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Pathological Gambling: Implications for Therapeutic Recreation Practice

Cynthia Carruthers


Pathological gambling is a growing problem in American society. Information on pathological gambling is almost nonexistent in the therapeutic recreation (TR) literature despite the fact that the incidence of pathological gambling is most prevalent with individuals who have psychiatric disorders or who abuse substances. Both of these client groups are frequent recipients of TR services. Pathological gambling can be devastating in its consequences to the individuals with the addiction, their families, and their communities. This paper provides information on pathological gambling that is relevant to TR professionals. Diagnostic criteria and sub-types of pathological gamblers are presented. Factors that influence the development, maintenance, and recovery from pathological gambling are discussed. Implications for TR practice are addressed.


Pathological Gambling, Treatment Issues, Programming, Recovery, Therapeutic Recreation

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