A comparison of pathological gamblers to alcoholics and cocaine misusers on impulsivity, sensation seeking, and craving

Int J Addict. 1995 Feb;30(3):275-89. doi: 10.3109/10826089509048726.


Consecutive admissions (N = 843) to the Brecksville Veterans Addiction Recovery Center with a primary diagnosis of pathological gambler, alcoholic, or cocaine misuser were compared for differences on impulsivity, sensation seeking, and craving. In contrast to alcoholics and cocaine misusers, gamblers scored significantly higher on impulsivity and inability to resist craving; however, gamblers were not significantly higher than either alcoholics or cocaine misusers on sensation seeking. These findings suggest a need to address high impulsivity and inability to resist cravings in treatment and relapse prevention for gamblers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Alcoholism*
  • Cocaine*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Exploratory Behavior*
  • Gambling*
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Substance-Related Disorders*


  • Cocaine