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Join date: Jun 5, 2022


Until relatively recently problem gamblers were regarded as responsible for their own misfortunes. That is no longer the case, as Dr Clark explained: “Gambling disorder is a recognised psychiatric illness in the American DSM320 and the World Health Organization ICD321 schedules In both of those current systems, it is recognised alongside substance addictions as the first behavioural addiction. There is a lot of research from neuroscience in particular that supports that classificatory decision for gambling disorder as an illness.”

In February 2018 the Gambling Commission published a paper entitled Gambling-related harm as a public health issue: Briefing paper for local authorities and local public health providers.323 This paper set out the Commission’s position on why gambling-related harm should be considered as a public health issue. Among its aims was to ensure that “Awareness of gambling problems and their symptoms is raised with front line health professionals and other agencies where problem gamblers may present themselves e.g. debt advice.”

We explain below324 how in our view more needs to be done to ensure that “front line health professionals”, in particular GPs, are better aware of the prevalence of gambling problems.


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