The article below discusses gambling, how it affects the brain, and factors that can cause someone to develop a gambling addiction. It also offers tips on how to help a loved one overcome their problem, as well as information about treatment and support services available for those suffering from gambling addiction.
Gambling is the wagering of something of value on a random event, where instances of strategy are discounted. It requires three elements: consideration, risk, and a prize. The prize can be money or anything else of value. People can gamble on many different events or games, from playing marbles to betting with friends. However, this article is concerned primarily with the most formal type of gambling, where people make bets on the outcome of a game or event using money as the stake.
Those who gamble can become addicted to the feeling of excitement, or ‘rush’, that comes from taking risks and winning. This is because the brain releases dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter, when we gamble. Unfortunately, this rush can lead to serious problems if it becomes an addiction.
The problem can have a devastating impact on work life, with sufferers often absent from the office for extended periods of time or even missing whole days in order to gamble. Other workplace consequences include resentment from co-workers and lower morale. There is also a risk that an employee could steal or commit fraud to fund their gambling addiction.