Presentation by: Sean Sullivan
Conference: Cutting Edge Conference 2005
Date: September 2005
Title: An irrelevant issue? AOD clients who present with gambling
Problem gamblers often present with co-existing alcohol and other drug
problems, while AOD clients may present with coexisting gambling problems.
Higher risk gambling is often provided in premises licensed for the sale
of alcohol. Existing, though sparse, evidence indicates that at least
one in ten AOD clients may have a gambling problem, and it could be argued
that may be sufficient to warrant consideration in any AOD treatment plan.
At the Cutting Edge 2000 conference, the presenter reported upon a study
with two AOD services to screen for problem gambling that ultimately proved
to be unsuccessful, suggesting that AOD services may not have then been
motivated to include problem gambling within their interventions. Since
then, the Ministry of Health has assumed responsibility for problem gambling
harm minimisation, and has identified in its strategic plan, the opportunity
for non-gambling treatment specialist health services to identify and
provide early and brief interventions.
As part of larger project, 1,000 AOD clients
throughout New Zealand are currently in the process of participating in
a screening survey to identify whether they are also adversely affected
by gambling. Feedback is also being sought from AOD practitioners as to
their perceptions, and those reported by their clients, of the inclusion
of gambling in their treatment. Findings to date will be reported as to
prevalence of problem gambling, attitudes of clients and practitioners
to inclusion of problem gambling into AOD triage screens, and provision
by AOD practitioners of brief interventions for problem gambling alongside
AOD focussed treatment.