The Treatment of Pathologic Gambling : Addictive Disorders & Their Treatment

Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Original Articles

The Treatment of Pathologic Gambling

Brewer, Judson A. MD, PhD*; Grant, Jon E. MD, JD, MPH; Potenza, Marc N. MD, PhD* ‡

Author Information
Addictive Disorders & Their Treatment 7(1):p 1-13, March 2008. | DOI: 10.1097/ADT.0b013e31803155c2

Abstract

Objective 

To review evidence-based behavioral and pharmacologic therapies in the treatment of pathologic gambling (PG).

Methods 

Available literature was reviewed and results of behavioral and pharmacologic treatment studies were summarized and evaluated.

Results 

Multiple behavioral and pharmacologic therapies have been studied in the treatment of PG. Compared with no treatment, several types of behavioral treatments seem beneficial in the treatment of PG. For those who attend, self-help programs seem helpful. Among pharmacotherapies, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have shown mixed results whereas opioid antagonists have shown more consistent efficacy, although fewer studies have been performed with these agents. Other pharmacotherapies have shown preliminary positive results.

Summary 

Multiple behavioral and pharmacologic therapies have been studied and show promise in the treatment of PG. Larger studies with longer follow-up are needed. Treatments targeting specific subpopulations of people with PG will likely refine and enhance efficacies of specific therapies, and standardized outcome measures should improve comparisons of interventions across studies.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

You can read the full text of this article if you:

Access through Ovid