The Chautauqua Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Council (CASAC), NCADD's Jamestown, NY Affiliate, has received funding from the New York Council on Problem Gambling to carry-out the YOU(th) Decide Project in Chautauqua County.
2015 marks the fourth year that the New York Council on Problem Gambling has given out mini-grants to local providers in an effort to prevent underage and problem gambling. CASAC has participated for each of the four years.
Underage gambling is a public health issue. There is no one person, or group of people, who are affected by underage gambling. There is no one risk factor or protective factor that plays a role in underage gambling. There is no one strategy that will, alone, prevent underage gambling. A variety of strategies targeted at all levels of impact is the only effective way to prevent and de-normalize underage gambling.
In New York State, as in many other states, you must be at least 18 years of age to legally gamble. However, the most recent research indicates that among United States youth between the ages of 14 and 21, 68 percent have gambled in the past year, and 11 percent have gambled twice a week or more. Of those youth, 6.5 percent are at-risk for, or have already developed, a gambling problem.
Underage gambling brings with it a number of negative consequences, many of which are serious, and can be devastating to the youth as well as their family and friends. The younger an adolescent begins gambling, the more likely they are to develop a gambling addiction.
Examples of the negative consequences include: an increased risk of delinquency and crime, damaged relationships and poor academic performance. Youth who gamble are also more likely than their non-gambling peers to develop mental health issues including depression and alcohol/substance abuse disorders, to attempt suicide and to maintain poor general health.
YOU(th) Decide is designed to be a multi-dimensional prevention effort aimed at reducing underage gambling. Local providers participating in the 2015 YOU(th) Decide Project will use the funds to conduct face-to-face educational sessions with youth, work with local community leaders to decrease the availability of gambling at family and youth-focused events, and will conduct media and outreach campaigns.
CASAC's mission is to build a safer, healthier community by effectively addressing alcohol, other drugs and related high-risk behaviors through Advocacy, Hope, and Awareness.
The New York Council on Problem Gambling is a not-for-profit independent corporation dedicated to increasing public awareness about problem and compulsive gambling and advocating for support services and treatment for persons adversely affected by gambling. The Council maintains a neutral stance on gambling and is governed by a Board of Directors. For more information, go to www.YOUthDecide.org or contact:
Melanie Witkowski , Prevention Specialist
Chautauqua Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Council
501 W. Third Street, Suites 3 & 4
Jamestown, NY 14701
Jaime D. Costello, CPP, Gambling Prevention Specialist/Special Programs Manager
New York Council on Problem Gambling
100 Great Oaks Boulevard
Albany, NY 12203