Causes of Gambling Addiction

causes of gambling addiction

Causes of Gambling Addiction

A gambling addiction, or compulsive gambling, is the uncontrollable urge or desire to gamble despite the negative impact it has on your life. Like drugs and alcohol, gambling stimulates the brain’s reward system, causing the levels of chemicals like dopamine and serotonin to increase. A person with a gambling addiction is constantly chasing the rush and euphoria of a win, even if they’ve lost every single time before. As a luxury drug and alcohol rehab in Palm Beach, we know that an addiction to gambling can happen to anyone regardless of their background or financial situation. Below are some common causes of gambling addiction and some risk factors to watch out for.

What Causes Gambling Addiction?

There are several causes of compulsive gambling that you may not even realize are possible dangers. Even though it’s not an addiction to drugs or alcohol, dependence on gambling is just as dangerous. A person with a gambling addiction may continuously chase lost bets, deplete their savings, accumulate debt, and even resort to stealing or commit fraud to sustain their habit. In a family setting, this condition can be even more devastating. Below are some common causes of gambling addiction that you should be aware of.


Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

Restless leg syndrome is a condition characterized by the irresistible urge to move your legs, especially at night. This usually occurs when a person is lying or sitting down. It’s a condition that can worsen over time and make it difficult to sleep. Many people are given medications like Mirapex to treat this condition. The theory behind restless leg syndrome and gambling addiction is that individuals who have impulse control problems are more likely to develop disorders related to impulsive behaviors, like gambling. Seaside Palm Beach offers gambling addiction treatment that’s helped many people learn how to manage their desire to gamble and improve their lives.

Mental illness

Mental illness is also a common cause of compulsive gambling. Particularly, disorders like schizophrenia, antisocial personality disorder, and bipolar disorder are associated with gambling addiction. It’s believed that these connections are a result of gambling during manic episodes or as a response to low dopamine and serotonin levels. Because gambling can produce euphoria similar to other substances of abuse, people with mental disorders tend to rely on it to cover up their mental illness symptoms.

Drug addiction

Drug addiction is also linked to gambling. Both may be done because of the high they can cause and also because many gambling settings involve heavy drinking and drug use. If a person with a gambling addiction drinks as much as they gamble, it’s understandable why their risk of alcoholism may be high. Our high-end rehab also offers luxury alcohol addiction treatment for people who have become dependent on alcohol and need help with their physical and psychological recovery.

Serotonin deficiency

Linked to many other causes of addiction to gambling is serotonin deficiency. Serotonin is a hormone that plays a role in stabilizing our mood, feelings of well-being, and pleasure. This hormone is key in these functions and affects the entire body. It enables cells in the brain and nervous system to communicate with each other. When a person is deficient in this hormone, they’re more prone to experiencing mood disorders like depression. A person may then become addicted to gambling because it increases their mood and temporarily alleviates their symptoms; however, gambling is a dangerous and short-lived solution that cannot replace formal mental health therapies.


Environment plays a huge role in any form of addiction. A person experiencing high stress levels at home, work, or school may gamble to distract themselves. The rush of euphoria and emotional attachment combine to create a tight bond that requires treatment to loosen. A family history of gambling addiction increases a person’s chances of also developing this problem. Frequently spending time with friends or family members who gamble is linked to increasing your chances of gambling as well.


These are just some of the many gambling addiction causes you should look out for. If you find yourself or a loved one struggling with gambling, substance abuse, or mental illness, call us now at 561-677-9374 for more information about our luxury addiction programs.

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