Gambling Problems in US Military Veterans
Current Addiction Reports
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Purpose of Review: Gambling disorder (GD) is a debilitating mental illness characterized by persistent patterns of dysregulated gambling behaviors. Recent evidence suggests that US military veterans are a high-risk population vulnerable to the development of problem gambling. This systemic review examined the published literature on the rates, correlates, comorbidities, treatment, and genetic contributions to US veterans’ gambling behaviors in 39 studies. Recent Findings: Overall, we found that US military veterans have higher rates of GD (including subthreshold problem gambling/ at-risk problem gambling) compared with civilian populations. Further, we found that GD often co-occurred with trauma-related conditions, substance use, and suicidality, which may complicate treatment outcomes. We also noted a lack of published interventions tested among US veterans and standardized screening for gambling problems among veterans across US federal agencies (i.e., Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs) is lacking and remains a significant gap for ongoing prevention and treatment efforts. Summary: Despite growing evidence that individuals from military backgrounds (active-duty personnel, retired military veterans) are vulnerable to developing problem gambling, limited research has been centered on developing prevention and treatment interventions for affected individuals and their families. The lack of standardized screening for problem gambling among healthcare providers that work directly with US military populations remains a significant barrier to care for problem gamblers.
Gambling disorder; Military; Veterans; Problem gambling
Substance Abuse and Addiction
Shirk, S. D.,
Kraus, S. W.
Gambling Problems in US Military Veterans.
Current Addiction Reports, 7