Is gambling a true addiction? An exploratory essay

Essay by rodrigorulesCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2008

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"Is gambling as addictive as drugs?"

I caught initial interest in researching gambling addiction after watching a documentary on casinos one afternoon. I began to wonder how much money they must be making with such a business with endless customers. When it comes to the issue of gambling addiction, it is possibly comparable to what tobacco companies do, feed off addiction till there is nothing left to take.

Gambling comes in many forms; from the harmless bet between your brothers or the occasional lottery ticket, but the most dangerous kind of gambling is when the gambler is no longer interested in the fun aspect of the bet. When a gambler no longer plays for fun, but for other reasons, he may be considered an addict, by definition. Gambling to pay off a debt or hopes to win big leaves thousands of people with nothing but the shirt on their back when gambling supposedly takes over.

But who is to say whether or not this is an addiction, or just bad personal financing?

What is surprising is that gamblers are even considered addicts; they do not have any apparent physical need, such as drug addicts do. A gambler who quits cold turkey most likely will not experience a fever accompanied by a cold sweat. In other words, there are no

repercussions if the gambler were to just stop. Drug addicts do make numerous attempts to stop, such as the everyday smoker for example, but it is extremely difficult to resist the withdrawal symptoms. According to Medicine Plus' Medical Encyclopedia, Nicotine causes withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, fatigue, headache, cough, sore gums, irritability, and of course nicotine craving; while gamblers do not has any withdrawal symptoms at all.

I began my research on the internet, focusing on finding out the opinions of...