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Program Aims To Reduce Underage Gambling At Family/Youth Events

YOU(th) Decide Program is designed to be a multi-dimensional prevention effort aimed at reducing underage gambling.
YOU(th) Decide Program is designed to be a multi-dimensional prevention effort aimed at reducing underage gambling. Photo Credit: Matthew Powell at Flickr

PUTNAM COUNTY, N.Y. --  The National Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependencies/Putnam (NCADD) has joined forces with the New York Council on Problem Gambling to carry out the YOU(th) Decide Program in Putnam County.

2017 marks the sixth year that the New York Council on Problem Gambling has worked with local providers in an effort to prevent underage and problem gambling.

YOU(th) Decide Program is designed to be a multi-dimensional prevention effort aimed at reducing underage gambling. Local providers participating in the YOU(th) Decide Project will educate 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, according to a release from NCADD.

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 (Welte, 2007).

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 his/her family and friends. The younger an adolescent begins gambling, the more likely he/she is to develop a gambling addiction. Underage gamblers are at an increased risk of delinquency and crime, damaged relationships and poor academic performance (Wynne et al., 1996).

There is not just one person, nor just one group of people, affected by underage gambling; and there is not just one risk factor or protective factor that plays a role in underage gambling, according to the release.

Additionally, there is not just 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, the release said.

Parents or their children who would like to learn more about YOU(th) Decide, or would like to get involved can contact Juliette Doyle at (845) 225-4646.

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.

Find out more about the program at YOUthDecideNY.org.

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