Local Programs Statewide Focus on Educating Parents on the Importance of Talking to Their Kids about Gambling and Problem Gambling

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Youth are exposed to gambling now more than ever before, therefore, The New York Council on Problem Gambling is working with local Prevention Councils statewide, including Chautauqua Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Council (CASAC), to educate parents of school age youth about gambling and problem gambling and to encourage them to talk to their kids about the issue.

The New York Council on Problem Gambling 2013 Problem Gambling Parent Education and Outreach Project is a statewide, coordinated effort to raise awareness of problem gambling with parents. The project focuses on raising awareness through face to face parent education sessions, information dissemination, and through various advertising efforts including web, television, and print. The 2013 activities and messages for this project are projected to reach approximately one million parents across New York State.

According to the results of a 2011 survey administered to Chautauqua County students by the Chautauqua Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Council:

56.2% of 7-12th graders reported they had gambled in the past year (compared to 48% statewide.)

According to the results of a survey conducted by the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services:

48% of 7-12th graders statewide reported they had gambled in the past year

10% of adolescents in NYS (about 140,000) have had problems due to their gambling.

An additional 10% are at risk for problem gambling

Children and adolescents are more likely to gamble if they witness adults gambling, and especially if the adults show interest and excitement about gambling. Adolescents and adults with gambling problems frequently report being first introduced to gambling by family members. Fortunately, children also indicate that they would turn to their parents for help if they ever experienced problems with gambling.

Parents play a crucial role in educating their kids about gambling. Children need to be taught that gambling is an occasional activity meant for entertainment only, not as a way to make money, and that there are certain risks and negative consequences associated with engaging in gambling activities. Parents should also discourage friends and family members from giving Lottery tickets or engaging in other forms of gambling with their children.

Patricia Z Munson, CASAC Executive Director, is pleased to announce that Tony Bellanca he has returned to CASAC to work part-time on this grant. Tony provided gambling prevention services at CASAC for several years before retiring in 201. Tony can be reached at CASAC at 664-3608, or for more information on Problem Gambling and Your Kids visit http://www.nyproblemgambling.org.

Since 1974, CASAC has provided prevention services for problems related to alcohol, other drugs and gambling issues to the residents of Chautauqua County. CASAC is the only New York State Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) approved and supported prevention agency in Chautauqua County, is one of forty community-based Councils across the state and is one of over two-hundred nationwide. CASAC is a United Way funded agency.