Compulsive gamblers must get free NHS treatment, BMA says

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 18 January 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:113
  1. Lisa Hitchen
  1. 1London

    The NHS must be given the resources to treat the increase in the number of problem gamblers that is likely to result from legal and technological changes in gambling activities, says the British Medical Association.

    In a new report published this week the BMA says that gambling addiction must be recognised as being as serious and complex a medical problem as other addictions and be able to be treated on the NHS.

    Research from 1999 estimates that the United Kingdom has as many as 300 000 problem gamblers, but this is likely to be an underestimate of the problem, as it does not take into account developments in the industry since then, the report notes.

    Doctors lack awareness of how to treat problem gamblers, and research into which treatments …

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