Treatment of problem gambling: development, status, and future

Perspectives on the etiology, maintenance, conceptualization, and treatment of problem gambling have evolved over time. Once seen as a failure of moral character, problem gambling is now considered to be an addictive disorder with similarities to substance abuse disorders. Empirical research into the treatment of problem gambling is progressing, but is relatively sparse compared to the body of research in other addictive disorders. Methodological issues have been identified that will need to be addressed in future research. Currently, cognitive-behavioral approaches have received the most attention and have the greatest amount of research support. Brief interventions, pharmacological interventions, family therapy, and Gamblers Anonymous are also in use. Future directions for problem gambling treatment that are being researched and implemented are mindfulness-based interventions and internet-based treatment approaches.

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