The Hour House in Effingham, IL has recently announced its participation in the 2023 Gift Responsibly Campaign, which is aimed at raising awareness about the risks of underage lottery use. This initiative is being organized by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and the International Center for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University.
Research has shown that exposure to gambling at a young age can significantly increase the likelihood of developing a gambling problem in adulthood. Often, this exposure occurs through lottery products like tickets or scratch-offs, which are sometimes given to children by adults who are unaware of the potential risks.
Melissa Parker, the Gambling Coordinator for the Hour House, emphasized the importance of early intervention when it comes to reaching adolescents. She highlighted the fact that what may seem harmless as a teenager could turn into a more serious issue in adulthood.
As part of the Gift Responsibly Campaign, the Hour House will be providing services to young adults and working to promote awareness about the risks of underage lottery use. This will involve creating public service announcements, utilizing social media platforms to spread the word, and distributing marketing materials to local vendors.
Keith Whyte, the NCPG Executive Director, commended the participating organizations for their commitment to raising awareness about the risks of youth gambling. He stressed the importance of insisting that lottery tickets are never appropriate gifts for children, given the potential long-term risks associated with underage gambling exposure.
The Hour House is a community-based, not-for-profit corporation that offers services to address substance use disorders and other therapeutic needs. They operate 10 sites within their geographic area and are dedicated to helping individuals recover from addiction “an hour at a time.”
The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) is the only national nonprofit organization that seeks to minimize the economic and social costs associated with gambling addiction. They offer help and support through the National Problem Gambling Hotline, which is available 24/7 and is free and confidential.
The International Center for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University has been at the forefront of leading-edge research aimed at understanding youth gambling issues for over 20 years. Their work focuses on identifying and understanding critical factors related to youth gambling problems.
In summary, the Hour House’s participation in the Gift Responsibly Campaign is a crucial step in raising awareness about the risks of underage gambling, and it underscores the importance of addressing this issue to protect young people from developing gambling problems later in life.