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Pathological Gambling and Substance Abuse

What Counselors Should Know About Substance Abuse and Pathological Gambling

1. Which of the following correctly describes characteristics of pathological gambling?

A. Recent general estimates indicate about 3 percent of the US general population could be classified as pathological gamblers

B. General past-year estimates for pathological and problem gambling combined is roughly 5 percent, compared to estimates of alcohol abuse/dependence of 8.3 percent and drug abuse/dependence of 4.2 percent

C. The rate of co-occurrence of pathological gambling among substance use disorders has been reported as ranging from 5 to 23 percent

D. At minimum, the rate of problem gambling among people with substance use disorders is four to five times that found in the general population


2. One of the more common patterns that has been seen clinically is that of a sequential addiction, in which someone who has had a history of alcohol dependence, often with many years of recovery and AA attendance, develops a gambling problem.

A. True

B. False


Advice to the Counselor: Counseling a Client With Pathological Gambling Disorder

3. Experts recommend that counselors combine 12-Step, _____________, group therapy, and cognitive-behavioral approaches when working with a client with a pathological disorder.

A. Systems therapy

B. Interpersonal dynamics

C. Psychoeducation

D. None of the above


Diagnostic Criteria for Pathological Gambling Compared to Substance Dependence Criteria

4. Diagnostic criteria compares the maladaptive patterns of needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money to achieve the desired excitement with developing a tolerance for substance use over time.

A. True

B. False


Comparison of Action and Escape Pathological Gambler

5. Clients who tend to gamble for “escape” generally experience an earlier onset of gambling behaviors than those who gamble for excitement and competition.

A. True

B. False


Evaluate Patterns of Substance Use and Gambling

6. Gambling prevalence studies indicate that:

A. Adults under the age of 25 report higher proportions of gambling problems

B. Men and ethnic minorities are overrepresented among problem/pathological gamblers

C. While there was a moderate relationship between employment level and risk for problem gambling, education status did not appear to be a factor

D. Those with household incomes below $35,000 tend to be overrepresented among problem/pathological gamblers


Screening and Assessment

7. The Gambling Treatment Admission Questionnaire (GTAQ) is a useful 162 item self-report questionnaire that evaluates gambling behaviors and frequency of gambling, gambling debt, treatment history, substance use, and gambling-related, financial, legal, occupational, and psychosocial problems.

A. True

B. False


Crisis Stabilization

8. Pathological gamblers frequently come into treatment in a state of panic and crisis, and attempted suicide rate among gamblers in treatment is about:

A. 30 percent

B. 25 percent

C. 20 percent

D. 15 percent


Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment

9. The belief that a pathological gambler can control or influence random or unpredictable events, such as picking winning lottery numbers or controlling the fall of the dice by how they are thrown, is known as biased evaluation.

A. True

B. False


Gamblers Anonymous

10. It is advisable for persons with substance use and pathological gambling disorders to attend separate support groups for gambling and for alcohol and/or drug dependence because while the groups can supplement each other, they cannot substitute for one another.

A. True

B. False


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