"THE PART OF THE BRAIN THAT
CONTROLS JUDGMENT AND RISK
DOESN'T DEVELOP UNTIL ADULTHOOD"


"The excitement and risk taking of betting can change the brain's chemistry and create compulsive gamblers"

"GAMBLERS EXHIBIT SIMILAR FUNCTIONAL CHANGES IN THEIR BRAIN'S
DECISION-MAKING CENTER AS DRUG ADDICTS AND ALCOHOLICS"

5.1.06

But Jeff Derevensky, co-director of the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University in Montreal, said those who think gambling in any form is less problematic for teens than alcohol or drugs are mistaken. Research has shown adolescents who are introduced to gambling are twice as likely to become addicted as adults, Derevensky said. Researchers trace those tendencies back to the brain. The part of the brain that controls judgment and risk doesn't develop until adulthood. "Gambling is often referred to as the hidden addiction," Derevensky said. "You can't smell it on their breath or see it in their eyes."
Youth gambling: Healthy or risky?/http://www.indystar.com/articles/7/225353-7677-009.html/2.26.05

Studies show that problem gamblers exhibit similar functional changes in their brain's decision-making center as drug addicts and alcoholics.
Researchers have also found that the more exposure a child has to gambling, the more likely he or she will become a compulsive gambler - as a teen and into adulthood.
A rise in teen gambling addicts/www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforks/news/11545990.htm/5.2.05/6.24.05

But gambling is addictive. Studies show that problem gamblers exhibit similar functional changes in their brain's decision-making center as drug addicts and alcoholics. "The neurobiology of what happens when somebody is gambling is much the same as what happens when they are taking cocaine," said gambling addiction expert at the Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse at the University of South Florida Linda Chamberlain on MedicineNet.com. Researchers have also found that the more exposure a child has to gambling, the more likely he or she will become a compulsive gambler - as a teen and into adulthood.
A rise in teen gambling addicts/http://www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforks/news/11545990.htm/5.02.05

NV - The excitement and risk taking of betting can change the brain's chemistry and create compulsive gamblers, a Harvard professor told casino executives Thursday. "Addictive behaviors rewire the brain," Dr. Howard Shaffer, director of Harvard Medical School's Division on Addictions, told a group of about 100 hotel-casino officials at an American Gaming Association seminar. The younger a person is introduced to gambling, the more likely they will develop a gambling problem later in life, he said. "Gambling is an event without skill. The more they thought skill was involved, the more they bet."
"Professor discusses compulsive gambling with casino execs"/By Angie Wagner/ASSOCIATED PRESS/Las Vegas SUN/2.26.98

The first generation to grow up with legalized gambling is creating a rising number of teens with gambling addictions. Almost one in three high school students gamble on a regular basis, according to the National Academy of Sciences. But gambling is addictive. Studies show that problem gamblers exhibit similar functional changes in their brain's decision-making center as drug addicts and alcoholics. Researchers have also found that the more exposure a child has to gambling, the more likely he or she will become a compulsive gambler - as a teen and into adulthood. While 4 percent to 5 percent of adult gamblers will develop a serious gambling problem, underage gamblers are three times as likely as adults to become compulsive gamblers. "Our youth need major help, and someone has to be willing to step up to the plate before they start getting really devastated."
Teen Newshour: A rise in teen gamblingaddicts/www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforks/news/ 11545990.htm/5.02.05

Lose five cents, lose 25 cents -- it's all the same to the brain, which decides in just a quarter second whether a gamble has won or lost, researchers said on Thursday. And if the gambler loses, the brain seems hard-wired to make a riskier bet in the next few seconds, the researchers at the University of Michigan found.
Brain Rushes to Judgement in Gambling, Study Shows/ Reuters/By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent/3.21.02

Abrams (Ahawas Achim B'nai Jacob and David in West Orange and executive director of the Yatzkan Center) compares the process to that of drug addiction and said that the effect of gambling on brain chemistry for compulsive gamblers is similar to what happens with drugs for a cocaine addict. "There's the high, the rush, and the crash afterwards…," he said.
All In?www.njjewishnews.com/njjn.com/012606/nj_AllIn.html/1.26.06

Some who struggle with depression or already have compulsive tendencies can be drawn into a gambling addiction. Pierce said the excitement of gambling is known to raise serotonin levels in the brain like an anti-depressant.  "The problem is when they stop," Pierce said. "The serotonin goes lower than normal, and the gambler has to go again to try to feel normal." Some who struggle with depression or already have compulsive tendencies can be drawn into a gambling addiction.
Pierce said the excitement of gambling is known to raise serotonin levels in the brain like an anti-depressant.  "The problem is when they stop," Pierce said. "The serotonin goes lower than normal, and the gambler has to go again to try to feel normal." "I didn't want to work, I just wanted to gamble," he said. "...that is all I would think about." ($15,000 in debt)
A holiday hazard/Ames Daily Tribune/12.17.05

During a 2001 study at the Harvard Medical School doctors monitored the brain waves of gaming subjects and determined that the same brain areas lighted up as those who used drugs and alcohol for pleasure. "This put gambling on the map with other neurobiologic addictions," said Dr. Barry Kosofsky, a pediatric neurologist at Weill Cornell Center in New York City.
A new addiction is sweeping Indian Country/Native American Journalists Foundation, Inc/8.01.05

A 2003 study at the University of Cambridge, however, found that the effect of gambling on the brain is quite similar to the effect that cocaine has. In both situations, the amount of dopamine, a chemical messenger related to happiness, increases. In gambling, the dopamine increases most drastically right before the outcome or reward is revealed. This high is what drives gamblers on. The Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery explains that the cycles which problem gamblers experience are synonymous with the cycles that drug addicts go through. The cycle includes the high, or win, as well as using their addiction to escape pain. Real pathological gamblers are addicted not to the money but to the action of the game.
Online gambling gaining popularity/Johns Hopkins News-Letter, MD/2.4.05

"Poker is the new rage among adolescents, and kids as young as 9 are now playing," says JoAnn White, PhD, a therapist who specializes in addiction in Cherry Hill, N.J. "More than 8% of new gamblers may end up having some type of gambling addiction, but we don't know how to identify then in advance," White says. "Maybe schools should teach about risks of gambling like they do alcohol and drugs," suggests White, who is also a professor of education at Temple University in Philadelphia. A new study in the journal Nature Neuroscience backs this theory up. The study showed that compulsive gamblers and drug addicts have similar patterns of brain activity.
Gambling Wave Sets Stage for Addiction/1.24.05
my.webmd.com/content/article/99/105276.htm?z=3734_00000_1000_qd_01/

Experts in the science of addiction grappled to describe why some bettors cannot control themselves... ...investigators reported that parts of the brain that respond to prospects of winning and losing .. while gambling are the same parts that appear to respond to cocaine and morphine....at least 23 states distribute lottery tickets through unattended vending machines despite laws against underage gambling. ....young people who gamble are much more likely to become problem gamblers as adults. ....[NGISC member] Leone accused state governments of becoming addicted to revenue from legal gambling without fully examining its costs on society. "The astonishing thing to me about the spread of gambling is the extent to which it occurred in a period of great ignorance," "The reason is because state governments led the way, on their own behalf. They found the money irresistible."
"Link to other addictions raises new questions about gambling"/Associated Press/Las Vegas Sun/6.12.01

Studies show that problem gamblers exhibit similar functional changes in their brain's decision-making center as drug addicts and alcoholics. Researchers have also found that the more exposure a child has to gambling, the more likely he or she will become a compulsive gambler - as a teen and into adulthood.
Teen Newshour: A rise in teen gamblingaddicts/www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforks/news/ 11545990.htm/5.02.05

"The apparent increase in gambling among youth is staggering," she said.
Roberts said new brain research that shows some adolescents lack the development they need to comprehend the link between action and consequences, and get into addictive behavior. "Since there is a potential for a (gambling) problem, just as we treat alcohol, let's delay that experience to allow three more years of maturity that hopefully will bring them greater judgment and more discipline," she said in an interview.
Youth gambling ban? Lawmakers mull raising threshold to 21 /http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/6420AP_WA_XGR_Gambling_Age.html /1.13.06

Now, new brain-imaging studies have shown that the teenage brain is a rapidly changing organ doesn't work the way an adult brain does. And scientists say that an addiction that starts early in life is harder to kick than one that starts later. Epidemiological studies have shown that most addictions start in adolescence, said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. And when a teenager's pleasure-chemical systems aren't fully developed and then get wired to depend on substances for feeling good, the normal flow of brain chemicals that aid in learning, decision making and other key processes are often blocked, Volkow said. Researchers at the Midwest Alcoholism Research Center in columbia tested 19- and 20-year-olds on a decision-making task involving gambling risks. People who were chronic binge drinkers more often made decisions that would put them at high risk for losing money, said Kenneth J. Sher, director of the center.
Research shows dangers drugs, alcohol pose to teens' brains/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/4.3.06