Gambling in mild-moderate alcohol-dependent outpatients

Subst Use Misuse. 2002 Jan;37(2):199-213. doi: 10.1081/ja-120001977.


There is a growing interest in the comorbidity of "substance use disorder" and "problem gambling." although there has been little study specifically on people with "alcohol dependence" who are being treated in general alcohol- and drug-user outpatient settings. This study aimed to determine the nature and extent of gambling in a sample of 124 mild-moderate alcohol-dependent outpatients. Of these, 79.8% had gambled in the previous 6 months and 29.8% on at least a weekly basis. Although a wide range of gambling modes was used, by far the commonest was Lotto, a national weekly lottery, at 60.5%. Some 19.4% were found to manifest current "problem gambling" [i.e., scored at least 1 on the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS) instrument], and a further 4.0% were found to manifest pathological gambling confirmed by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Version IV (DSMIV) diagnosis. "Problem gamblers" were significantly more likely to be involved in all modes of gambling compared with non problem gamblers. However, the most differentiating modes, in order, were gambling machines, dogs, casino, and horses. Treatment implications of these findings are discussed. A two-arm model of intervention for problem gambling within the alcohol- and drug-user treatment setting is proposed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Gambling / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand