On March 12, 2019, the Division on Addiction is supporting the 6th annual Gambling Disorder Screening Day event. During past years (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), our annual announcement of this event on The BASIS has highlighted the importance of screening, celebrated widespread national and international participation, and repeated calls for key stakeholders to embrace screening for gambling-related problems in multiple contexts. When we first promoted Gambling Disorder Screening Day, we didn’t imagine that it would turn into one of our most popular outreach activities. However, because of key supporters and organizations who have engaged in screening events, Gambling Disorder Screening Day has stimulated clinical organizations to integrate gambling screening into their intake practices, helped identify many people who might have a gambling-related problem, and connected at-risk individuals with resources that might initiate their first step to change.
We’re excited to welcome new registered supporters and screeners, such as Alabama Council on Compulsive Gambling, Illinois Council on Problem Gambling, and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. We’re also excited to have continuing involvement from previous supporters, including, National Council on Problem Gambling, International Gambling Institute – University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Association of Problem Gambling Service Administrators. For a full list of this year’s and previous years’ supporters and screeners, please visit our website. We appreciate everyone’s enthusiastic engagement and anticipate that Gambling Disorder Screening Day will be a great success again this year.
This year, on Gambling Disorder Screening Day, I have the opportunity to speak at the NCAA Sports Wagering and Wellbeing Summit. There I will talk about policies and programs that might help manage youth gambling. More specifically, I will be discussing our national research related to college student gambling, the findings of the Task Force on College Gambling, and research related to college gambling policies over time and in two major North American jurisdictions. I also will use my time at the Summit as an opportunity to spread the word about Gambling Disorder Screening Day to colleges and universities across North America. The prospect of this number of institutions participating in Gambling Disorder Screening Day is exciting and would indicate the NCAA’s and these institutions’ commitment to college student health and wellness. Because college students remain at elevated risk for gambling-related problems, widespread screening represents an important public health opportunity.
For more information about how you can participate in gambling screening, please visit our Gambling Disorder Screening Day toolkit.
— Debi LaPlante
Dr. Debi LaPlante is Director of the Division on Addiction at Cambridge Health Alliance.