A counselling line for problem and pathological gambling in South Africa: Preliminary data analysis

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Gambling addiction hotline

Gambling Addiction Treatment and Rehab

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Gambling addiction hotline routines

Postby Faeshicage В» 14.08.2019

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Objective: Various countries and states have established telephone counselling lines for people with pathological or problem gambling.

Data from such services may contribute to describing systematically the nature of gambling problems in a particular area. To date, however, few data have been published on such a telephone counselling line in a low or middle income country. Method: Data on calls to the telephone counselling line of the National Responsible Gambling Foundation of South Africa were captured over a 6-month period.

Such data include socio-demographic variables, the primary reason for calling, the source of the referral, preferred method of gambling, impairment as a consequence of gambling, and history of treatment for psychiatric disorders, comorbid alcohol abuse and illicit drug use.

Conclusion: These data from South Africa are consistent with prior research indicating that pathological and problem gambling are seen in a range of socio-demographic groups, and that such behaviour is associated with significant morbidity and comorbidity. More work is needed locally to inform younger gamblers, gamblers using the informal gambling sector, and unemployed gamblers of the existing telephone counselling lines. Pathological gambling has been officially recognized in the psychiatric nomenclature for three decades.

Diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling currently share similarities with those of drug and alcohol dependence, including features of diminished control, tolerance, withdrawal, and impairment in important activities American Psychiatric Association, Within the health sector, telephone counselling services constitute an important first point of contact for individuals seeking assistance. Telephone counselling services can be divided into two broad categories: generalist services that target the community as a whole and deal with a range of issues e.

Lifeline , and specialist services that either address a particular issue e. Childline or target a specific segment of the community. Specialist services are further subdivided into crisis counselling and referral services that usually provide anonymous counselling, often at a time of crisis, and continued support services that provide on-going counselling as required.

Various countries have established telephone counselling lines for people with pathological or problem gambling e. There is a small literature on telephone counselling services for pathological and problem gambling, which notes a number of potential advantages of such services.

They may, for example, serve as a catalyst for encouraging individuals to make the next step towards conventional interventions. For example, Weinstock et al. Potenza et al. To our knowledge, the majority of work done on gambling counselling lines has emerged from developed countries. Abait and Folino conducted a study on callers to a gambling helpline in Argentina.

They detected a high prevalence of affective disorders, suicide thoughts and attempts as well as financial and marital troubles. Some specific local characteristics related to the gambling preferences and their association to smoking were found.

Their findings also supported the theory that the helpline might have a preventive effect at early stages of the course of pathological gambling and provide empirical bases for appropriate service planning in developing countries.

In South Africa, legalized gambling expanded rapidly during the latter part of the 20 th century, after a change in the Gambling Act 10 Collins et al. A National Responsible Gambling Foundation, established in in order to help prevent and reduce pathological gambling, established a counselling line. It is available 24 hours a day, days a year. The line is toll-free from landlines. Public landlines are easily accessible. The counsellors inform callers who phone from mobile phones that the NRGP prefer to carry the cost of the calls and therefore the counsellors call them back on their mobile phone numbers.

This is the first-point of contact for expert advice on gambling for many, including individuals with problem gambling; family, friends, or work colleagues; gambling venue workers; and health professionals. The counselling line is widely advertised, using a range of methods, including stickers on slot machines and in gambling venues; newspaper, radio and television advertisements; and the yellow pages.

The counselling line is operated by six counsellors, who have been trained in gambling problems, and who receive weekly supervision from a clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist. When individuals call the NRGP counselling line, counsellors focus on developing a relationship and on providing psycho-education.

They draw on the principles of motivational intervention. Where appropriate, callers are referred for a comprehensive face to face evaluation with a registered psychologist or social worker in their geographical area.

The NRGP treatment network consists of 85 mental health professionals clinical psychologists and social workers in each of the major centres as well as various other towns in South Africa and Namibia Collins et al. Where indicated, treatment practitioners are able to provide an evidence-based treatment program free of charge.

Treatment practitioners meet annually to undergo training, and are also able to obtain consultation from a NRGP psychiatrist. Our aim in this paper is to provide data from callers to the NRGP counselling line, describing socio-demographic and clinical features, as well as providing data on comorbidity and morbidity. We provide baseline data on callers to the counselling line, as well as information on who is not calling, so that appropriate interventions can be made in the future to encourage a larger and more representative volume of callers.

As part of a routine procedure, the NRGP telephone counselling line records various data from callers. In accordance with the clinical literature on using audits to improve services, we retrospectively evaluated these calls, with a particular focus on who was and was not using the NRGP telephone counselling lines. This was done with the full support and encouragement of the National Responsible Gambling Foundation.

For the purpose of this analysis only first-time callers who were seeking treatment as a result of their own gambling were included. Exclusion criteria included callers younger than 18, already case-managed by the NRGP, hoax callers, family members, gamblers who contacted the line to have their self-exclusions lifted, callers with evidence of intellectual disability or language difficulties, and callers who refused to give information about themselves.

Standard statistical methods were used to analyse categorical and dimensional variables. Callers ranged in age from years, with a mean age of 37 years, standard deviation Callers called the line a mean of seven years after their gambling first began.

Among the illegal activities mentioned by callers, the following were noted: fraudulent loans, embezzlement and counterfeit cheques. Fourteen percent of callers reported having received help for other psychiatric disorders. The main findings of this report are that in the low-middle income context of South Africa, 1 callers to a telephone counselling line for problem and pathological gambling represent a broad range of socio-demographic groups; 2 problem and pathological gambling behaviour is associated with significant morbidity and comorbidity; and 3 younger gamblers, gamblers using the informal gambling sector, and unemployed gamblers seem less likely to make use of the NRGP counselling line.

These findings are in many ways consistent with findings in more developed countries. Such data reflect community level data on socio-demographic correlates of gambling. The type of gambling most commonly recorded in callers slot machines, casino games to the NRGP telephone counselling lines largely reflects findings from national surveys of gambling behaviour in South Africa South African National Gambling Board, National Statistics. Nevertheless, other gambling segments, particularly informal gambling as is seen in shebeens , are also common in the country as a whole, and were less commonly reported by callers.

Similarly, calls were weighted toward gamblers who were in their thirties, and those in full-time employment, whereas the South-African population as a whole is currently weighted towards the youth, and comprises a large number ofunemployed individuals Quarterly Labour Force Survey, The rate of suicidal ideation among callers to the NRGP helpline is significantly higher than the rate which was found among a nationally representative sample in South Africa, where estimated lifetime prevalence of suicidal ideation was 9.

Callers noted several precipitants for seeking help. It is unclear whether gambling precipitates suicidality or whether underlying mood disturbances lead to both gambling and suicidality.

Examining the relationship between comorbidity of depression and presence of suicidality, as well as that between severity of gambling symptoms and extent of suicidality may help shed light on this question. Furthermore, all published data on the association of suicidality and gambling is from high income countries, and the nature of this relationship in low and middle income countries such as South Africa has not been explored.

Despite these limitations, the results obtained are the first to explore the relationship between gambling and suicidality in South Africa, and they have clinical implications for understanding and assessing individuals with gambling disorders.

It is important that individuals with gambling disorders be assessed for suicidality and comorbid psychiatric disorders, including depression, and treated for these conditions. Conversely, due to the strong relationship between gambling, suicidality and psychiatric disorders, individuals with psychiatric disorders should be screened for gambling problems.

The results have additional implications for treatment of individuals with problem or pathological gambling. Awareness of risk factors for suicidality, which overlap in part with risk factors for suicide in depression, is important in the counselling of these individuals, and may be a useful tool for helping to prevent suicide. The data do not address the question of whether a counselling line can effectively prevent or reduce problem and pathological gambling.

Nevertheless, an average of a hundred callers per month is referred on for treatment by NRGP counsellors. At the same time, our data suggest that not all segments of society are aware of or able to access the help-line; in particular younger gamblers years , gamblers using the informal gambling sector, and unemployed gamblers seem less likely to make use of the NRGP counselling line.

Such findings are in line with national trends in health service utilization in the country as a whole, where barriers to treatment, particularly in those from low socioeconomic groups, persist Bruwer et al. There are a number of limitations of the current study that should be emphasized.

First, the data were gathered during a single 6-month period; there may be fluctuations, often as a result of festive seasons or year-end bonuses received, in the nature of callers over the course of a year.

Second, the majority of variables recorded are self-report in nature; a clinical interview may have produced different data. Callers may have minimized comorbid substance use problems in an effort to obtain access to gambling services. Despite these limitations, this study provides relevant preliminary data on callers to a gambling telephone counselling line in a low-middle-income country. The counselling line is accessed by a broad range of individuals, many of whom have significant morbidity and comorbidity, and who are then appropriately referred for treatment.

More work is needed locally on how best to encourage problem and pathological gamblers to seek help, including how best to inform younger gamblers, gamblers using the informal gambling sector, and unemployed gamblers, of the existing telephone counselling lines. No other financial support was received for this study. DJS and AP were responsible for the study supervision. HS was responsible for the study concept and design and the analysis and interpretation of the data.

National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List J Behav Addict v. J Behav Addict. Published online Aug STEIN 1. DAN J. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Objective: Various countries and states have established telephone counselling lines for people with pathological or problem gambling. Introduction Pathological gambling has been officially recognized in the psychiatric nomenclature for three decades. Methods As part of a routine procedure, the NRGP telephone counselling line records various data from callers.

Results Callers ranged in age from years, with a mean age of 37 years, standard deviation Table 1. Demographics of sample. Open in a separate window. Discussion The main findings of this report are that in the low-middle income context of South Africa, 1 callers to a telephone counselling line for problem and pathological gambling represent a broad range of socio-demographic groups; 2 problem and pathological gambling behaviour is associated with significant morbidity and comorbidity; and 3 younger gamblers, gamblers using the informal gambling sector, and unemployed gamblers seem less likely to make use of the NRGP counselling line.

Conflict of interest The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Re: gambling addiction hotline routines

Postby Tomi В» 14.08.2019

When you hotline, you will be connected to the crisis center nearest you. Awareness of risk factors for suicidality, which overlap in part with risk factors for suicide in depression, is routines in the counselling of these individuals, and may be a useful tool for helping to prevent suicide. Stages of puberty Getting medical care as a student Breast changes in older women Tips to prevent RSI Safe lifting tips 5 causes of premature death. At the same time, our data suggest that not all games depression test of society are aware of or able to access the help-line; in particular younger gamblers years addiction, gamblers using the informal gambling sector, and unemployed gamblers seem less likely to make use of the NRGP counselling line. Take the gambling factor out.

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Re: gambling addiction hotline routines

Postby Jurisar В» 14.08.2019

Conclusion: These data from South Africa are consistent hotlne prior research indicating that pathological and problem gambling are seen in a range of socio-demographic groups, and that such behaviour is associated with significant morbidity and comorbidity. Moran S. Journal of American Academy of Psychiatry and Law.

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Re: gambling addiction hotline routines

Postby Zulutilar В» 14.08.2019

Contrary to what many believe, addiction is not an exclusively physiological condition. Second, the majority of variables recorded are self-report in nature; a clinical interview may have produced different data. The distinct dopamine spike gambling elicits can create a craving to fulfill itself again and again. Euro Palace.

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Re: gambling addiction hotline routines

Postby Nijas В» 14.08.2019

This was done with the full support and encouragement of the Hotline Responsible Gambling Foundation. In the event you quit gambling or try hotlins quit gambling, your brain will find gambling addiction wolf images difficult to cope with producing gambling without external stimuli and this can result in withdrawal symptoms. Gamblers Anonymous is a national peer-to-peer support group that follows a traditional step addiction treatment program and offers routines meetings in every U. Take a look at your patterns and, most importantly, your current capacity addiction set and stick to limits.

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