Is Gambling A True Addiction? An Exploratory Essay

1244 words - 5 pages

"Is gambling as addictive as drugs?"I caught initial interest in researching gambling addiction after watching a documentary on casinos one afternoon. I began to wonder how much money they must be making with such a business with endless customers. When it comes to the issue of gambling addiction, it is possibly comparable to what tobacco companies do, feed off addiction till there is nothing left to take.Gambling comes in many forms; from the harmless bet between your brothers or the occasional lottery ticket, but the most dangerous kind of gambling is when the gambler is no longer interested in the fun aspect of the bet. When a gambler no longer plays for fun, but for other reasons, he may be considered an addict, by definition. Gambling to pay off a debt or hopes to win big leaves thousands of people with nothing but the shirt on their back when gambling supposedly takes over. But who is to say whether or not this is an addiction, or just bad personal financing?What is surprising is that gamblers are even considered addicts; they do not have any apparent physical need, such as drug addicts do. A gambler who quits cold turkey most likely will not experience a fever accompanied by a cold sweat. In other words, there are norepercussions if the gambler were to just stop. Drug addicts do make numerous attempts to stop, such as the everyday smoker for example, but it is extremely difficult to resist the withdrawal symptoms. According to Medicine Plus' Medical Encyclopedia, Nicotine causes withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, fatigue, headache, cough, sore gums, irritability, and of course nicotine craving; while gamblers do not has any withdrawal symptoms at all.I began my research on the internet, focusing on finding out the opinions of various addiction centers. The most attractive source of information was the Illinois Institute of Addiction Recovery. According to The Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, even though gamblers are not chemically dependent, they have "addictive behaviors" which are just as dangerous, or more so. Gambling is grouped together with the worst kinds of drug addiction, but it does not seem like a classical example of addiction.Through a relatively simple Google search I came across my next useful source, Jackson recovery center which is based in Iowa. According to Jackson Recovery Center, three percent of all people who gamble become compulsive. Nearly 180 people gamble each year in casinos; this means over five million people experience a form of gambling compulsion. Research has shown that most gambling problems arise because of underlying problems such as depression, or a conflict in the gamblers normal life. Gambling is more of a danger to the public than it originally appears.Addictive behavior concerning gambling has been categorized chronologically. First, the false luck phase, where the gambler experiences beginner's luck and gains unmerited optimism.Subsequently, the second phase begins, the gambler will...

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