Are There Drugs That Cause Gambling Addiction?

Hey there, fellow gamblers! Welcome to our blog! We're glad to have you back, especially with this interesting topic. We’re going to discuss the effect prescription drugs and other medications have on people and how from healing a condition you could end up with a casino gambling addiction. This may sound too harsh, but we will try our best to explain all about the risk factors. Also, this is our way to bring awareness to mental health issues and how people deal with them with the help of meds.
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Prescription Meds Associated with Pathological Gambling?

Prescription drugs or antidepressants are a type of medication that psychiatrists prescribe to patients who are dealing with mental health issues like anxiety, ADD, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, etc. These are not pills you can buy just like that from the local pharmacy – often, you have to contact your psychiatrist to get a new dosage. You must strictly follow the instructions and not overdose whatever pills you’re prescribed.

Let’s get back a little bit. It is recorded that the first antidepressants were presented to the public in the 1950s and have since developed thanks to technology and medical progress. There are different types of antidepressants, containing ingredients that affect the neurotransmitters in our body:

  • SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors)
  • SNRI (Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors)
  • SMS (Serotonin Modulators and Stimulators)
  • SARI (Serotonin Antagonists and Reuptake Inhibitors)
  • NRI (Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors)
  • TCA (Tricyclic Antidepressants)
  • TeCA (Tetracyclic Antidepressants)
  • MAOI (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors)
  • NMDA and others

Sadly, as much as prescribed medicine is supposed to help you with your condition, it might also bring you a lot of other side effects that might mess with your wellbeing. The medication is quite strong and some of the common side effects include dizziness, flu-like symptoms and more.

There are other side effects that may occur as well, including anxiety, suicidal thoughts, lucid dreams and even compulsive behaviours including pathological gambling . In the next paragraph, we will focus on the types of drugs that cause gambling addiction, how it happens and why. Before that though, we would like to give you a few hints on where you can enjoy online gambling. You can refer to our list of the best casino sites in the United Kingdom.

Meds That Cause Gambling Addiction – What to Avoid

The first thing we want to underline is that not all antidepressants or other types of medications have a side effect causing gambling addiction. Still, it is a good idea to always know what you or your close ones are taking as meds and how it can change things in better or worse. There are pills that can cause compulsive gambling and now we will try as good as we can to explain it to you.

Dopamine-Based Meds

Dopamine agonists meds are prescribed with the goal to replace the loss of dopamine, also known as the hormone of joy. These pills may sound like they’re not dangerous, but the side effects show the opposite.

Because the increased dopamine can trigger pleasure and reward behaviours, the meds can unlock compulsive and impulsive actions such as shopping, gambling and higher sexual desire. Prescription drugs that are dopamine agonists are often given to patients who have Parkinson’s disease.

One of the most popular prescription drugs is Mirapex, also known as Pramipexole. The medication helps with tremors and stiffness that are typical symptoms of the disease. According to research, this is the most used drug in the US and, as much at it helps a lot of patients, it can also make things worse and can cause people to develop a gamble problem.

Drugs for RLS

RLS stands for Restless Leg Syndrome and it is a disorder that causes pain in one’s leg when at rest. The disorder is treated like Parkinson’s disease and the same type of drugs are used (dopamine antagonists). Some of the meds you need to avoid include Pramipexole and Ropinirole, which are documented to trigger compulsive gambling behaviour when taken.

Medications for Bipolar Disorders

Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorders are common diseases that can easily turn your life around. Common symptoms of the disorders include hearing non-existing voices, false beliefs, lack of motivation, difficulty to socialise and express emotions.

As you’ve probably noticed, all the listed disorders up to this moment are treated with drugs that stimulate dopamine levels. In this case, the usage of such drugs is still a thing, and it can help a lot, but it could also lead to triggering compulsive behaviours including gambling and aggression. The top-used medication for these diseases is Abilify that is said that it causes pathological gambling. Another unpleasant side effect that it can cause is binge eating.

Antidepressants – The Main Cause

Antidepressants are prescribed to people who struggle with disorders like anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), ADD, PTSD and other. Often, these meds can trigger gambling, aggression, mood swings and more. The most popular drugs that cause these side effects are Prozac, Serzone, Effexor, Soroxat and some placebo pills, all of which are prescribed as antidepressants. A lot of people who take these pills are quickly engaged in gambling and other negative behaviours shortly after starting the treatment. It is reported that the USA has the highest number of antidepressant users in the world, and there are a lot of examples of compulsive gambling acts.

Be Aware!

We hope we’ve managed to grab your attention and to bring awareness to the fact that prescription meds may have a gambling addiction medication side effect. It is important to know the risk factors and seek help and try to treat a disorder. However, sometimes, the cost may be higher than we think. Compulsive gambling should not be underestimated and we’re happy to say that a lot of online and land-based casinos have taken this in mind. BeGambleAware.org, GamStop and other organisations do their best to provide a safe environment for players and to provide help to those who struggle. The professionals are skilled at detecting pathological gambling symptoms.

Do not be afraid to seek help when you feel like some medication is triggering you to this behaviour – there are a lot of other specialised facilities that will help you. Also, make sure you’re aware of what prescribed medication may cause and how to notice it on time. Be healthy and take medication responsibly! And if you take care of the previous advises that we gave you, you are completely free to enjoy some of the best slot sites in the UK! Of course, gamble sites can offer you more than slots so stay safe and enjoy a healthy dose of casino games!

You see, even prescription drugs that are used for serious medical conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease and RLS, can cause serious gambling problems, so check your meds carefully. And in general, be aware of drugs called dopamine agonists because they have the possible side effect of encouraging compulsive behavours such as gambling in some people. Here’s a list of the most common drugs related to gambling disorder:

  1. Pramipexole – 56%
  2. Ropinirole – 15%
  3. Levodopa in association with Benserazide/Entacapone and Carbidopa – 11%
  4. Aripiprazole – 5%
  5. Rotigotine – 5%

Frequently Asked Questions

We have given you the important information on prescription drugs that may cause you to gamble more or even out of control. We have also explained what the ingredients in these dugs are and how these work with or against your neurotransmitters such as dopamine to encourage compulsive behaviours. We’ll now answer some of the common questions regarding problem gambling.

😟 Is gambling a disease?

Gambling is a great pastime activity. But if it isn't handled properly, it can become a serious issue. In fact, problem gambling is classed as an impulse-control disorder, as defined in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. Problem gambling is harmful to both the psychological and physical health.

💭 Why is gambling addictive?

What is gambling? It's risking something of value in hope of getting something of even greater value. Winning or even just the prospect of winning makes people excited. In a way, gambling is like dopamine - it can stimulate the brain's reward system like drugs or alcohol can, and that could lead to addiction.

🤔 When is gambling a problem?

Pathological gambling causes you to put gambling before everything else, so be aware of its signs: chasing losses, the need to bet more frequently, the feeling that nothing else but gambling is interesting, restlessness and irritability when attempting to stop. It might not be your fault, but the side effect of a drug that causes addiction.

❓ How to deal with gambling addiction?

If you or someone you know needs help with problem gambling, we have a few tips. No matter what the causes, these tips can help you improve your attitude towards gambling.

  • Accept and understand the problem.
  • Avoid temptation by self-limiting.
  • Find support by joining a support group.
  • Postpone gambling.
  • Find alternatives to gambling.
  • Consider the consequences.
  • Seek professional help.

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