Aims: In anticipation of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), to consider whether addictive disorders should include non-substance use disorders.
Methods: The author reviewed data and provided perspective to explore whether disorders such as pathological gambling (PG) should be grouped together with substance dependence, given that they share many features.
Results: PG and substance dependence currently reside in the DSM, fourth edition, text revision (DSM-IV-TR) within separate categories, with PG classified as an impulse control disorder (ICD) and substance dependence as a substance use disorder (SUD). Arguments can be forwarded to support each categorization, as well as to justify their inclusion together as addictions.
Conclusions: The current state of knowledge suggests that there exist substantial similarities between PG and SUDs. Further research is indicated prior to categorizing PG and other ICDs together with SUDs.