Problem Gambling Ohio

Nobody chooses to have a gambling disorder. But it can affect anyone.

Blue side profile of a head with gambling icon over the brain

Problem gambling is a disorder,
not a decision.

Get the facts

Nobody chooses to have a gambling disorder. But it can affect anyone.

If you see signs of a gambling problem in yourself or in someone you love, take a look at the Get Help or Give Help pages to find resources and support. We offer practical tips for helping a loved one who is showing gambling problem signs, and a helpline if you need help for a gambling problem yourself. You can also use our Live Chat feature to connect with online resources.

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 reasons to hope.

Source: National Center for Responsible Gaming


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


A new study reveals impaired communication across various brain regions in compulsive gamblers. This suggestions that gambling addiction may be more due to a deviation in the brain than a weakness in character.

"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

Problem Gambling Ohio Clinical Research logo related to Gambling Addiction and the Brain article
Gambling Addiction and the Brain
Society for Neuroscience
Scientific American logo related to "How the Brain Gets Addicted to Gambling" article
How the Brain Gets Addicted to Gambling
Scientific American
Medical Daily logo related to an article about gambling addicts' brains
Gambling Addicts' Brains Don’t Have the Same Opioid Systems as Others
Medical Daily
Screenshot from WCPO video about how brain chemistry sparks gambling addiction
Brain Chemistry Sparks Gambling Addiction

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Get Help for Problem Gambling

Take the first step in getting help for problem gambling and change your life for the better.
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Learn to Help Your Loved Ones

Get practical tips for providing support to loved ones struggling with a gambling disorder.