Pathological gambling recovery in the absence of abstinence

Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia, 210 McAlester Hall, Columbia, MO 65211,USA.
Addiction (Impact Factor: 4.74). 12/2010; 105(12):2169-75. DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03080.x
Source: PubMed


To examine the role of abstinence from gambling versus controlled gambling in recovery from pathological gambling (PG) in a community-based survey.
Individuals with a life-time history of PG identified in a community-based survey were divided into three groups based on their current levels of PG symptoms. These three groups were compared to each other on their past-year gambling involvement.
National general population twin survey conducted in Australia.
Overall, there were 4764 participants in the community-based survey (mean age 37.7 years, 57.2% women). Among these were 104 participants with a life-time history of PG; of the 104 with a life-time diagnosis of PG, 28 had a past-year diagnosis of PG, 32 had past-year problem gambling and 44 had no symptoms of PG in the past year ('recovery').
The measure of PG was based on the NODS (NORC DSM-IV Screen for Gambling Problems). Past-year participation in 11 different gambling activities was assessed, as well as the following composite indicators: any gambling, gambling versatility, the number of days and hours spent gambling and the proportion of household income spent on gambling.
Ninety per cent of those in the recovery group participated in some form of gambling in the past year.
In this general population survey, nearly all the PG recoveries were achieved in the absence of abstinence. Controlled gambling appears to be a popular road to recovery in the community.

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Available from: Alex Blaszczynski, Sep 29, 2015
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    • "Originating in the alcohol treatment literature, the highly contested issue of abstinence versus moderation has also been debated in the gambling treatment literature. Traditionally , complete abstinence from gambling as a desired treatment goal and as an outcome measure of success has been championed as the only legitimate pathway to recovery (Blaszczynski et al. 1991; Ladouceur 2005; Ladouceur et al. 2009; Slutske et al. 2010). "
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