Alcohol Concern Cymru and the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPysch) Wales have published a joint report on the links between alcohol misuse and gambling, exploring key policy implications and recommendations.
The press release includes warnings from professionals who identify links in addictive behaviours and the limited recognition of problem gambling and associated research. The report includes a "snapshot" survey of 66 people from which one in six respondents who had sought help for alcohol misuse said they had also experienced problems with gambling. BBC report here.
Mark Leyshon from Alcohol Concern Cymru said:
“Both alcohol misuse and excessive gambling can be regarded as significant public health problems, with adverse consequences to individuals and the wider society... It is likely, however, that mechanisms proposed in the alcohol field, such as restricting the availability of alcohol, tightening marketing rules, and providing tougher measures to protect the young, may be equally effective in curtailing problematic gambling.
Professor Jim Orford from Gambling Watch UK backed the report’s findings:
“The field of gambling studies has a great deal to learn from its alcohol counterpart, which is much better and longer established. Gambling Watch UK welcomes this report and fully endorses its recommendations. Problem gambling is now as prevalent as the problematic use of illicit drugs, but gets minimal attention by comparison. We need to start taking it far more seriously.”
The report’s key recommendations include:
- Further research into: the effects of curtailing gambling opportunities, the identification of problematic gambling, and new treatments that can be used to tackle this issue
- Access to treatment for both alcohol and gambling problems to be available and well-funded, and screening for gambling problems should be routine in substance misuse services
- Greater protection to children and young people against potentially addictive products such as alcohol and gambling
- A national database to capture the scope of problems associated with gambling, and this should feed into national strategies for managing addictions.
GamCare provides support, information and advice to anyone suffering through a gambling problem. Gambleaware also offers signposting and support and information on Gamblers Anonymous is here. See here for alcohol support or call Drinkline 0800 917 82 82.