In many cases, problem gambling does not occur in isolation. Research suggests that individuals with a gambling disorder experience significantly more comorbid disorders during their lifetime than the general population. Comorbidity is the presence of two or more chronic disorders or conditions at the same time. It is likely that one disorder started before the other, however during the period of time when symptoms of both disorders overlap, they are considered to be comorbid.
The Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network examined the comorbidity of substance use and gambling disorders amongst the 2.8 of Ohioans who were identified as having some level of risk to be problem gamblers. Of those individuals, it was estimated that 25% would have both disorders. Other studies suggest that nearly 75% of individuals who meet criteria for a gambling disorder have an alcohol use disorder and an estimated 40% to 63% have a drug abuse disorder.
Additionally, individuals with a psychiatric disorder are more likely to have a gambling disorder. Lifetime depression rates among problem gamblers is between 70-76% with nearly 50% reporting that they had made plans to commit suicide at some time in their lives.
Integrated treatment to treat comorbid disorders along with a gambling disorder has proven to be most effective. If you or someone you know would like to discuss treatment options, email Marilyn@zepfcenter.org or call 419-841-7701 ext. 6058.
There is hope and free treatment available to gamblers and their loved ones.
Here is a link to learn more about Gambling in the Workplace.