Gambling & substance abuse- Where’s the connection?

With the introduction of online casino gambling, wanting to curb the urge of indulging in casino gambling is as easy as clicking On top of the ease of access, you get more variety in slots, better graphics, and 24-hour customer support.

Despite these perks, however, online gambling is actually doing more harm than good to the public. According to a recent study carried out to investigate the effects of gambling on the public, gambling has led to an increase in substance abuse.

The statistical result of this study showed that 20% of the total population of people dealing with gambling issues abused drugs regularly.  Virtually all of them reported a general increase in their level of substance abuse as a result of their gambling issues. This was enough to show that there was a connection between gambling and substance abuse.

What really deems gambling and substance abuse an inseparable pair?

Several explanations were raised to explain the connection between gambling and substance abuse.

Taking the overall satisfaction to the brim

Gambling on its own does have its own thrill but with time, this thrill ceases to be enough for the human brain. In an attempt to take their happiness and satisfaction to the brim, most people find themselves indulging in substance abuse whenever they gamble.

Cooling down remorse

Gambling is a cycle of losing and gain. For most people, however, the equation tends to lean more on losses. Getting high is the only fast, effective way of numbing the pain that comes with losing money through gambling.

Celebrating the wins

In gambling, losing streaks can turn to win streaks in seconds. In this mental haze of celebrations, popping a drink or two always takes things home. After all, you are using gambling money, right?

High levels of dopamine released by the pair

Dopamine is a pleasure-inducing chemical produced by the human brain. The chemical is widely known for the being the main causal agent of addiction.

As a pair, gambling and alcohol produce very high levels of this chemical. Because of the pleasure and satisfaction associated with it, it is possible for one to become addicted to these high levels of dopamine. Over time, the brain tends to rely on substance abuse and gambling for the release of dopamine. Failure to indulge in addictive activities then leads to discomfort and to curb it, it becomes almost necessary to revert back to alcohol abuse and gambling.

Gambling is a quick way to fund drug usage

People with drug abuse issues tend to struggle with finances and for most of them, gambling is the fastest and easiest way to get money for buying drugs.

The prestige that comes with it

Holding a glass of tequila while gambling or gambling, while you are high, is perceived as affluence in virtually all land casinos. For most gamblers, getting high while gambling is a pressure burdened upon them by societal judgment.  

Drinking will sometimes help keep you focused

For most people, spending hours in a casino may only be entertaining for some time after which the urge to gamble diminishes. Most people use the excuse to drink in a casino as a way to help them look forward to stepping into one.

The drug dealer story

For drug dealers, it’s a whole different story from the rest of the public. Drug dealers usually have so much spare money to spend on gambling. In fact, simultaneous indulgence in gambling and substance abuse is a signature held highly in the drug dealing industry.

Is there a cure?

Sometimes, simultaneous addictions might seem impossible to get out of for an individual. However, there is a cure.

Professionals are better equipped to offer treatment, of course. This is because the individual cannot do it on his/her own due to relapses and co-occurrences which bring them back to square zero whenever they start living a clean life. According to experts, the “success” of relapses and co-occurrences is attributed to the fact that they usually happen when the patient is least expecting it.

The most common treatment applied is cognitive behavior related. It aims at training the addicts to live a daily life free from gambling and substance abuse. This form of treatment is paired with additional counseling and education about the negative effects of gambling and substance abuse.

Even after therapy and treatment, the patients are advised to always keep in mind that recovery is a lifelong process. It is a continuous process that requires dedication and looking forward to on a daily basis.

Wondering whether you need help?

Sometimes, the pleasure that comes with indulging in both alcohol and gambling might trick you into thinking that you do not need help. Even when things are going well, tables might turn very fast and it usually involves leaving you homeless or spending the last coin of your life savings. The sooner you get help, the better!


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