Stimulants and gambling there is a lack of research

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Stimulants and Gambling There is a lack of research in regards to amphetamine and gambling in college students. Gambling has been reclassified within the substance-related and additive disorder category due to the research suggesting that impulsivity and disregard of long term consequences are essential features of both gambling and addictive behaviors as well as evidence that there is overlapping impulsivity features in gambling and addictive behaviors (Albein- Urios et al. 2014 ). Studies available with cocaine use (which has similar mechanisms and effects as amphetamine) that are available however point to the importance of further study in this topic (Hall et al. 2000 ). For example, Albein-Urios et al. ( 2012 ) examine patho- logical gamblers compared to cocaine addicts who are posited as similar in subjective experiences, reinforcing mechanisms, and patterns of use (binge using and abstaining) to pathological gamblers. Both groups had elevated positive urgency which is a dimension of impulsivity related to long term gambling problems, and poorer inhibition compared to control (Albein-Urios et al. 2012 ). Thus, cocaine use and gambling may be important to understand when used as the co-occurrence and co-morbidity may exacerbate problems. Gambling can also mirror psychostimulant drug effects, such as behavioral persevera- tion and brain dopamine pathways, which suggests that psychostimulant drugs may induce effects similar to those of gambling (Zack and Poulos 2003 , 2009 ). ‘‘DA [dopamine activation] critically mediates the arousal induced by psychostimulant drugs. The model outlined here implies that DA may play a similar role in the state of arousal that occurs in gambling’’ (Zack and Poulos 2009 , p. 15) and gambling with high stakes may approximate this effect because uncertainty will further activate DA. There is also emerging evidence that amphetamines prime motivation to gamble. Zack and Poulos ( 2003 ) used a prototypic psychostimulant as a pharmacological prime, in problem gamblers and non-gambler controls. They found that AMPH primed self-reported gambling motivation. Furthermore, in gamblers, AMPH selectively increased reading speed to gambling words while slowing reading speed to neutral words, whereas similar results were not obtained in problem drinkers (Zack and Poulos 2003 ). Study Aims To date, there has been little to no research with gambling and amphetamine/prescription stimulant use among college students. Given the evidence to date, and to deepen the understanding and research available, this study explores the relationship between demographic variables, gambling and amphetamine use in a general random sample of college students. Furthermore, we explore how amphetamine use at baseline impacts gambling quantity, frequency, and problems in the future. J Gambl Stud 123
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Methods Participants and Recruitment Participants were college students recruited from a large West Coast university. A list of 10,062 of randomly selected students from the registrar’s database were invited to com- plete an online screening survey of alcohol, substance use, and gambling behaviors. Of
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