Gambling disorder is persistent or recurrent problematic gambling-related behavior that leads to clinically significant distress or impairment. Since 2013 gambling disorder have been classified as a behavioral addiction by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
People with Pathological Gambling or Gambling Disorder gambles frequently and repeatedly, feel a continuous urge to gamble, which is increasingly difficult to control, and they are attracted by and focus on ideas and images related to gambling and the circumstances associated with the act itself. This behavior negatively affects the player's life and leads to the deterioration of social, work and family values and obligations. People with gambling disorder can jeopardize or lose a significant relationship, job or educational/career opportunity, have large debts, and lie or break the law to get money or avoid paying debts. These behaviors often intensify in moments of greatest stress.
To tackle this phenomenon in its complexity and multidimensionality, the multidisciplinary team of the National Centre on Addiction and Doping, carries out evidence-based studies, promotes the network of healthcare services and provides training, information and awareness-raising interventions.
In addition, the Helpline for gambling-related issues (800 558822) and the web platform "usciredalgioco" (in Italian) addressed to those who want to get rid of pathological gambling, facilitates the public access to the healthcare services and resources.