By Shaila Hussain and Shahid Muhammad.
Gambling addiction is a primary chronic disease of brain reward, incentive, memory and interrelated circuitry. The perception of addiction has often been associated with substance abuse. This article aims to highlight some of the psychological, mental health and wellbeing impact gambling has on lifestyle and family. Almost 70% of the population in the UK participates in some form of gambling, and an estimated 250 000–310 000 people live with gambling issues. There are several factors that encourage an individual to gamble, including: stimulating the mind; escape; winning; reward; coping; excitement; prompting social interaction; exploration; financial gains; and boredom. The complexity of gambling behaviour can compromise wellbeing and lead to public health crises. Early intervention in treating gamblers can support the mental health and wellbeing of the addict and family.