The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has released two studies focused on gambling attitudes and behaviors among Iowa adolescents and college students, and a third study on problem gambling treatment outcomes.
The Iowa Youth Survey 2012: Problem Gambling Questions Report, prepared by the Iowa Consortium for Substance Abuse Research and Evaluation at the University of Iowa, reviewed gambling attitudes and behaviors among Iowa’s 6th, 8th, and 11th graders. The findings indicate that males (38 percent) are more than twice as likely to have ever gambled compared to females (14 percent). “The report also found higher rates of alcohol use, binge drinking, tobacco use, drug use, and thoughts of suicide among adolescents as frequency of gambling increased,” said Eric Preuss of the IDPH Office of Problem Gambling Treatment and Prevention.
A second study conducted by the University of Northern Iowa Center for Social and Behavioral Research, Gambling Attitudes and Behaviors Among College Students (2013), found nearly seven in 10 respondents gambled in the previous year and 10 percent met criteria for problem gambling. “Responses to the study suggest that college students don’t see gambling as a potentially serious issue, similar to other addictive behaviors like substance abuse,” said Preuss.
The Iowa Gambling Treatment Outcomes System: 2013, also conducted by the UNI Center for Social and Behavioral Research using statewide problem gambling treatment data gathered by IDPH, reviewed outcomes data for 2013 and showed that treatment is effective. “Gambling behaviors reported at follow-up was nearly zero for those completing treatment,” said Preuss.
All these studies can be viewed in their entirety at www.idph.state.ia.us/IGTP/Reports.aspx.
The IDPH Office of Problem Gambling Treatment and Prevention works to reduce the harm caused by problem gambling by funding a range of services for Iowans. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem call 1-800-BetsOff or go to www.1800BetsOff.org.