The history of gambling dates back to 2300 bc and has become a normal part of society today. Many people become addicted to gambling, which may lead to detrimental effects on the gambler’s financial status, and lead to a regressive mental state. Another repercussion of the addiction is the negative impact on the family and friends. Casinos create an alluring environment that can invoke a false sense of success, and lead to habit forming behaviors. To combat this problem, there are solutions and preventions to this, addiction.Michelle’s partAnna’s part On the surface, gambling and drug addiction seem like two different entities that have little to do with one another. But according to Ferris Jabr, associate editor at Scientific American, gamblers, and drug addicts both have similar tendencies to seek out rewards. A German study published in the year 2005, suggested that both gambler, and drug addict, become more tolerant of the addiction, and therefore seek a greater high. Due to this new discovery, scientist have now redefined the term addiction. Jabr writes: “Whereas experts used to think of addiction as dependency on a chemical, they now define it as repeatedly pursuing a rewarding experience despite serious repercussions”. This definition is applicable to gamblers, because of the reward, is an incentive to keep on playing, even after funds run dangerously low. Jabr also believes both addictions, create a synthetic source of joy, and after being exposed for some constant periods of time to the addiction may lead to reduced receptive behaviors to its euphoric effects. The artificial source of the chemical dopamine causes less production of the chemical in the brain naturally. So, gamblers need to receive a greater high in order to counteract the brain becoming more tolerant to the feeling of ecstasy. When disconnected from the source of the addiction, gamblers and addicts can experience withdrawal symptoms. Jabr writes: “At the same time, neural pathways connecting the reward circuit to the prefrontal cortex weaken. Resting just above and behind the eyes, the prefrontal cortex helps people tame impulses. In other words, the more an addict uses a drug, the harder it becomes to stop”. Gambling essentially rewires the brain to become dependent on the feeling of reward seeking. The behavior of the gambler becomes more impulsive as the drive to receive the reward heightens. Gambling addicts are one of the leading sources of income for casinos, so the more addicted a person is to gambling, the higher their value to casinos are. John RosenGren, a writer for The Atlantic writes that gambling addicts create thirty to sixty percent of total gambling profits for the casinos. The casinos create an illusion of success for gamblers. Just the thought of being rewarded creates an incentive for the gambler. RosenGren, mentions that when a gambler runs out of money reserves, casinos, in some instances, loan additional money. Employees are even trained to identify “pain points.” RosenGren writes: “Hosts are on the lookout for telling behavior, such as someone striking a machine in frustration or slumping over it in discouragement. When hosts spot someone in a state like this, they may swoop in an offer a voucher for some free credits, or a drink”. Casinos take advantage of a gambler in their weakest moment, giving them hope and the false sense that their reward is right around the corner. Even the layout of a casino reels in the gamblers. RosenGren believes that the seats are designed to for maximum comfort, so the player can sit for long periods of time. Servers are conveniently taking orders so gamblers do not need to move from their seat. According to Kevin Harrigan, co-director at the University of Waterloo, for a gambling research-based lab, situated in Ohio, the bright flashy lights and gaming effects creates a “false win”. Reza Habib, a psychology professor at Southern Illinois University, believes that near misses to a win registers to the brain as a win instead of a lose. So even if a player loses multiple games and wins one, they will believe overall, they are receiving a greater reward than what they put in, but in reality, have lost more money than they won. Natasha Dow Schüll, a professor at NYU, wrote in her book, Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas, that loyalty cards, create a way for casinos to track a gamblers actions. These Loyalty cards allow casinos to track data on the player. What they like to play, how many games they won or lost, and even how much they bet. Some machines even have cameras, which can catalog face and watch the players behavior and play patterns. Casinos have the power to mark which spenders put in the most money in a casino. This power lets them single out the player, offering them special hotel deals, meals, gifts, and even first-class airfare. Casinos are more dangerous than some people may think, and far less passive when it comes to the most valuable customer: the pathological gambler. Madi’s partThe addiction to gambling is like a game of dominoes, once one is knocked down it will keep on knocking others down. The people closest to a gambler are generally affected most this can be the spouse, parents, children, and best friends. All of these people may be affected in different ways, for example, spouses and the gambler may have financial troubles causing a strain on their relationship. Children may have problems relating to lack of emotional support or abandonment from the parent addicted to gambling. The people closest to that gambling action are not the only ones affected, many times the workplace of the gambler may be affected due to lack of interest or distraction. Out of all the people who are affected the person addicted to gambling is generally affected the most. There are many telltale signs of a gambling addiction for example loss of interest in previously enjoyed things or changes in patterns relating to sleep, sex, or eating. Many addicts lose their appetites or start overeating to a problematic point. Addicts also ignore things like personal hygiene, work, or family tasks. A big effect of a gambling addiction is financial problems this may be anything from money conflicts with other people to not having any financial income not relating to gambling. In a study done by Frank and colleagues in 1991 researched showed that dysfunctional family relationships can lead a pathological gambler to self-harm. As the gambling addiction progresses it leads to a pathological state with an increase in depression, shame, and guilt. 20% of people in treatment or diagnosed with pathological gambling may attempt suicide. a survey of 500 people in gamblers anonymous showed that the population most susceptible to suicide were separated or divorced. 60% of the 500 in the survey have relatives who gambled or were alcoholic. In the same survey, 17% of gamblers considered suicide and 13% attempted it. Gambling can be a serious problem.The second most affected person in a gamblers life is the spouse. The spouse is generally pushed away by the gambler until a bailout is needed. The spouse can often times feel neglected and then manipulated. According to a study done by band and colleagues in 1993, an estimated 23% of spouses reported being physically and verbally abused. In another study done by Lorentz and Shuttlesworth, an estimated 50 % of spouses reported being physically abused by the pathological gambler. 65% of couples in the united states, with a spouse addicted to gambling end up in divorce. The spouse of gamblers is burdened with the debts and bills that have accumulated as a result of the addiction. Gambling is a serious problem. Another population affected by gambling is the children. Three out of five gambling addicts have a family with children. Children commonly feel emotional and physical abandonment. Gamblers have been known to leave their children in the car while inside casinos. 17% of children in a study done by bland and colleagues in 1993 were affected by verbal, physical, or mental abuse from the gambler. Children of gamblers are likely to become addicted to gambling. Gambling is a serious problem.When gambling addicts accumulate a debt that is unpayable they may seek loans. They generally ask parents or friends to help them financially in small increments. Gamblers will often say they will repay you but will be delayed or never fully refund you. Many people with gambling addictions will distance themselves from friends and family and have unexplained absences. Friends of problematic gamblers should be supportive to help lead the gambler into the right direction. Marghin’s part Gambling addiction is often overlooked by society as a real problem. Many people believe that the person only has this problem because they are weak or irresponsible. Gambling addiction is an impulse-control disorder and is usually associated with other behavior or mood disorders. Through studies, it has been noticed that many problem gamblers also have substance abuse issues, unmanaged stress, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or ADHD. When trying to overcome an addiction like this all factors need to be addressed and any other underlying problems as well. Like any other addiction, the first step to getting help is acknowledging and admitting that there is a problem. Once the problem has been acknowledged, there are different steps that can be taken to help overcome this addiction. Seeking professional help to find ways to relieve boredom, stress, moods in healthier ways. Seek help for mood disorders, depression, substance abuse since these might trigger compulsive gambling disorder. An addict should strengthen their support network, join support groups like Gamblers Anonymous. One should try to avoid isolation and keep busy. Other options include professional treatment like cognitive-behavioral therapy or counseling. There was a clinical case written by J Addict Med (2009), where a 34-year-old married woman was struggling with gambling addiction and nicotine dependence. In this case, the patient had been a smoker since the age of sixteen but would only smoke a cigarette every now and then. When the patient presented herself, she had been gambling for two years and her smoking habits had worsened by a significant amount. She was now smoking 1-2 packs three times per week, which also coincided with the time she spent at the casino. The patient explained, she had found gambling to be an “escape,” and she reported that she felt “out of control almost instantly (J Addict Med, 2009). Even though the patient “felt out of control” almost immediately, she could not keep herself from going back or finding a different way to deal with her stress from work. Patient admitted that when she was not gambling, she experienced intense urges to gamble and when gambling she had cravings to smoke. During her time at the casino, she spent about six to eight hours on slot machines. Although her addiction started to cause her problems at work she could not keep herself from going back because it was the only thing she enjoyed (J Addict Med, 2009). After being educated on the clinical aspects of compulsive gambling and benefits of quitting tobacco use, the patient was given treatment options and was referred to six to eight hours of cognitive behavioral therapy for gambling. The patient did not want to take any medications or attend Gamblers Anonymous. The patient was seen for two follow-ups after her treatment started. For the three month follow-up, she had undergone eight weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy and was doing much better. She reported that she still gambled, but only once every two weeks. When she gambled, she still spent six to eight hours at the casino and kept this from her husband. She reported the urges to gambling were still severe and felt exhausted resisting the urges. At this visit, given the new information of the patient still somewhat struggling compulsive gambling, she was informed about possible benefits of amino acid, N-acetyl cysteine, that might help with her urges. She was started on 1200 mg p.o.b.i.d. The patient came in two months later for her second follow-up. At this visit, the patient had been taking the N-acetyl cysteine as prescribed and reported that her urges had significantly reduced. Since her last visit, she had only gambled once and only stayed for three to four hours. She noticed herself using the behavioral skills she had learned more and kept herself busy (J Addict Med, 2009). Gambling is a real addiction and although there are different treatment options available for people struggling with this addiction it is all up to the addict. Unless the person is able to admit that they have a problem, treatment cannot begin.