The Times: Doctors prescribe drugs to tackle Britain’s gambling epidemic, 17th February 2016
Andrew Ellson

“Campaigners say that ministers have allowed gambling to grow unchecked in bookmakers’ shops and online over the past five years despite evidence of a link to mental health problems, family breakdown and crime. They are calling for a crackdown on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), which have been called the “crack cocaine” of gambling. These machines allow users to bet up to £300 a minute on games such as roulette and blackjack.”

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“Two months ago, the National Problem Gambling Clinic in London became the first to prescribe to gamblers naltrexone, a drug designed to help to combat alcohol and drug dependency. A three-month course of treatment costs £68 per patient.

Henrietta Bowden-Jones, from the clinic, said: “The medication is used to stop the most compulsive gamblers who are resistant to treatment. It helps stop craving.”

Last year GPs referred almost 1,000 of the country’s worst problem gamblers to the clinic for help.”