Differences in Addiction Severity Between Social and Probable Pathological Gamblers Among Substance Abusers in Treatment in Rio de Janeiro

  • Ana Carolina R. Mathias
  • Renata W. Vargens
  • Felix H. Kessler
  • Marcelo S. Cruz


There is a strong association between pathological gambling and substance abuse. The objective of this study is to identify the differences between substance abusers with and without gambling problems. A cross sectional study was conducted interviewing with Addition Severity Index (ASI) and South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS), alcohol and drug abusers (N = 147) who sought treatment in specialized treatment facilities. SOGS was used to access and classify individuals into two groups: social gamblers (n = 96) and probable pathological gamblers (n = 32). Scores on ASI provided data about severity on seven areas. Several differences were found between the two groups. Cocaine was the major reason for treatment among drug abusers with gambling problems. This group had more severity problems in the areas of drug use, psychiatric, legal and family-social. Furthermore, they had more suicidal ideas, parents with gambling problems and started to play earlier than the social gamblers group. These results indicate the need to improve the services that provide treatment to alcohol and drug abusers, including routines for screening to early identification and professional education on specific treatment to substance abusers with pathological gambling.


Addiction Gambling Substance abuse Comorbidity 



This study was financially supported by the National Anti-drugs Secretariat (SENAD), grant GPPG-HCPA - # 05-460.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Carolina R. Mathias
    • 1
  • Renata W. Vargens
    • 1
  • Felix H. Kessler
    • 2
  • Marcelo S. Cruz
    • 1
  1. 1.Drug Abuse Research and Assistance Program of Psychiatry InstituteFederal University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Center for Drug and Alcohol ResearchFederal University of Rio Grande do SulRio Grande do SulBrazil

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