« The WAGER, Vol. 24(3) - Major life events and the natural course of gambling severity | Main | Gambling Disorder Screening Day 2019: Supporting Growth & Spreading the Word »

Friday, March 01, 2019

Comments

I have questions.Can a person with gambling disorder gamble “a little”. That is, consider it success if they buy just one scratcher ticket? And should the spouse stop gambling also if their significant other has gambling disorder?

Thanks for your interest in The BASIS. Your question is very complicated because important issues are implicit within the question. First, you are assuming that “gambling disorder” is a permanent problem. There is evidence that some people recover from gambling disorder. This is most often obtained when the individual stops gambling and remains abstinent. However, in every area of addiction, there are people who can “chip” at their addiction; that is, there are people who can gamble “a little” and not relapse. Nevertheless, the evidence is consistent that this path to recovery is difficult and filled with potential obstacles. Despite my willingness to talk about “chipping” and consider a variety of using patterns to recovery among treatment seekers, very, very few have been successful “chippers.”

I have seen loved ones drink or gamble in the presence of someone who is working to avoid such behavior and move toward recovery. Though unintended, this often leads to relapse. Though few people recover in the midst of others who are gambling, it is possible. So, I am mentioning it. Perhaps most importantly, we need to ask why is this question being asked? What is the spouse’s objective here? Is abstinence, control or active gambling the goal? What makes gambling so important?

-Howard Shaffer, PhD, CAS

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)