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J Addict Dis. 2009 Jul;28(3):199-207. doi: 10.1080/10550880903014106.

Pathological gambling and obsessive compulsive disorder among methadone maintenance treatment patients.

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Dr. Miriam & Sheldon G. Adelson Clinic for Drug Abuse, Treatment & Research, Tel-Aviv, Israel.


The aims of this study was to assess the prevalence of lifetime pathological gambling (pathological gambling) and current obsessive compulsive disorder among former heroin addicts currently in methadone maintenance treatment. A cross-sectional study of 154 patients from a methadone maintenance treatment clinic affiliated of a tertiary-referral medical center was conducted. The South Oaks Gambling Screen and Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale were used for measurement purposes. Lifetime pathological gambling was found in 45 (29.2%) patients (current pathological gambling was found in 10 [6.5%] patients). Clinical obsessive compulsive disorder (defined if scored as moderate to extreme) was found in 51.1% of patients in the pathological gambling groups and 39.4% of patients in the non-pathological gambling group, with higher obsessive scores in the pathological gambling group versus the non-pathological gambling group. Logistic regression (multivariate analyses) found pathological gambling in more males (odds ratio = 3.6, 95% confidence interval = 1.5-8.8), a high obsessive score (odds ratio = 1.07, 95% confidence interval = 0.1-1.1), and older age on admission (40 years and older) (odds ratio = 2.4, 95% confidence interval = 1.1-5.0). Because only 10 (6.5%) patients were still currently gambling, more urgent intervention should be considered to the unexpected high rate of clinical obsessive-compulsive disorder (42.9%) in the sample, possibly because the clinic studied is of a higher severity than that accepted to the methadone maintenance treatment clinics in the community.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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