New Gambling Research Stimulates Re-examination of Addiction

4 December 2002

LAS VEGAS -- (Press Release) -- What does it mean to be addicted? Until, recently, most people defined addiction as being dependent on a substance such as alcohol or drugs. However, new research on gambling, shopping and other activities that can become excessive has opened up the definition of addiction. An upcoming conference in Las Vegas will feature talks by some of the pioneering researchers in the field of addictions on how insights from new studies of problem gambling and other behavioral disorders are expanding their own theories about addiction.

The two-day conference, Rethinking Addiction: How Gambling and Other Behavioral Addictions are Changing the Concept and Treatment of Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders, will explore new ways of conceptualizing addiction and analyze the treatment implications of these ideas. Highlights include presentations on the parallels between pathological gambling and other excessive behaviors, gambling as a public health issue and the recovery process for people struggling with behavioral disorders. An awards luncheon will honor recipients of the first annual National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) Awards for Scientific Achievement in Gambling Studies.

The conference is co-sponsored by the NCRG, the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders at Harvard Medical Schools Division on Addictions, and the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling.


Dr. Howard Schaffer, Ph. D., C.A.S., Director, Harvard Medical School Division on Addictions

Other leading addiction specialists

WHERE: The Mirage Events Center and Convention Complex, Montego Room, Las Vegas

WHEN: Sunday, December 8 Tuesday, December 10

The NCRG, the only national organization devoted exclusively to public education and funding of peer-reviewed research on pathological gambling, was established in 1996 to address the need for a greater understanding of pathological gambling and related disorders. In six years, the NCRG has transformed the gambling research field by supporting only the highest quality investigations of problem gambling selected through an independent and rigorous peer review process. In the year 2000, the NCRG awarded a $2.6 million contract to Harvard Medical Schools Division on Addictions to establish the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders to carry out the research initiatives first established by the NCRG. For more information, visit

Related Links
National Center for Responsible Gaming 3rd Annual Conference on Gambling and Addiction