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12 pages. Includes bibliography. This paper is an overview on issues facing gambling disorder within the field of addiction. Gambling disorder is the only behavioral addiction recognized by the DSM-5 (APA, 2013), joining substance use disorders (SUDs) that arise from problems with legal (e.g., alcohol, tobacco), illegal (e.g., cocaine, heroin), or prescribed substances (e.g., pain and sedative medications). Although it overlaps with SUDs in many ways, it is the only addiction that does not require ingesting a substance and has key distinguishing criteria such as “chasing” (returning to gamble to recoup losses) and “bailouts” (relying on others to alleviate financial consequences of gambling). These differences have fueled misunderstandings among practitioners and researchers about the fit of behavioral addictions with other substance-based addictions. Furthermore, few practitioners screen for gambling when they screen for SUDs, severely limiting the identification and treatment of gambling disorder, despite the potential for gambling to trigger relapse to SUDs given the high rates of comorbidity.
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