Problem Gambling Prevention and Outreach
Problem gambling prevention programs are aimed at avoiding or reducing the emotional, physical, social, legal, financial, and spiritual consequences of problem gambling for the gambler and family members.
Oregon's prevention efforts use the same framework as the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention's (CSAP) six core prevention strategies and delivered by three separate yet related administrative bodies.
Department of Human Services' (DHS) Problem Gambling Services orchestrate actions to prevent gambling-related problems, promote informed and balanced attitudes, and protect vulnerable groups. These actions include promoting healthy public policy and developing collaborative relationships between various stakeholder groups.
County Governments are provided funds annually to empower communities and strengthen community action. Local governments develop and implement regionally specific prevention plans that include measurable goals and objectives. The prevention plans follow a public health model as a foundation.
The Oregon Lottery allocates about $1.2 million annually for public awareness and education programs designed to provide clear and consistent messages regarding healthy and unhealthy gambling behavior. The "Play Responsibly" campaigns, along with a problem gambling awareness campaign, use television, radio and print media.
Local prevention activities include programs such as working with schools on gambling prevention education, working with senior citizen groups on gambling education, and incorporating gambling prevention into activities aimed at other youth risk factors. A review of research of several problem behaviors and problem gambling suggests that many risk and protective factors are shared. More information on this subject can be obtained from the Problem Gambling Resource Guide.
Outreach efforts are aimed at increasing community awareness about problem gambling so people who need help can connect with the services they need. Outreach efforts are done locally by prevention and treatment specialists who help to increase awareness of problem gambling within the community. They work with community groups, schools, mental health programs, alcohol and drug abuse programs, corrections departments and other health organizations in this effort.
At the statewide level, the Oregon Lottery provides Problem Gambling Awareness and Responsible Play campaigns on TV, radio, and in the print media. The key message of this campaign is that lottery games are for fun and entertainment and should be played as such, and that treatment is available when gambling is "no longer a game."