassociated with problems associated with the opioid system, another neurochemical that plays a role in regulating urges and KEY FINDINGS
Medications that affect a variety of these neurotransmitters have been studied in the treatment of pathological gambling. In fact, there have been 12 double-blind, placebo-controlled, drug studies conducted on pathological gambling. (A double-blind, placebo-controlled study is a study in which some subjects are randomlyassigned to take medication and others receive a placebo. Neither the clinician nor the subject knows who is taking medication or a placebo. These typesof studies are scientifically the most rigorous and tell us the most about whether amedication is helpful. A full chart outlining the methodology of each study highlightedin this article is included on page 24.) The positive treatment response to a range ofmedications suggests that these neurotransmitters play an important role in the causeof pathological gambling, and also provides important clues to improving treatmentoptions. Antidepressants
To date, seven double-blind, placebo-controlled drug trials have examined serotoninreuptake inhibitors (SRIs), or antidepressants. Although there are a variety of SRIs, 1 A chemical in the body that moves between neurons and communicates chemical messages such as pain, pleasure,emotion, and touch sensation. Some common neurotransmitters are serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
> Managing Disordered Gambling Behavior with Medication
the most commonly known is Prozac, typically used for mood disorders such asdepression. Results of these trials have been mixed, with some failing to showsuperiority over placebos. In an attempt to target subtypes of pathological gamblers — those with significantanxiety driving their gambling behavior — one of my research projects involved astudy of escitalopram, known commercially as the antidepressant Lexapro. In thisstudy, all subjects received medication for three months. Those subjects who improvedat the end of three months were then randomly selected to either continue takingescitalopram or receive a placebo for an additional eight weeks. The expected outcomeof this type of study is that those who receive the real medication during the last eightweeks should continue to do well and those who receive a placebo should startgambling again. If that happens, it suggests the improvement over three months wasactually due to escitalopram and not just due to coming in for visits and talking abouttheir gambling. Eight of 13 subjects (62 percent) improved in terms of both pathological gambling andanxiety symptoms. Only four subjects entered the eight-week, double-blind phase ofthe study. Of the three receiving escitalopram, improvement continued for the nexteight weeks in all three cases, whereas both gambling symptoms and anxiety returnedwithin four weeks for the one subject receiving a placebo.
A number of important concepts in the use of antidepressants for pathologicalgambling have emerged from these studies. First, it appears that the doses ofantidepressants required to treat gambling symptoms are generally higher than dosesrequired to treat depressive or anxiety symptoms. Second, antidepressants appear toimprove pathological gambling symptoms whether or not the person also suffers fromanxiety or depression. A question remaining from these studies, however, is whetherthe mixed results suggest that certain individuals with pathological gambling benefitmore from antidepressant treatment than others. Mood Stabilizers
Early case reports suggest that alternate classes of drugs, such as mood stabilizersmight be helpful for some individuals struggling with a gambling problem. There hasbeen only one randomized, placebo-controlled trial of a mood stabilizer, however,tested among pathological gamblers. In a study of 40 pathological gambling subjects with bipolar disorder, lithium carbonatewas shown to be superior to a placebo in reducing pathological gambling symptomsduring 10 weeks of treatment. The relationship between pathological gambling and bipolar disorder is often complex.
For example, evidence suggests that many individuals with pathological gambling alsohave bipolar disorder. Although the gambling is a problem independent of the bipolardisorder in these individuals, the gambling may worsen when the bipolar disorderworsens. In addition, individuals with bipolar disorder, but without pathologicalgambling, may gamble impulsively when they are experiencing mania (a manifestation INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
> Managing Disordered Gambling Behavior with Medication
of bipolar disorder characterized by excessive excitement, delusion, and sometimesviolence). Their gambling may resemble the symptoms of pathological gambling. Inboth of these instances, it appears that mood stabilizers may be effective in controllinggambling symptoms.
Although a majority (83 percent) of subjects in the treatment group displayedsignificant decreases in gambling urges, thoughts, and behaviors, no differences werefound in the amount of money lost, episodes of gambling per week, or time spent pergambling episode.
Opioid Antagonists
Opioid antagonists are a class of drugs used to treat substance addiction that appear towork in areas of the brain that control a person’s motivation to engage in rewardingbehavior. The idea is that these medications should reduce gambling-relatedexcitement and cravings or urges to gamble. A 12-week trial of the drug naltrexone demonstrated superiority to a placebo in 45subjects with pathological gambling. Naltrexone reduced the frequency and intensityof gambling urges and gambling behavior. A separate analysis of those subjects withat least moderate urges to gamble revealed that naltrexone was more effective ingamblers with more severe urges to gamble. A recently completed multicenter study further demonstrated the effectiveness ofanother opioid antagonist, nalmefene, in the treatment of pathological gambling. In asample of 207 subjects, nalmefene demonstrated statistically significant improvementin gambling symptoms compared to a placebo in a 16-week trial. So, this evidence suggests opioid antagonists may be an effective treatment option for individuals with urges to gamble and in pathological gamblers with co-occurringalcohol-use disorders.
Glutamatergic Agents
Recent research hypothesizes that medications that can influence the neurochemicalglutamate in the brain may also reduce a person’s drive to seek rewarding or addictivebehaviors. Studies on cocaine addiction have demonstrated that N-acetyl cysteine, anamino acid that affects glutamate, appears to decrease cravings.
Twenty-seven subjects with pathological gambling were treated for eight weeks withN-acetyl cysteine, and those who improved were randomly assigned either to continueN-acetyl cysteine or to receive a placebo for the next six weeks. During the first eightweeks, gambling symptoms were significantly reduced among 59 percent of subjectsreporting significant improvement. Of those who entered the six-week phase and wereassigned to N-acetyl cysteine, 83.3 percent continued to demonstrate improvement atthe end of the six weeks, compared to only 28.6 percent of those assigned to placebo.
Like opiate antagonists, N-acetyl cysteine may be most beneficial for pathologicalgamblers with urges to gamble.
INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
> Managing Disordered Gambling Behavior with Medication
Conclusions can be drawn from the drug-treatment studies in • Studies indicate that a variety of medications appear to effectively reduce the symptoms of pathological gambling in the short term (up to four months). • Different classes of medication seem equally effective in reducing the symptoms of pathological gambling. Although no comparison studies of medications have beenperformed in a randomized, placebo-controlled design, some studies have tried totailor treatment based on understanding subtypes of pathological gamblers. Forexample, lithium was effective in gamblers who had bipolar symptoms, escitalopramwas beneficial for gamblers with anxiety, and the opiate antagonists and N-acetylcysteine appear effective for controlling gambling urges. IMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH AND PREVENTION
The long-term effects of medication for pathological gambling remain largely untested.
Although medications appear beneficial for the treatment of pathological gambling,future research needs to address several issues and questions, including: 1. No study has examined pharmacological treatment effects for longer than six months or examined whether the effects of early and intense treatment lastbeyond the six months of treatment. 2. The factors that predict a positive response to drug therapy have largely gone unexamined. Preliminary findings suggest that pathological gambling subjectswith more intense gambling urges may respond better to opioid antagonists of N-acetyl cysteine, but other predictive variables are currently lacking. 3. There are limited data concerning the effectiveness of drug therapies for pathological gambling subjects who also have other psychiatric conditions.
Preliminary data suggest that individuals with pathological gambling and bipolardisorder respond to lithium and those with anxiety respond to escitalopram. 4. Although both medication and behavioral treatments appear effective for pathological gambling, few studies have systematically compared interventions or examined whether combinations of treatments are more beneficial. Should anindividual with pathological gambling start with medication or talk therapy orboth? Also, are there differences in individuals with pathological gambling thatmay indicate a superior response to a particular intervention? INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
> Managing Disordered Gambling Behavior with Medication
Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pharmacotherapy Trials
for Pathological Gambling
Mean Daily
significantly improved compared to placebo INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
> Managing Disordered Gambling Behavior with Medication
1Hollander, E., Frenkel, M., Decaria, C., Trungold, S., & Stein, D.J. (1992). Treatment of pathological gambling withclomipramine. American Journal of Psychiatry, 149(5), 710-711.
2Hollander, E., DeCaria, C.M., Finkell, J.N., Begaz, T., Wong, C.M., & Cartwright, C. (2000). A randomized double-blindfluvoxamine/placebo crossover trial in pathologic gambling. Biological Psychiatry, 47(9), 813-817.
3Blanco, C., Petkova, E., Ibanez, A., & Saiz-Ruiz, J. (2002). A pilot placebo-controlled study of fluvoxamine forpathological gambling. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, 14(1), 9-15. 4Kim, S.W., Grant, J.E., Adson, D.E., Shin, Y.C., & Zaninelli, R. (2002). A double-blind placebo-controlled study of theefficacy and safety of paroxetine in the treatment of pathological gambling. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 63, 501-507.
5Grant, J.E., Kim, S.W., Potenza, M.N., Blanco, C., Ibanez, A., Stevens, L., Hektner, J.M., & Zaninelli, R. (2003). Paroxetinetreatment of pathological gambling: a multi-centre randomized controlled trial. International ClinicalPsychopharmacology, 18(4), 243-249. 6Saiz-Ruiz, J., Blanco, C., Ibanez, A., Masramon, X., Gomez, M.M., Madrigal, M., Diez, T. (2005). Sertraline treatment ofpathological gambling: a pilot study. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 66, 28-33.
7Grant, J.E., & Potenza, M.N. (2006). Escitalopram treatment of pathological gambling with co-occurring anxiety: anopen-label pilot study with double-blind discontinuation. International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 21, 203-209.
8Black, D.W., Arndt, S., Coryell, W.H., Argo, T., Forbush, K.T., Shaw, M.C., Perry, P., & Allen, J. (2007). Bupropion in thetreatment of pathological gambling: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, flexible-dose study. Journal ofClinical Psychopharmacology, 27(2), 143-150.
9Hollander, E., Pallanti, S., Allen, A., Sood, E., Baldini Rossi, N. (2005). Does sustained-release lithium reduce impulsivegambling and affective instability versus placebo in pathological gamblers with bipolar spectrum disorders? AmericanJournal of Psychiatry, 162(1), 137-45.
10Kim, S.W., Grant, J.E., Adson, D.E., & Shin, Y.C. (2001). Double-blind naltrexone and placebo comparison study in thetreatment of pathological gambling. Biological Psychiatry, 49(11), 914-921.* 11Grant, J.E., Potenza, M.N., Hollander, E., Cunningham-Williams, R., Nurminen, T. Smits, G., & Kallio, A. (2006).
Multicenter investigation of the opioid antagonist nalmefene in the treatment of pathological gambling. AmericanJournal of Psychiatry, 163, 303-312.
12Grant, J.E., Kim, S.W., & Odlaug, B.L. (in press). N-acetyl cysteine, a glutamate-modulating agent, in the treatment ofpathological gambling: a pilot study. Biological Psychiatry. *Study #10 was funded by a grant from the National Center for Responsible Gaming.
About the author…
Jon E. Grant, M.D., J.D., M.P.H. is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota
and co-directs a clinic for Impulse Control Disorders at the University of Minnesota Medical Center
in Minneapolis, Minn. Grant completed a law degree from Cornell University, a medical degree from
Brown University, and a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University. He is the author
of Stop Me Because I Can’t Stop Myself, a book on impulse control disorders, and editor of
Pathological Gambling: A Clinical Guide to Treatment and Textbook of Men’s Mental Health.
He was honored by the National Center for Responsible Gaming in 2004 with the NCRG Scientific
Achievement Award in the Young Investigator Category.
INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
A. Persistent and recurrent maladaptive gambling behavior as indicated by five (or more) of the 1) is preoccupied with gambling (e.g., is experiences, handicapping or planning the 2) needs to gamble with increasing amounts FELLOWSHIPS AND SELF-HELP
3) has repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, 4) is restless or irritable when attempting to 5) gambles as a way of escaping from problems feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, 6) after losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even (“chasing” one’slosses) 7) lies to family members, therapists, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with 8) has committed illegal acts such as forgery, relationship, job, or educational or careeropportunity because of gambling 10) relies on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation caused bygambling A survey study that compared pathological gamblersand social gamblers suggested a cut point of 5 out of10. However, clinical judgment should be exercised,particularly when the threshold number of items ismet in the absence of significant impairment.
B. The gambling behavior is not better accounted American Psychiatric Association. (1984). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth ed.):American Psychiatric Association.
INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction
The National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) is the only national organizationexclusively devoted to funding research to increase understanding of pathological andyouth gambling, and find effective methods of treatment for the disorder. Founded in1996, the NCRG’s mission is to help individuals and families affected by gamblingdisorders by supporting the finest peer-reviewed, scientific research into pathologicalgambling; encouraging the application of new research findings to improve prevention,diagnostic, intervention and treatment strategies; and advancing public education aboutresponsible gaming. More than $22 million has been committed to the NCRG, through contributions from thecasino gaming industry, equipment manufacturers, vendors, related organizations andindividuals. Research funding is distributed through the Institute for Research on GamblingDisorders, formerly the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and RelatedDisorders. The NCRG is the American Gaming Association's (AGA) affiliated charity.
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President and CEO
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and Executive DirectorAmerican Gaming Association INCREASING THE ODDS Volume 2 Roads to Recovery from Gambling Addiction

Source: http://www.ncrg.org/sites/default/files/uploads/docs/monographs/monograph2_final_for_web.pdf


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