The Effects of Gambling on Health
The effects of gambling are manifested on a personal, interpersonal, and societal level. Depending on the context, these impacts may include financial impacts, tourism, and other industries. They can also include the costs of infrastructure and changes in value, which all contribute to economic activity. Labor impacts, meanwhile, may focus on the health of workers and their physical and mental well-being. Regardless of the specifics, the overall effects of gambling are many and varied.
Positive impacts of gambling on health
While the positive impacts of gambling on society and public services are widely recognized, few studies have examined the negative impacts of gambling on health. One method for assessing negative impacts of gambling is to apply health-related quality of life (HRQOL) weights. These measure the per-person burden of a health state on quality of life. The burden associated with gambling on the social network is also measurable using this tool. A recent study shows that gambling increases the risk of depression, heart disease, and diabetes among children and young adults.
The costs of pathological gambling are generally underestimated because they focus on problematic gamblers. This approach also overlooks positive impacts of gambling, as the negative effects can occur among those who do not engage in problematic gambling. In contrast, a public health approach assesses the overall cost of gambling to society and the benefits that accrue to individuals who do not participate in problematic gambling. This approach recognizes the positive aspects of gambling and attempts to quantify those benefits.
Influence of social interactions on motivation to gamble
Research on gambling has shown that the presence of social interactions influences gambling intentions. Gamblers who feel social facilitation have longer gaming sessions and wager more money than people who feel less social facilitation. In addition, social seeking gamblers are more likely to engage in risky behaviours. This suggests that gambling behaviour is highly influenced by social interactions. However, it is difficult to distinguish between social facilitation and intrinsic gambling motivation.
In the present study, we found that individuals who were more frequently associated with gambling had stronger social facilitation. This was compared to the participants who rarely gambled. Moreover, those who were co-gamblers were more likely to display social facilitation than non-gamblers. Our findings indicate that social facilitation can significantly influence gambling behaviour, although we have no way of predicting the direction of this effect.
Treatment options for problem gamblers
While there is no one proven cure for problem gambling, there are many treatments available. Several psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing have proven to be effective. GPs should screen for problem gambling and refer those in need of treatment for psychological reasons. Other treatments include medication and family therapy. A recent study shows that medications such as antidepressants and mood stabilizers can effectively treat problem gamblers.
Although it is common for individuals to gamble in recreational settings, there are people with a high risk for developing problem gambling. In gambling, people place a valuable item at risk with the hope that it will have a higher value in the future. There are certain special populations at higher risk for problem gambling, including veterans and people of Asian or Latino descent. A physical exam can help identify health problems associated with compulsive behavior.