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How Do You Get Addicted to Gambling?

A. Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP, Kaushik Misra, Ph.D., Amy K. Epner, Ph.D., and Galen Morgan Cooper, Ph.D. , edited by C. E. Zupanick, Psy.D.

In this series on gambling addiction, we have described gambling addiction as a specific type of addiction called an activity addiction. In the following sections, we answer the question, "How do you get addicted to gambling?" Our goal is to help you, the reader, appreciate the complexity of addiction. Like most complex problems, there is a broad range of possible solutions. Our position is that complex problems, like addiction, do not benefit from single, simplistic solutions. People benefit from having a range of possible solutions to their addiction problems. There are at least four possible reasons people can get addicted to gambling: 1) biological reasons, 2) psychological reasons, 3) socio-cultural reasons, and 4) spiritual reasons. These four reasons are reviewed separately in the sections that follow.

So let's begin. How DO people get addicted to gambling? Understanding how we get addicted will ultimately lead us to the more important question: "How can we recover from gambling addiction?"


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