Addictions come in all shapes, forms and sizes. Millions of Individuals suffer from addiction in the United States every day. Addiction is a dangerous issue for any individual to suffer from, but are there any addictions that are more dangerous than others? Of course. Marijuana addiction can have some serious consequences, but it is far safer than an addiction to heroin or Meth. Some individuals suffer addictions that are not substance based, but rather are activities that are harmful. Gambling is a dangerous addiction. Persons addicted to gambling can lose their entire lives, just as drug addicts can, but is it more dangerous? Statistics have shown that one in five problem gamblers try to kill themselves, which is why gambling should be considered just as dangerous as substance abuse. The question remains, is a gambling addiction more dangerous than a drug addiction?
Difference between Drug Addiction and Gambling Addiction
Addiction is considered, by many, as a chronic relapsing brain disease. It is characterized by compulsive searching, finding, and consuming of drugs; or participating in an activity. A gambling addict will spend much of their time searching, finding, and gambling their money. Opposite of drug addiction an individual can continue to gamble until they have no money left, which will not end in death. Conversely, drug addicts that spend all of their money on drugs (depending on the drug) are more than likely to damage their bodies and minds in the process. This can lead to fatality or hospitalization. Recent statistics show that drug abuse has accounted for more hospitalizations and deaths than any other reason. Gambling addicts can however, suffer from the same feelings of depression, anxiety, and isolation that drugs cause. This has led to the increased rates of suicide attempts among gambling addicts.
Factors and Associative Disorders of Gambling
Problem gamblers are subject to a number of troubling factors and associative disorders that can cause them great damage. The truth is that since gambling cannot kill you in a direct sense, it can kill you indirectly. The issues that arise from continued problem gambling force individuals to believe they have no way out other than suicide. Problem gamblers are known to suffer from other issues with abuse such as alcohol and tobacco. Recent years have seen a decline in tobacco use, which is a result of the growing knowledge of its danger and its expulsion from indoor facilities. Alcohol however still flows readily in casinos, which can add to their problem. Gamblers also suffer from depression and high levels of anxiety.
Debt is the Real Killer
No one wins forever. This is the allure and glamour that comes with gambling. If everyone were to win, then gambling would not exist. Researchers point to debt as the real cause for the high rates of suicide attempts and deaths as a result of gambling. Once negative equity enters someone’s life, they are hooked and must continue to gamble in order to crawl from the hole they have created. A recent study in China found that nearly fifty percent of the 233 gambling related suicides had significant debts. Majority of these individuals were male, middle-aged, married and employed. Few of those males showed any evidence of prior psychiatric problems. It is very difficult to live in our society without money. When problem gamblers find themselves in debts higher than their annual income they no longer chase the ’high’ of gambling. Instead, they are trying to avoid catastrophe. Individuals suffering from a gambling addiction have a difficult time getting help, because it is still considered a moral problem. Most of society does not see gambling as an addiction, but rather a lapse in moral judgment. This creates a poor perception that problem gamblers find out to shake. If you or someone you know is suffering from a gambling addiction getting help is essential. Do not wait until it is too late, help is available.