While most studies on gambling have only measured the economic costs and benefits of gambling, few have considered its social effects. Williams et al., and Walker and Barnett define social costs as those caused by gambling that are social in nature rather than personal. They argue that the social costs of gambling are often underestimated, but their approach to the issue has significant implications for policymakers and the public. This article outlines the social costs of gambling and discusses possible treatment options for problem gamblers.
Costs of gambling
The costs of problem gambling are difficult to quantify, largely due to the lack of causal relationships. Problem gambling is a symptom of an underlying disorder, such as depression, and the social and psychological costs of problem gambling may not be quantified. To account for these intangible costs, most studies discount the costs of gambling by applying a causality adjustment factor. An Australian Productivity Commission report in 1999 outlined the method of estimating costs, assuming that 80% of problem gamblers would still suffer from the consequences of their behaviour without the compulsion to gamble.
Problem gambling is often linked to other forms of crime, including embezzlement and other theft. Problem gamblers typically bring about threefold more in societal costs than the benefits they derive from their gambling. Additionally, crime related to problem gambling is correlated with increased rates of violent and property crimes. In addition to financial costs, the social costs of gambling include incarceration and the costs of police and court proceedings. This is not to say that everyone who gambles is a criminal, but it is worth noting that many people still enjoy friendly wagers.
Social costs of gambling
The social costs of gambling are difficult to estimate, partly because causal relationships are often unclear. Problem gambling may result from psychological problems or disorders, but most studies discount these costs using a causality adjustment factor. A new method developed by the Australian Productivity Commission in 1999 assumes that 80% of problem gamblers would still suffer the consequences of gambling without the disorder. The costs attributed to gambling, then, are estimates that may not be representative of the true costs.
The cost of pathological gambling includes the temporary redistribution of money from lenders to borrowers. These costs are offset by the eventual repayment of the debt. However, an economic impact analysis of pathological gambling should also consider the portion of incremental debt that cannot be recovered, such as that associated with bankruptcy. Also, it should consider transaction costs associated with indebtedness, such as civil court actions and bankruptcy proceedings. Finally, the social costs associated with pathological gambling may not be all of the debt that is associated with the problem.
Addiction to gambling
Many people who are suffering from an addiction to gambling are also struggling with depression. Often associated with the problem of gambling, depression is a debilitating disorder with many symptoms including lethargy, increased appetite, and unhappiness. While neither disorder is easy to treat, dual diagnosis treatment can address both. A gambling addict who has depression will likely also need to seek help for other addiction issues. If you or someone you love suffers from depression, seeking help for your addiction is essential.
While there are a few treatments available, there is no substitute for a face-to-face evaluation with a trained clinical professional. These professionals will conduct a detailed assessment and develop a treatment plan that is tailored to the individual’s needs. Treatment will also address other aspects of a person’s life, including financial and legal problems. In addition to seeking professional treatment, a person’s family and friends will be invaluable resources to help them quit.
Treatment options for problem gamblers
The treatment options for problem gambling vary by location. Most methods involve counseling or peer support. If you’re not sure how to start the process, a self-help group or professional problem gambling counselor may be a good place to start. The effects of problem gambling are detrimental to relationships, finances, and emotional health. The best treatment option is one that addresses the specific needs of the individual. There are also self-help groups and gambling addiction treatment centers that focus on self-help.
Various treatments for problem gambling include therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medications. Individual and group therapy aim to break the cycle of destructive gambling and develop new, healthier beliefs. Psychotherapy can also help identify underlying causes of addiction and help reverse misperceptions about gambling. Self-help groups are important components of a comprehensive recovery plan and can help problem gamblers regain control of their lives. However, not all treatments are successful for every problem gambler.