New App Helps Fight Gambling Addiction

Researchers at UCLA have developed a smart phone app which records activities and experiences for people, which can then be used to help root out the cause of the addictive behavior.

Gambling, a universal past time, is an activity enjoyed by many, an activity which no doubt built the city of Las Vegas. For some, however, the enjoyment has been sucked out, and they have fallen victims to their own addictive personalities. “The addiction resides in the individual, not the machine or the building,” said Carol O’Hare of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling.

Through the years, Las Vegas, and the gambling industry as a whole, has helped fund programs to combat the addiction. UCLA researchers are looking to be the next wave of people to contribute towards the cause. They have recently developed an app for smart phones which looks to tackle the issue by following the client and recording their experiences.

The hope is for the app to be used in conjunction with a licensed counselor who can then analyze the experiences to pinpoint and help avoid triggers. “They’re using gambling to alter their mood. Whatever form of gambling works to alter their mood is the one they’ll use,” O’Hare said.

Licensed problem gambling counselor Oscar Sida said one of the most important things a person can have to help fight addiction is a strong support system, like Gamblers Anonymous. Sida also believes most addictions are paired with underlying issues such as anxiety, trauma, or depression, which must be dealt with for any hope of tackling the addictive behavior.