Although gambling addiction serves as an issue on its own, many times it’s not the only problem the client is facing. Jon Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, where he also supervises an outpatient clinic for addictive-impulsive disorders, discussed co-occuring disorders in problem gamblers in an Addiction Professional webinar earlier this week titled, “Counseling the Pathological Gambler.”
Grant says that comorbidities are more the norm than the exception when it comes to this population.
Substance use disorder is very common in those with gambling issues, and in fact, Grant says the rate of substance abuse about gamblers is seven times greater than that of non-gamblers. The most common substances used by problem gamblers are nicotine and alcohol.
The chart below shows the co-occuring disorders in pathological gambling.