Harvard Mental Health Letter

Pathological gambling

Treatments are based on those used to treat addiction.

Gambling has been around for thousands of years. The earliest known six-sided pair of dice, for example, dates back to about 3,000 B.C. Today rolling the dice is only one of many gambling activities available to people.

Currently all states except for Hawaii and Utah have legalized some type of gambling, including lottery games, slot parlors, and casinos. National surveys in 1975 and 1998 found that 61% to 63% of Americans gambled at least once a year. Most people are able to enjoy this activity without harming their health or livelihood.

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