Gambling and Addiction: Is Gambling a Drug?

There has been a lot of research done in to addiction. It was first thought that there had to be a chemical being put in the body to cause an addiction, such as drugs or alcohol, but now there are theories that there does not actually have to be a drug present. This is because the brain releases chemicals when you taking part in activities like gambling which could cause the body to react in the same way. The body releases hormones a lot of the time, but when we do certain activities we have a big release of ‘feel good’ hormones and these are great. However, some people have to keep getting bigger and bigger thrills for the hormones to make them feel good or they want to be able to feel the hormones working all of the time and so keep wanting to get that thrill.


This has even led to people doing research in to computer games as well and arguing that some people show signs of addiction to these as well. However, the fact that gambling involves winning money, seems to make the link between playing and addiction much greater. This is probably because the thrill of winning a lot of money is more than just winning points and so more chemicals are released in the brain. Most people will be familiar with the buzz that you can get when you win something and that is likely to be increased the higher the jackpot that you win. However, as people who run gambling facilities know, even a small win is enough to get you wanting to play more and more and that is why they make sure that it is fairly easy to win small prizes, but the big jackpots are harder to win, so that they still make a profit out of the players.

In some people, addiction can be a greater problem than others. It is not known why this is but it does mean that some people can end up in a lot of debt because they have to continuously finance their addiction. It can be a lifelong battle and some gambling addicts decide to use a drug detox clinic to help them to get over their addiction. This might seem odd, but the clinic will have the right facilities for anyone to get over any addiction and their therapies can help any addict. There are not yet many places where you can get specific help for gambling addiction and so choosing a drug detox facility could be the obvious answer.