Gambling is a Drug

"Gambling is an addictive behavior, make no mistake about it . . . Gambling has all the properties of a psychoactive substance, and again, the reason is that it changes the neurochemistry of the brain." --The American Psychiatric Association

"That product [gambling] is not entertainment or recreation or leisure. It's really adrenaline: a biological substance capable of producing excitement-highs and generated usually by anticipation or expectation of a future event, especially when the outcome of that event is in doubt." --Thomas R. O'Brien, former Director of Gaming Enforcement, New Jersey.

By Ravisher, Forum Member
"The human brain has a powerful chemical factory. This factory produces drugs that we need in order to perform and cope with human life. The factory has receptors that trigger drug production, such as adrenaline when we are in fear or pain and we need to run faster, fight harder, or reduce high pain levels. The brain produces thousands of chemicals and one of those chemicals is dopamine. This is where the world 'dope' comes from, as used in the streets by illegal substance users and sellers. Dopamine is a very powerful and highly addictive drug.

"What we are addicted to is not gambling, in or of itself, but to our own tail of drugs including dopamine. Every time we win, we get a shot. The brain does not care if we lose 100 times in a row, so as long as we win now and again and receive our reward. The brain craves its dopamine tail fix.

"It is obvious that when we gamble, unlike if we take cocaine, marijuana or smoke a cigarette, we are not introducing a drug into our bodies. Yet addicted gamblers can positively say that they are 'addicted'. So what is it that they are addicted to? From what I read and understand problem gamblers become addicted to a mixture of drugs that are produced by their own brains. People suffering from certain types of depression will find relief when gambling.

"The difference is gambling doesn't make you pass out. There is no-built in physical limitation that eventually forces you to stop the hurtful behavior. You can gamble as long as you've got money-or a credit card, in many cases."