PROBLEM GAMBLING PREVENTION AN INTRODUCTION
Gambling has rapidly become an acceptable and regular part of our society: • Lottery numbers drawn live on TV • Billboards, TV, radio ads • Odds on sports events carried daily in newspapers • Church bingo and raffles • Sports betting
Gambling on a cell phone Casinos Horse racing Texas Hold’em tournaments Gambling on the Internet Playing Pull-tabs
Gambling appears to be normative behavior among both adults and adolescents.
This is the first generation of youth to be exposed to relatively easy access to a variety of gambling venues, widespread gambling advertising, and to pervasive social approval for an inherently risky activity.(Dr. Ken Winters, University of Minnesota)
Age Related Behaviors Driving Voting Gambling Purchase tobacco Sex Drinking
Compare Preparation for a Driver’s License and a Gambling or Drinking License
Typical Steps to a Driver’s License Minimum driving age Driver’s education, classroom Driver’s test (written) Driver’s education, behind the wheel Drive with parent or other licensed driver Driver’s exam (behind the wheel) LICENSE Clear guidelines for safe driving
Typical Steps to a Gambling License Minimum gambling age LICENSE Unclear guidelines for low-risk gambling
Only Two Appropriate Decisions Not to gamble at all, To gamble legally, socially, recreationally, occasionally, and appropriately.
What Can We Say? Abstinence is a safe and acceptable lifelong decision that many young people are choosing.
Abstinence can be a lifelong decision. However, if you choose to gamble when you reach the legal age, we want you to know how to do so safely and appropriately.
Whether When deciding whether or not to gamble, ask yourself these questions: Do you understand that you’ll probably lose, and accept the loss as part of the game? Do you know that you cannot control chance? 22
Whether (cont.) Do you avoid borrowing money to gamble? Do you make gambling a social activity with friends? Do you know that gambling should not be the only form of recreation in your life? Do you know the warning signs of problem gambling? 23
Whether (cont.) Do you know there are times when people should not gamble? Including when: It interferes with work, school or family responsibilities. In recovery from problem gambling. And, for many, when in recovery from chemical dependency or other addictions. 24
Whether (cont.) The form of gambling is illegal. Under the legal gambling age. Trying to make up for a gambling loss or series of losses (chasing). The gambling is prohibited by an organizational or employer policy. 25
When If a person decides to gamble socially, the question then becomes: When is it appropriate to gamble? 26
Ask yourself these questions: Are you gambling when you’re: Feeling lonely, angry, depressed or under stress? Trying to solve any personal or family problems? Trying to impress others? Trying to cope with the death or loss of a loved one? Using alcohol or other drugs? 27
Are you letting gambling interfere with or become a substitute for family, friends or work? Are you using gambling as a way to cope with emotional or physical pain? Are you setting a time limit and sticking to it, whether you’re winning or losing? Would you reexamine your decision to gamble if it becomes difficult to resist the urge to gamble? 28
How Much Do you agree that the money you spend on gambling is an entertainment expense, not an essential expense? To find out, ask yourself these questions: 29
Do you avoid setting acceptable spending and time limits prior to beginning to gamble and sticking to them? Are you gambling money you need for your day-to-day expenses? Do you borrow money to gamble? Are you chasing losses or trying to recoup/make up for a loss? Are you hiding your losses? Do you gamble on credit or debit cards or misuse your checking account? 30
Clear Guidelines can: • Provide direction for making decisions about gambling • Provide direction for intervening with someone whose gambling concerns you
A recent Gallup Poll found: • 94% of Americans feel it is there responsibility to speak up to a friend or loved one who has a problem with alcohol or other drugs. • Only 38% feel comfortable doing so.
Messages that tell us to keep quiet: • “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” • “Judge not lest we be judged.” • “If you live in a glass house, you’d better not throw stones.”
Messages (cont.) • “I don’t know enough about problems like alcoholism, drug addiction or gambling to know when to talk to someone.” • “What if I make a mistake and say something wrong? Will I be sued?” • “I don’t want to get involved in someone’s personal business.”
Prevention An active process of creating conditions and fostering personal attributes that promote the well-being of people.
Multiple Efforts • Prevention strategies showing greatest promise of effectiveness focus on change at multiple levels: - Individuals - Family - School - Communities
Institute of Medicine (IOM)Prevention Classification Universal Programs that address an entire population (e.g. all 8th graders, all community members) Selective Programs that focus on groups exposed to greater levels of risk (e.g. children of pathological gamblers, highly mobile populations) Indicated Programs that are designed for individuals who exhibit risk-taking behaviors (e.g. students already experimenting with gambling or drugs)
Discussion What Works in Prevention
Six Prevention Strategies[Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP)] Information Dissemination Prevention Education Alternative Activities Community-based Processes Environmental Approaches Problem Identification and Referral