Treatment modalities for patients with gambling disorder

Sam Wook Choi, Young Chul Shin, Dai Jin Kim, Jung Seok Choi, Seohee Kim, Seung Hyun Kim, Hyun Chul Youn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Gambling disorder (GD) is defined as persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behavior leading to clinically significant impairment or distress. The prevalence of GD has been shown to be 1.2-7.1% in the general population. GD can severely impact on personal and vocational wellbeing as well as lead to financial problems, and has been known to be difficult to treat. This review describes the available pharmacotherapy/psychosocial treatments for GD patients, and summarizes data on the effectiveness of these GD treatments. Methods: This review refers to newly as well as previously published studies and guidelines. Results: The description of pharmacotherapy mainly focuses on opioid receptor antagonists, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and mood stabilizers. Psychosocial treatments/strategies mainly include cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and Gamblers Anonymous. We also introduce relatively novel treatment modalities. Conclusions: This review can help clinicians to decide treatment plans for their GD patients. In addition, it can be used as a reference for designing future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23
JournalAnnals of General Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Apr 28
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s).


  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Gamblers anonymous
  • Gambling disorder
  • Opioid receptor antagonist
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Psychosocial treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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