Lanie’s Hope advocates for problem gamblers and their families. We create social change by building awareness and understanding of problem gambling as a disease that requires professional treatment and merits treatment options in parity with other health issues facing Americans.
Compulsive gambling was recognized as one of the five “Most Expensive Addictions” in the October 2006 issue of Forbes magazine (along with alcohol, smoking, drugs and overeating). No federal funding programs exist that are dedicated to prevention, education or treatment of disordered gambling.
The federal government spent $2.5 billion in 2010 on programs related to prevention and treatment of substance abuse such as alcohol, tobacco and drugs. None was spent on preventing or treating problem gambling!
Funding for education, prevention and treatment is limited or non-existent because compulsive gambling is often perceived as a moral weakness vs. a diagnosable and treatable disease.
APA Reclassifies Disordered Gambling
Since 1980, the American Psychiatric Association has recognized pathological gambling as a disease in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the primary resource handbook for recognizing and treating mental disorders in the U.S. Originally categorized as an “impulse control disorder,” similar to such maladies as kleptomania and pyromania, the upcoming publication of the DSM V (slated for 2013 release) will recognize pathological gambling as the sole disorder in the new category labeled “behavioral addictions.” It is anticipated this recategorization of compulsive or pathological gambling will move disordered gambling into a treatment area in parody with alcohol and drug abuse.