Concluding Discussion

  • Peter Ferentzy
  • Nigel E. Turner


In this final chapter, we summarize the main themes of the book. Topics covered include (but are not limited to) the history of gambling, technological and scientific innovations that facilitated both problem gambling and chronic drunkenness, and the long-standing similarities between our understandings of problem gambling and substance addiction. We remind the reader that only in the wake of an unprecedented focus on substance abuse, emerging in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, would the idea that struggles with temptation can be just as difficult with behavioral disorders be controversial at all. In short, what may pass for a discovery today was common knowledge in the eighteenth century. We also invoke our inquiries into the role of metaphor, suggesting that the competing public health and mainstream disease conceptions could be unified into a more comprehensive vision—just as physicists have managed to merge the formerly competing wave and particle theories of light. The chapter ends with a reminder of how many current ideas are rooted in prejudices born in the early twentieth century, a time when eugenics and Nazi dogma could often pass for science, and that it was in this climate that a stereotypical “addict” was invented. Our point is that we should be aware of our history, retaining the best and discarding the worst.


Epidemiology Scientific innovations Metaphors Integration History 


  1. American Psychiatric Association [APA]. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: AuthorGoogle Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association [APA]. (1980). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: AuthorGoogle Scholar
  3. Babor, T. F., Caetano, R., Casswell, S., Edwards, G., Giesbrecht, N., Graham, K., et al. (2005). Alcohol: No ordinary commodity. Research and public policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Chipman, M., Govoni, R., & Roerecke, M. (2006). The distribution of consumption model: An evaluation of its applicability to gambling behaviour. Final report prepared for the Ontario Problem Gambling Centre.
  5. Coren, S., & Ward, L. M. (1989). Sensation and perception (3rd ed.). San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.Google Scholar
  6. Counter, A., & Davey, B. (2006). What is the Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline (OPGH)? Paper presented at the 2006 conference of the Responsible Gambling Council (Ontario), Toronto. Retrieved July 16, 2008, from
  7. Crothers, T. (1893). The disease of inebriety from alcohol, opium and other narcotic drugs (New York: E. B. Treat, 1893), in New York: Arno Press edition (1981).Google Scholar
  8. Derevensky, J., Gupta, R., Dickson, L., & Deguire, A. (2001). Prevention efforts toward minimizing gambling problems. Report prepared for the National Council for Problem Gambling, Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  9. Dorion, J. P., & Nicki, R. M. (2001). Epidemiology of problem gambling in Prince Edward Island: A Canadian microcosm. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 46, 413–417.Google Scholar
  10. Ernkvist, M. (2009). Creating player appeal. Göteborg, Sweden: University of Gothenburg.Google Scholar
  11. Ferentzy, P. (2001). From sin to disease: Differences and similarities between past and current conceptions of chronic drunkenness. Contemporary Drug Problems, 28, 363–390.Google Scholar
  12. Ferentzy, P. (2011). Dealing with addiction – Why the 20th century was wrong. Morrisville, NC: Lulu. Scholar
  13. Ferentzy, P., Skinner, W., & Antze, P. (2007). Approaches to recovery in gamblers anonymous. Final report submitted to the Ontario Problem Gambling Research CentreGoogle Scholar
  14. Flavin, M. (2003). Gambling in the nineteenth-century english novel: A leprosy is o'er the land. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press.Google Scholar
  15. Gamblers Anonymous International Service Office (GAISO). (1984). Sharing recovery through gamblers anonymous. Los Angeles, CA: GAISO.Google Scholar
  16. Lesieur, H., & Custer, R. (1984). Pathological gambling: Roots, phases, and treatment. The Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Science, 474, 46–156.Google Scholar
  17. Marlatt, G. A. (1985). Situation determinants of relapse and skill-training interventions. In G. A. Marlatt & J. R. Gordon (Eds.), Relapse prevention: Maintenance strategies in the treatment of addictive behaviours (pp. 71–126). New York, NY: Guilford.Google Scholar
  18. New Zealand Ministry of Health. (2004). Preventing and minimising gambling harm: Strategic plan 2004–2010, needs assessment, proposed three-year funding plan, proposed problem gambling levy rates. New Zealand: Author.$File/ProblemGamblingConsultation.pdf.
  19. Peele, S. (1989). Diseasing of America: Addiction treatment out of control. Massachusetts: Lexington.Google Scholar
  20. Peele, S. (2003). Is gambling an addiction like drug and alcohol addiction? Developing realistic and useful conceptions of compulsive gambling. In G. Reith (Ed.), Gambling: Who wins? Who loses? (pp. 208–220). Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
  21. Potenza, M., Fiellin, D., & Heninger, G. (2002). Gambling—An addictive behavior with health and primary care implications. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 17, 721–732.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Siegel, M., Carol, J., Jordan, J., Hobart, R., Schoenmarklin, S., DuMelle, F., et al. (1997). Preemption in tobacco control. Review of an emerging public health problem. JAMA, 278(10), 858–863.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York, NY: Free Press.Google Scholar
  24. Strong, D., & Kahler, C. (2007). Evaluating the continuum of gambling problems using the DSM-IV. Addiction, 102, 713–721.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Szasz, T. (1973). Mental illness as a metaphor. Nature, 242, 305–307.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Szasz, T. (1974). Ceremonial chemistry: The ritual persecution of drugs, addicts, and pushers. Garden City: Anchor Press.Google Scholar
  27. Urbanoski, K., & Rush, B. R. (2006). Characteristics of people seeking treatment for problem gambling in Ontario: trends from 1998–2002. Journal of Gambling Issues, 16. Available: Google Scholar
  28. Warner, J. (2002). Craze: Gin and debauchery in the age of reason. New York, NY: Random House.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Ferentzy
    • 1
  • Nigel E. Turner
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations