There is immense research on the mechanisms of addiction as far as substance abuse and alcohol addiction are concerned. As of now, there is very little research into this aspect with reference to addictive behaviors like gambling. Though many researchers argue similar pathogenesis in all addictive behaviours, research into this perspective is warranted. Acute and chronic stress have been incriminated in the mechanism of development of addiction in all types of addictive behaviours. However, it is yet unclear as to what type and extent of stress, timing of stress and coping strategies against stress cause such negative implications towards ones behaviour. In this essay, mechanisms involved in the development of addictive gambling will be elucidated through review of appropriate literature and with reference to pathophysiology of addiction of substances and alcohol.
There are several substances which are addictive in nature. Of these, marijuana is the most widely consumed illicit drug in the world (Maxwell, 2003). According to the statistics on drug abuse published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in 2002 (based on National Drug Strategy Household Survey, 2001), marijuana constituted 33.1% of the illicit drugs ever used. It also constituted 12.9% of the drugs recently used. The mean age of initiation was 18.5 years. The consumption of marijuana overseas was most prevalent in New-Zealand (20%) and least in Canada (8.9%). The prevalence in U.K and U.S was same (9%) (Maxwell 2003). Most often it is consumed with other illicit drugs like cocaine (called ‘blunts’) or tobacco. It is taken in mainly for the mental effects like altered state of consciousness, perceptual changes like hallucinations and heightened sensory experiences. The main active chemical having psycho-activity in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) (Astolfi et al, 1998). Other than euphoria and hallucinations, marijuana has other effects