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Are Gambling Problems More Common than Drinking Problems? Maybe Not

Research out of the University at Buffalo by John Welte and colleagues suggests that gambling problems — pathological gambling, to be specific — are more problematic than alcohol dependence in older adults. Some of the findings are interesting.

But one finding stood out for me as being a bit sensationalistic. That finding was that pathological gambling — something other studies have consistently pegged in the 0.8% to 2.0% range of adults (see Stucki & Rihs-Middel, 2007) — is more common than alcohol dependence (which studies put in the 3.8% range, see Keyes et al., 2009). Past research has shown that alcohol dependence (also known as alcoholism) is something that occurs in the adult population at twice the rate of pathological gambling.

In Welte’s (2011) study, however, the researchers found something different altogether. They found that from age 22 onwards, pathological gambling is more prevalent than alcoholism. And in the age 31 to 40 group, they found it nearly 3 times as prevalent (at over 5 percent of that age group)!

So what’s going on here? What could account for this significant discrepancy between this new study and much of the previous research?

One Comment to
Are Gambling Problems More Common than Drinking Problems? Maybe Not

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  1. both gambling and alcohol are problematic.
    for alcohol state and federal law prohobit to sell alcohol, in barse and restaurants to intosicate citicens.(which they protect the cityzecs from distraction and fisical harm to themsef an to athers)
    In ather sid for gamling have no sach ristractions:
    in private sectors in casino they stimulate gambling and high rolers.and increas the amount of the bets.

    in state lotteris the bets for $ 1.00 dollar are OK
    but increasin the amount $.5.00 .10.00 ,20.00 and $ 30.00 in screach off they dunat protect the citizen but the influenc of distractions and incres the pathogin gamling.
    so in path to recover the patologyc gambling need to have the lay to limmit the amaunt of beting in private sectors and in state lotteris to limmet the amount of scretch off ticketst to maximum $2.00
    becous the citisen hwo make $30,000.00 to 70,00.00 thosund dollars a year spand the money in screatch of and not the rech people (this kind of citicens contribut to education , but the distract them self
    S0 they need help lemit the ampount of the bets and the screach off ticets



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