Drink and Drugs News DDN December 2019 - Page 5

News DDN EVERY DAY All the news, updated daily www.drinkanddrugsnews.com Almost 70 per cent of 20-year-olds gamble S ixty-eight per cent of 20-year-olds had participated in gambling in the last year, according to a study by GambleAware. While this fell slightly to 66 per cent for 24-year-olds, the study found that more than half of 17-year-olds had already gambled in the previous year. To protect these vulnerable young people from gambling harm requires a combination of education, legislation and appropriate treatment services The findings are part of an in-depth longitudinal study commissioned by the charity, which measures young people’s gambling habits at 17, 20 and 24 years of age using samples of more than 3,500 for each group, as well as survey data and interviews with parents. Regular weekly gamblers were more likely to be male and had already ‘developed habits and patterns of play’ by the time they were 20, researchers found. Young people whose parents WWW.DRINKANDDRUGSNEWS.COM gambled were more likely to gamble themselves, and regular gamblers were also found to be more frequent users of social media. Regular gamblers were also likely to have lower wellbeing scores, smoke cigarettes daily and drink more alcohol. Buying scratchcards, playing the lottery and placing private bets with friends were the most common forms of gambling behaviour overall, although levels of online betting activity rose sharply from 9 per cent at 17 to 35 per cent at 20 and almost 50 per cent by the age of 24. ‘Although many young people gambled without any harm, a small minority of males showed problem gambling behaviours associated with poor mental health and wellbeing, involvement in crime, and potentially harmful use of drugs and alcohol,’ said emeritus professor of child health at Bristol Medical School’s Centre for Academic Child Health, Alan Emond. ‘To protect these vulnerable young people from gambling harm requires a combination of education, legislation and appropriate treatment services.’ According to NHS Digital’s latest Health survey for England, meanwhile, almost 40 per cent of adults said they had participated in some form of gambling activity during the last year, excluding the National Lottery. Fifteen per cent of men had taken part in online gambling, compared to 4 per cent of women. Health survey for England 2018 at digital.nhs.uk See centre pages for our supple- ment on gambling-related harm URGENT SUPPORT IS NEEDED FOR SUBSTANCE MISUSE SERVICES to deliver hepatitis C care, says the Hepatitis C Trust’s manifesto, Leave no one behind. This should include ‘immediate investment after years of funding cuts’, it states. The manifesto also calls for changes in legislation to allow hep C medication to be dispensed by community services such as pharmacies, guidance to improve the system for transferring prisoners’ care and a nationwide strategy to reach the estimated 100,000 people still living with hep C without knowing it. Manifesto at www.hepctrust.org.uk Frontline staff need domestic abuse training Local News LIT UP The Blue Light Project in Sandwell has won the public health and wellbeing category of the Guardian Public Service awards. This follows an RSPH healthier lifestyles award for the project, which focuses on ‘hard to reach’ clients with co-occurring alcohol and mental health issues. ASPIRE TO IT DISCUSSING ISSUES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE is a key skill for frontline staff and more work needs to be done to train professionals at substance misuse services, the government’s domestic abuse commissioner Nicola Jacobs told delegates at Adfam's national conference. While the Domestic Abuse Bill had been delayed by the election, Ms Jacobs was hopeful that it would be passed in the new parliament as all parties had committed to it in their manifestos. The bill would improve understanding of what constitutes abuse and will encourage more victims to come forward, she stated. Eight more people have graduated from Doncaster- based Aspire Drug and Alcohol Service’s 15- week volunteer mentor programme. The skills they acquired would ‘play a vital role in connecting and supporting people throughout their recovery journey’, said Aspire volunteer and mentor coordinator Lydia Rice. OUTSIDE IN Let’s do this, says Hepatitis C Trust More work needed to train professionals Nicola Jacobs The Outside Edge theatre company is offering a limited number of free drama and creative writing ‘taster sessions’ in 2020. ‘Participation in our workshops helps to build recovery capital by increasing self-esteem and confidence,’ says the organisation. For more information email Molly at [email protected] DEC 2019-JAN 2020 • DRINK AND DRUGS NEWS • 5