Gambling addiction (also called gambling disorder, compulsive gambling or pathological gambling) is the first process addiction disorder to be formally recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). In the latest edition of the APA’s diagnostic manual, the DSM-5, gambling addiction is grouped together with substance use disorder. Gambling addiction is defined as “persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behavior” leading to significant psychological, social or occupational dysfunction. According to the diagnostic criteria in the DSM, gambling addiction is associated with a preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to cut down on gambling activity, “chasing” losses, and the continuation of gambling behavior despite obvious negative consequences.
Submitted by: Cosette Rae, MSW, LICSW, ACSW, CDWFCEO, Founding Member, Program Director, reSTART