Drink and Drugs News DDN July 2018 | Page 13

More on problem gambling at www.drinkanddrugsnews.com ALL BETS ARE • Developmental disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or difficulties with cognitive or intellectual functioning Adverse experiences in childhood. To be treated at CNWL’s national problem gambling clinic, people can self-refer or be referred. If accepted for treatment, a proven and effective help is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which is provided on an individual and group basis. Psychodynamic psychotherapy is another option and may be used with those who have failed to maintain abstinence using CBT methods, or for those who are clear that there are emotional reasons for their lapses. With the emphasis also on the family, the clinic offers behavioural couples therapy, while another option is medication, specifically naltrexone to suppress cravings. What’s clear is the gratitude of patients helped by the clinic, who through our help have managed to rebuild their lives. To mark its work, the clinic is also holding a conference at the Wellcome Collection in Euston Road on 8 October from 10am to 4pm. The NHSSMPA behaviour change conference also takes place at the Wellcome Collection, on 17 September where CNWL will be presenting its work to delegates. For more information, or for NHS providers to find out how to be part of the alliance visit www.nhs-substance-misuse-provider-alliance.org.uk. Jody Lombardini is head of addictions at CNWL Danny Hames is head of development at NHSSMPA www.drinkanddrugsnews.com Gambling participation in 2017: behaviour, awareness and attitudes at www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk Gambling: the hidden addiction at www.rcpsych.ac.uk July/August 2018 | drinkanddrugsnews | 13 • GAMBLING MADE NATIONAL HEADLINES with the government’s recent move to cut the maximum stake on highly controversial FOBTs from £100 to £2 (DDN, June, page 4), but how big is the UK’s gambling problem? It’s certainly large enough for PHE to launch an evidence review into its public health harms, and according to the Gambling Commission 45 per cent of people will have gambled in the last four weeks (although this includes activities like taking part in National Lottery draws or buying scratchcards). The industry’s marketing budget is also huge, with betting companies spending around £150m a year on TV advertising alone – research by the BBC last year found that around 95 per cent of advertising breaks during live UK football matches had at least one gambling advert. Using the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI), 3.9 per cent of adults are categorised as ‘at-risk’ gamblers, while 0.8 per cent per cent of people over the age of 16 now identify as problem gamblers – defined as gambling ‘to a degree that compromises, disrupts or damages family, personal or recreational pursuits’. According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ 2014 report, Gambling: the hidden addiction, the harm doesn’t stop there. For every problem gambler there are between eight and ten other people who are ‘directly affected’ – children, friends, family members and spouses, some of whom will experience domestic violence. The same document pointed out that treatment services, funded ‘almost exclusively’ by the industry itself, remained largely ‘underdeveloped, geographically patchy, or simply nonexistent’. The Gambling Commission identifies the British gambling market as ‘one of the most accessible’ in the world, with a proliferation of betting shops on the high street and the internet bringing opportunities to gamble into ‘virtually every home’. While gambling is clearly something that many people will enjoy as an occasional pastime – having ‘a flutter’ on the World Cup, for example – for a minority it can lead to loss of their relationship, family, job, home and even life. OFF Are Britain’s betting problems getting out of hand?