The Science

Good Chemistry Gone Bad

Good Chemistry Gone Bad

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger in your brain’s reward system. When you do something that contributes to your survival or well-being, dopamine provides you with a feeling of satisfaction or pleasure.

Some brains don’t produce enough dopamine or become immune to its positive effects. When that happens, people may take greater and greater risks in an attempt to feel those same rewards. That’s good chemistry gone bad. And there’s help.




New Understanding

Due to a new understanding of the brain, in May 2013, pathological gambling was reclassified from an impulse control disorder to an addiction. That means there are new ways to treat it and more reason to hope.

SOURCE: National Center for Responsible Gaming

New Parallels

With a drug problem, a person adds chemicals to the body that activate dopamine. With a gambling problem, a person’s behavior activates dopamine. “That’s very different from 20 years ago when people saw it as an issue of morality, creed and lack of willpower.”
— Dr. Timothy Fong

SOURCE: UCLA

New Freedom

If you found out you had another physical problem, like high blood pressure, would you be embarrassed to get help?

Would it feel like failure? Nope. It's the obvious thing to do. Get help and free yourself from problem gambling.

"For the patients it should be useful that we can now demonstrate that self-control is related to changes in the brain. This strengthens the view that this is a disease."
— Kristine Thomsen, Ph.D.

SOURCE: Science Nordic