Problem Gambling in Arkansas Issues, Answers, and Resources
Introductions • Materials provided by Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention (Division of Behavioral Health Services, AR Dept. of Human Services) • Regional Prevention Resource Centers – who we are and what we do
Session Objectives • Define problem gambling • List consequences of problem gambling • Identify risk factors for problem gambling • Identify warning signs of problem gambling • Provide resources for those who need assistance with gambling concerns
What is Problem Gambling? • Problem gambling is gambling behavior which causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational. • Includes, but is not limited to, the condition known as "Pathological", or "Compulsive" Gambling
What is Compulsive Gambling? Progressive addictioncharacterized by: • increasing preoccupation with gambling • the need to bet more money more frequently • restlessness/irritability when trying to stop • loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences.
Prevalence of Problem Gambling • 8 million problem gamblers nationwide • 3 million who meet criteria for compulsive gambling
Past Year Adult Addiction Rates Source: National Council on Problem Gambling
Who Gambles? • Gambling crosses age, education and economic lines.
Causes Role of the reward system - Norepinephrine - Dopamine - Serotonin Role of altered brain function, due to:- Brain-altering drugs- Traumatic brain injury
The Consequences of Problem Gambling Can Be Severe • Financial: stealing, fraud, bankruptcy • Psychological: depression, suicide, ATOD abuse • Social: isolation, withdrawal • Family: isolation, neglect and abuse • Legal: felony offenses, incarceration • Vocational: decline in work performance, job loss
Risk Factors • Other behavior or mood disorders • Your age • Your sex • Location • Family influence • Medications used to treat Parkinson's disease • Certain personality characteristics
Senior Citizens • Growth in gambling is no greater than in any other group. • Often starts as a social activity. • Can become a coping mechanism after a life change (death of spouse, loss of friends, etc.) • Cognitive impairments can affect decision making • Older adults don’t have working years to recover losses.
Young Adults • Popularity of televised gambling has created excitement and acceptance of gambling. • Young people are two to three times more likely to suffer from problem gambling than adults. • Strong correlation exists between gambling and alcohol or other drugs. • Source: National Council of Problem Gambling
At High Risk:Rates of Problem Gambling by Age Sources: Carlson & Moore, 1998; Shaffer & Hall, 2001; Moore, 2001; Volberg, 2001
Signs of Compulsive Gambling • Gaining a thrill from taking big gambling risks • Taking increasingly bigger gambling risks • A preoccupation with gambling • Reliving past gambling experiences • Taking time from work or family life to gamble
Signs of Compulsive Gambling • Concealing gambling • Feeling guilt or remorse after gambling • Borrowing money or stealing to gamble • Failed efforts to cut back on gambling • Lying to hide gambling • In severe cases, financial ruin, legal trouble, loss of career and family, and even suicide
When to Seek Help • It's affecting your relationships, your finances or your work life • You're devoting more and more time and energy to gambling pursuits • You've unsuccessfully tried to stop or cut back on your gambling • You try to conceal your gambling from family or health professionals • You resort to theft or fraud to get gambling money • You ask others to bail you out of financial woes because you've gambled money away
How Can You Help a Problem Gambler? • Take a straightforward approach. • Express care and concern. • Be specific about the behavior. • Listen with empathy. • Set expectations: • What you hope they will do; and • What you are willing to do.
Professional Help in Arkansas 1-800-522-4700 (Helpline) • Ft. Smith • Springdale • Hot Springs • Bentonville • Little Rock • West Memphis 501-686-9953 (ADAP)
Preparing for your Appointment • Write down all the feelings you're experiencing, even if they seem unrelated to your problem. Be sure to note what triggers your gambling, whether you've tried to resist the urge to gamble, and the effect that gambling has had on your life. • Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes. • Make a list of all medications, as well as any vitamins or supplements, that you're taking. Better yet, take the original bottles and a written list of the dosages and directions.
Treatments and Drugs • Psychotherapy / Cognitive Behavioral Therapy • Group therapy • Medications • Self-help groups
Prevention • Avoid gambling in any form • Don’t spend time with people who gamble • Steer clear of places where gambling occurs • Get treatment at the earliest sign of a problem
Responsible Gambling Tips • Gambling isn’t a way to make money • Gamble only with money you can afford to lose • Set a money limit and stick to it • Set a time limit and stick to it • Don’t use losses as a reason to change your limit • Don’t gamble when you are depressed or upset
Acknowledgments • Mayo Clinichttp://www.mayoclinic.com • National Council on Problem Gamblinghttp://www.ncpgambling.org • Minnesota Department of Human Services • Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, AR DHSwww.arkansas.gov/dhs/dmhs