The high-profile case of a big city mayor turned big time gambler is raising questions about behavioral addictions and what causes them.
Former San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor has admitted to losing more than $100,000 a day as her addiction to video poker took hold, but she believes a brain tumor was partly to blame for her actions.
While problems with alcohol may make headlines and research reports more frequently, problems with compulsive gambling may also occur at alarming rates, especially among late teens and young adults – findings that contradict some current research toward problem or compulsive gambling.
Researchers have found that pathological gambling can be successfully treated with medications that decrease urges and increase inhibitions. At the annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP), the researchers shared that they found positive outcomes in gamblers treated with medications often used for substance addictions.