Gambling Screening in Primary Care

Behavioral health professionals increasingly evaluate patients for addictive disorders, including gambling. While gambling is legalized, the addictive potential of gambling is not clear. The relative importance of evaluating gambling behaviors varies according to its associated risks and benefits. This article discusses the screening process for pathological gambling in primary care settings. This condition can be a serious problem and affect a person’s physical, psychological, and social health. It is important to recognize the warning signs of gambling addiction, as well as identify underlying reasons for the problem.

The purpose of gambling is to win a prize, usually money, from an uncertain event. The primary intent of gambling is to obtain money or material goods. The gambler uses chance, consideration, and prize, with the eventual outcome known within a short period of time. Legal gambling occurs when companies offer their services to the public. Regulatory bodies oversee gambling companies. Many types of gambling involve both chance and skill. In many cases, gambling involves betting against one’s own interest.

Involvement in gambling is measured by the number of forms and the frequency with which people engage in these activities. Regular participation in gambling involves spending time and money on the activities. If one participates in two or more forms of gambling, it’s considered “problem gambling.”