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Problem Gambling

The Problem Gambling Training Partnership (PGTP)

In spring 2016, NAAP was proud to be among the founding organizations comprising a new partnership.

Commissioner of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Arlene González-Sánchez presenting Kirsty Cardinale, Director of Marketing & Communications at NAAP, with the Proclamation establishing Problem Gambling Awareness Day on March 30, 2016, in Albany, NY.”

Commissioner of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Arlene González-Sánchez presenting Kirsty Mackay, NAAP’s Director of Communications & Marketing, with the Proclamation establishing Problem Gambling Awareness Day on March 30, 2016, in Albany, NY.

This statewide collaboration between the New York Council on Problem Gambling, NAAP, the National Association of Social Workers (NY State Chapter), the New York Mental Health Counselors Association, and the New York Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, is funded by NYS Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (NYS OASAS).

PGTP provides training on assessing and treating problem gambling disorder to psychoanalysts, social workers, mental health counselors, and marriage and family therapists throughout NY state. The partnership represents some 11,000 counseling professionals across NYS.

From May through October 2016, PGTP hosted several conferences in White Plains, Schenectady, and Rochester, NY.

Each conference featured experts in the problem gambling and addictions field in a series of workshops and panel discussion. Presenters included psychoanalysts, mental health counselors, licensed mental health practitioners, researchers, social workers, and marriage and family therapists.

Presentations ranged from an overview of the disorder to advanced clinical training. Longtime NAAP member Inna Rozentsvit, MD, PhD, and Renée Obstfeld, PhD, featured among a stellar roster of professionals. Dr. Rozentsvit presented on the Neurobiology of Problem Gambling/Gambling Addiction, and Dr. Obstfeld presented on the Psychoanalytic Treatment of Problem Gambling.

For more about PGTP and to register for conferences, click here.

As one of the many compulsive and addictive behaviors that contribute to mental suffering, problem gambling Jennifer Harperpresents unique clinical features for the clinician that require special focus and sensitivity. The training being offered via the Problem Gambling Training Partnership is an essential protocol for preparing the savvy clinician to address the range of particular issues confronted by the problem gambler to effect potential treatments in service of positive and long-term, therapeutic resolution."

—Jennifer Harper, Chair of Legislative Affairs Committee



Gambling addiction health issues spike among SA women

More than 50% of South African women gamble.

The South African Responsible Gambling Foundation said gambling addiction takes a shorter time to set in among women, as compared to their male counterparts.

Heidi Sinclair, treatment and counselling manager at the South African Responsible Gambling Foundation, said many female gamblers experience anxiety.

“This is typical of the condition, which is most often accompanied by other disorders. But while this may take the form of psychological issues with women, male gamblers usually often present with alcoholism or drug addiction.”

She said men were more likely to participate in several forms of gambling and are usually willing to spend more on their gambling.

“In contrast women’s gambling frequently centres around activities that require little strategy, like slot machines or Bingo and it’s these activities that may trap them in a cycle of problem gambling. While gambling negatively affects one’s finances, problem gamblers may present other conditions ranging from tachycardia to angina, cirrhosis and other liver disease.” More.

“You can’t hear your heart”

Gambling is a spirit that talks in your ear so that you can’t hear your heart.

Those words came from a member of one of the 27 Native American tribes that live in Nevada. It was a poignant written response to an anonymous survey taken as part of an ongoing study that aims to understand how big a toll is taken by problem gambling among the nearly 60,000 Native Americans in the state.

Seeking that answer is an unlikely duo: an archaeologist who is a recovering problem gambler, and a behavioral researcher and psychotherapist who has seen many of her fellow Cherokee Nation members fall victim to problem gambling.

“Gambling addiction is a public health issue, affecting not only the individuals who suffer from it directly, but also their families, friends, coworkers, and businesses,” says one of the researchers, Desert Research Institute archaeologist Ted Hartwell. He cites one Nevada study that says we have one of the country’s highest rates of problem gambling, about 6.5 percent. “Identifying populations that may suffer disproportionately from this illness can help with the future allocation of resources to identify and successfully treat those affected.” More

How the brain gets addicted to gambling

When Shirley was in her mid-20s she and some friends road-tripped to Las Vegas on a lark. That was the first time she gambled. Around a decade later, while working as an attorney on the East Coast, she would occasionally sojourn in Atlantic City. By her late 40s, however, she was skipping work four times a week to visit newly opened casinos in Connecticut. She played blackjack almost exclusively, often risking thousands of dollars each round—then scrounging under her car seat for 35 cents to pay the toll on the way home. Ultimately, Shirley bet every dime she earned and maxed out multiple credit cards. “I wanted to gamble all the time,” she says. “I loved it—I loved that high I felt.” More