Spain Classifies Problem Gambling as “Drug Addiction Without Substance”

Last year, Spain’s Council of Ministers changed the classification of problem gambling to “drug addiction without substance,” based upon the findings of a report produced by the American Psychiatric Association. Having received support by the Ministry of Health, the institution has now requested that the Drug Support Council includes the reclassification in the country’s ‘Action Plan on Addictions 2018-2020’ mandate, whose purpose is to advise health and social organizations on how to go about combating addiction problems and providing optimal support to its victims.

Addiction Problem in Spain

Spain has one of the highest rates of drug use in Europe, and according to a 2015 report produced by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), one third of Spanish adults have tried an illicit substance at some time, including 3.4 % of adults having taken designer drugs used to mimic the effects of illegal drugs such as cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy.

Spain also has a gambling addiction problem, with a report published by the news outlet El País asserting that between 2% and 3% of the population is currently suffering from a gambling related problem. According to the study, the country’s low level of gambling regulation in both the online and offline sector is partly responsible for the troubling situation.

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