Gambling and substance use disorders are highly comorbid conditions. While pathological gambling affects only about 1% of the population, the sub-diagnostic threshold condition, problem gambling, is present in about 4% of the general population and up to 10-20% of substance abusers. Despite high rates of comorbidity and adverse consequences associated with problem gambling, few substance abuse treatment programs screen for gambling problems and even fewer provide gambling-specific treatment services. This project will evaluate the efficacy of two brief interventions for individuals seeking treatment for substance use disorders who also have gambling problems. In total, 220 problem gambling substance abusers will be randomized to one of three conditions: (1) a control condition consisting of 10 minutes of psychoeducation about gambling, (2) 10 minutes of brief advice about problem gambling and how to reduce it, or (3) four sessions of motivational and cognitive-behavioral therapy. The brief advice provides behavioral norms as well as prescriptive information about how to reduce gambling. The four-session intervention is designed to bolster motivation to change one's gambling behavior and also provides skills training in identifying high-risk situations for gambling and practicing alternative responses to them. All participants will receive standard substance abuse treatment at their respective clinics, and assessments will occur before the gambling intervention, and 2, 5, 8, 12, 16, 20 and 24 months later. Instruments measuring gambling behaviors and problems, substance use, psychosocial functioning, and HIV risk behaviors will be administered. Collaterals will be interviewed to provide independent perspectives on participants'gambling involvement. Results from this study will provide important information regarding the efficacy of brief interventions for reducing gambling and related problems in substance abusers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZDA1-MXG-S (05))
Program Officer
Aklin, Will
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University of Connecticut
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Petry, Nancy M; Rash, Carla J; Alessi, Sheila M (2016) A randomized controlled trial of brief interventions for problem gambling in substance abuse treatment patients. J Consult Clin Psychol 84:874-86
Petry, Nancy M; Gonzalez-Ibanez, Angels (2015) Internet gambling in problem gambling college students. J Gambl Stud 31:397-408
Blanco, Carlos; Hanania, Joan; Petry, Nancy M et al. (2015) Towards a comprehensive developmental model of pathological gambling. Addiction 110:1340-51
Locke, Geoffrey W; Shilkret, Robert; Everett, Joyce E et al. (2015) Interpersonal guilt and substance use in college students. Subst Abus 36:113-8
Andrade, Leonardo F; Riven, Levi; Petry, Nancy M (2014) Associations between Antisocial Personality Disorder and Sex on Discounting Rates. Psychol Rec 64:639-644
Andrade, Leonardo F; Petry, Nancy M (2014) White problem gamblers discount delayed rewards less steeply than their African American and Hispanic counterparts. Psychol Addict Behav 28:599-606
Petry, Nancy M; Blanco, Carlos; Jin, Chelsea et al. (2014) Concordance between gambling disorder diagnoses in the DSM-IV and DSM-5: Results from the National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Disorders. Psychol Addict Behav 28:586-91
Weiss, Lindsay M; Petry, Nancy M (2014) Substance abuse treatment patients with early onset cocaine use respond as well to contingency management interventions as those with later onset cocaine use. J Subst Abuse Treat 47:146-50
Petry, Nancy M; Blanco, Carlos; Auriacombe, Marc et al. (2014) An overview of and rationale for changes proposed for pathological gambling in DSM-5. J Gambl Stud 30:493-502
Petry, Nancy M; Andrade, Leonardo F; Rash, Carla J et al. (2014) Engaging in job-related activities is associated with reductions in employment problems and improvements in quality of life in substance abusing patients. Psychol Addict Behav 28:268-75

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