Public Health Approach to Assessing Gambling Impacts

Public Health Approach to Assessing Gambling Impacts


Gambling is a form of risk-taking where the participants stake something of value, usually money, on an event that is determined at least in part by chance and hope to win a prize. Whether it is placing a bet on a team in a football match, playing bingo, buying lottery or scratch tickets or betting in office pools, gambling involves making a choice that cannot be taken back and putting something of value at risk. This can have a negative impact on the gambler, his/her significant others and the society. A public health approach to assessing gambling impacts has the potential to increase our understanding of these impacts and help in policymaking.

Most people think of casinos when they hear the word gambling. However, the practice of gambling can happen anywhere: gas stations, churches, sports events and even on the Internet. It is important to know that gambling doesn’t necessarily involve losing money; it can also be a way of having fun and escaping the stress of daily life. Studies show that the activity releases a feeling of happiness called dopamine, which is known to trigger a positive response in the brain.

Negative effects of gambling can occur at personal, interpersonal, and community/society levels and can have long-term consequences that persist over a lifetime. These impacts can be grouped into three classes: financial, labor, and health and well-being. Among these, the most common negative impacts that are observed in research on gambling are changes in financial situations (e.g., increased debt and reduced income), which may lead to decreased quality of life and social isolation.

A major step in the process of overcoming problem gambling is admitting that you have a problem. This can be difficult, especially if you’ve lost a lot of money and damaged your relationships. However, there are many ways to get help and regain control of your life again. Family therapy, career counseling, marriage counseling and credit counseling are all available to help you repair your relationships and rebuild your finances. In addition, cognitive behavioral therapy can teach you how to change your negative thoughts and behaviors. If you’re struggling to overcome a gambling addiction, seek help from a therapist today. They can help you overcome your addiction and live a happy and healthy life again.