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!
APA Reclassifies Gambling Addiction
Since 1980, the American Psychiatric Association 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 current publication of the DSM-5 (released May 2013) now includes Gambling Disorder in the revised chapter “Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders.” The APA now recognizes Gambling Disorder as the sole condition in a new category on Behavioral Addictions.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, the “DSM-IV listed Pathological Gambling but in a different chapter. This new term (Gambling Disorder) and its location in the new manual reflect research findings that gambling disorder is similar to substance-related disorders in clinical expression, brain origin, comorbidity, physiology, and treatment.” The APA goes on to say that “Recognition of these commonalities will help people with gambling disorder get the treatment and services they need, and others may better understand the challenges that individuals face in overcoming this disorder.