International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism
Thank you for an opportunity to speak on behalf of the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism (ISBRA). ISBRA welcomes the inclusion of gaming disorder in the latest version of ICD. Growing evidence on neurobiology, symptomatology, natural history, and comorbidity patterns has demonstrated that gaming disorder is a distinct addictive disorder, with a global prevalence of between 0.2% and 2.3%. It particularly affects young people and has become almost ubiquitous worldwide. There has been a sharp increase in both the prevalence and number of treatment seekers in certain countries. In Japan, between 2012 and 2017, the prevalence of gaming disorder was estimated to have approximately doubled among adolescents, while the number of treatment seekers increased roughly three-fold according to the recent studies. Gaming disorder causes health problems and significant impairment in functioning. The consequences may include school absence, poor academic grades and work performance, dropping out of school or job loss, social withdrawal, day-night reversal, and verbal and physical violence towards family members. Gaming disorder typically has significant and demonstrable negative consequences for the futures of affected young people. The definition and diagnostic guidelines on gaming disorder provide a solid basis, both for the promotion of research and the development of preventive measures and treatment interventions to tackle this growing health problem. ISBRA strongly supports the inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11, and the decision is supported by 14 international and 65 national professional organisations, comprising tens of thousands of health professionals around the world who specialise in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health conditions and who use ICD in their daily practice.