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      Codependence with hypersexual and gambling disorder

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          The risks of behavioral addictions are well documented. There are biological, medical, social, spiritual, psychological, and safety risks to the individual as well as risks, like ripple effects, to the family and friends with whom the individual with behavioral addictions lives. The phenomenon of collateral damage from addictions, especially alcoholism and substance dependence, is well documented.

          Aims and methods

          A selected review of the literature reveals little regarding the risks of collateral damage, in particular codependence, from behavioral addictions on non-addicted family and friends.


          This article theoretically posits the existence of codependence to those with two well documented and researched behavioral addictions, hypersexual and gambling disorder, using the biopsychosocial lens.


          Addictions professionals are encouraged to revisit the literature on codependence and consider its influence on family and friends of those with behavioral addictions when providing services.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Introduction to behavioral addictions.

          Several behaviors, besides psychoactive substance ingestion, produce short-term reward that may engender persistent behavior, despite knowledge of adverse consequences, i.e., diminished control over the behavior. These disorders have historically been conceptualized in several ways. One view posits these disorders as lying along an impulsive-compulsive spectrum, with some classified as impulse control disorders. An alternate, but not mutually exclusive, conceptualization considers the disorders as non-substance or "behavioral" addictions. Inform the discussion on the relationship between psychoactive substance and behavioral addictions. We review data illustrating similarities and differences between impulse control disorders or behavioral addictions and substance addictions. This topic is particularly relevant to the optimal classification of these disorders in the forthcoming fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). Growing evidence suggests that behavioral addictions resemble substance addictions in many domains, including natural history, phenomenology, tolerance, comorbidity, overlapping genetic contribution, neurobiological mechanisms, and response to treatment, supporting the DSM-V Task Force proposed new category of Addiction and Related Disorders encompassing both substance use disorders and non-substance addictions. Current data suggest that this combined category may be appropriate for pathological gambling and a few other better studied behavioral addictions, e.g., Internet addiction. There is currently insufficient data to justify any classification of other proposed behavioral addictions. Proper categorization of behavioral addictions or impulse control disorders has substantial implications for the development of improved prevention and treatment strategies.
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            Effects of cybersex addiction on the family: Results of a survey

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              Behavioral addictions: Past, present and future


                Author and article information

                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                Akadémiai Kiadó, co-published with Springer Science+Business Media B.V., Formerly Kluwer Academic Publishers B.V.
                1 March 2013
                17 November 2012
                : 2
                : 1
                : 10-16
                [ 1 ] East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA
                [ 2 ] Medicine Hat College, Alberta, Canada
                [ 3 ] Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies, Substance Abuse and Clinical Counseling, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, 27858, USA
                Author notes
                [* ] +1-252-744-6299, +1-252-744-6302, crozierm@
                © 2013 The Author(s)

                Open Access statement. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.

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