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Keywords:

  • Behavioral addictions;
  • categorization;
  • classification;
  • impulse control disorders;
  • pathological gambling;
  • substance dependence

ABSTRACT

Aims  In anticipation of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), to consider whether addictive disorders should include non-substance use disorders.

Methods  The author reviewed data and provided perspective to explore whether disorders such as pathological gambling (PG) should be grouped together with substance dependence, given that they share many features.

Results  PG and substance dependence currently reside in the DSM, fourth edition, text revision (DSM-IV-TR) within separate categories, with PG classified as an impulse control disorder (ICD) and substance dependence as a substance use disorder (SUD). Arguments can be forwarded to support each categorization, as well as to justify their inclusion together as addictions. 

Conclusion  The current state of knowledge suggests that there exist substantial similarities between PG and SUDs. Further research is indicated prior to categorizing PG and other ICDs together with SUDs.