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Gambling Addiction

Recent research reveals that in America, approximately 2.5 million adults suffer from compulsive gambling, about 3 million are considered problem gamblers, around 15 million adults are under the risk of becoming problem gamblers and 148 million fall under the low-risk gambler category.

Gambling becomes a compulsive need that could be devastating not only to the addict but also to his/her family. Gambling addiction index shows that 80 percent and above of the nation’s adults have engaged in gambling at least once in their lives. It also reveals that more than $500 billion is spent annually on wagers. According to statistics, in any given year, at least 2.9 percent of the adult population falls under either problem gamblers or pathological gamblers category.

  • The likelihood of developing a gambling addiction increases 23-fold for people affected by alcohol use disorders
  • Over 80 percent of American adults gamble on a yearly basis
  • Three to five gamblers out of every hundred struggles with a gambling problem
  • As many as 750,000 young people, ages 14 to 21 have a gambling addiction

Gambling & Criminal Activity

As far as gambling and criminal activity goes, gambling addiction statistics reveal a direct correlation between the severity of a gambling addiction and the likelihood of committing crimes. Rates of gambling addiction for criminal offenders far exceed rates found among non-offenders. On average, an estimated 50 percent of those affected by gambling problems commit crimes in order to support their addiction.

College Gambling

Gambling addiction statistics show people between the ages 20 and 30 have the highest rates of problem gambling.

  • 75 percent of college students report having gambled during the past year
  • The risk of developing a gambling addiction more than doubles for young adults in college settings
  • An estimated six percent of American college students struggle with gambling problems

Gambling & PTSD Trends

People affected by post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD live with high levels of stress and anxiety on a daily basis. Gambling addiction statistics show high rates of gambling addiction among PTSD sufferers.

  • PTSD symptoms affect anywhere from 12.5 to 29 percent of problem gamblers
  • 34 percent of those who seek treatment for gambling addiction exhibit symptoms of PTSD

Gambling & Mental Illness

As addictions, in general, alter brain chemical functions in destructive ways, people struggling with gambling addiction have a higher likelihood of developing mental disorders. Gambling addiction statistics show a high incidence of certain types of mental illness, some of which include:

  • Depression disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • Anti-social personality disorder

Sources: Addictions.com; SAMHSA

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