Research Shows Gambling Addicts Resemble Drug Addicts
We have covered research in the past that explain why some people are more likely to have a tendency to suffer from gambling addiction problems. This research is important as it can give us insights in to why certain people are prone to gambling addiction and more importantly how it can be treated.
New research from the journal Translational Psychiatry indicates that the same circuits that drive people to drug addiction are also responsible for compulsive gamblers seeking games of chance.
Two brain areas were identified as highly active when gamblers felt the urge to spin the wheel.
The insula and nucleas accumbens are brain areas that have been linked in the past to drug and alchohol cravings. These areas are involved in impulse control, decision and reward making. Co-author of the reports and director of National Problem Gambling, Dr Henrietta Bowden- Jones believes that the specific finding of areas involved in the brain that lead to gambling addiction could result in targeted treatment that prevent cravings and relapse.
She went on to emphasize the devastating effects irresponsible gambling can have on families which includes people losing their jobs, homes and families. The study was conducted on 19 people with gambling addiction and their responses to images involving gambling like a roulette wheel and betting shop were monitored with MRI technology. When shown the images of gambling both the insula and nucleus areas were found to be highly active.