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Gambling addicts 'not getting enough help'

The Local/gm · 23 Oct 2011, 09:20

Published: 23 Oct 2011 09:20 GMT+02:00

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Despite recent figures suggesting that nearly 200,000 people in Sweden have some kind of gambling problem the institute has slammed local authorities for not spending enough money dealing with the problem.

At least 50 municipalities provide no treatment at all for compulsive gamblers according to Sweden's National Institute for Public Health (Folkhälsoinstitutet).

“It is very serious for those who are addicted to gambling and for those who live with problem gamblers, Marie Risbäck, coordinator of problem gambling issues at the Institute, told Sveriges Radio (SR).

Gambling problems are especially prevalent among young men, where it is estimated that one in ten between the ages of 18-24 have issues to some degree with over 17 billion kronor ($2.5 billion) wasted just on Svenska Spel, ATG and other ostensibly Swedish betting operations.

Three years ago a survey showed that some 40 municipalities provided no help to those with gambling problems, and the situation has just got worse since, with even fewer resources being made available.

Story continues below…

The Public Health Institute believes that the government on a national and local level is not taking responsibility for doing anything about it.

It has therefore called for a state run action plan for the prevention of problem gambling, clearer rules on betting advertising, and an increase in care and treatment to all those in need.

The Local/gm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:46 October 23, 2011 by Soft Boiled
De ska satsa mer! ;)
10:20 October 23, 2011 by HYBRED
Why would the government want to do anything to help gambling addict's? They do everything to shove gambling in your face to get any money you have left, which is their main goal. They want as many gambling as possible.
10:34 October 23, 2011 by leontan
Gambling is by no means the only 'mental health problem' that the existing government is failing to deal with. Regarding the mental health of refugees for example, many have untreated PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), in some cases with unpleasant outcomes for society. Furthermore, among the Swedish population itself, depression and anxiety disorders are hardly being dealt with, particularly among the younger generation. Keeping in mind that many do not actually seek out treatment because of the stigma associated (e.g. 60-70% of those with phobias never seek out treatment), the government would do well to look carefully at how to reach out and treat these populations, through innovations such as anonymized online therapy services for example. It would also do well to critically evaluate its emphasis on social conformism and norms as these contribute to stigmatization of all who do not 'fit' into the neat box of the lagom Swede... 'deviants' so to speak...
13:23 October 23, 2011 by Noxtion
Here is a suggestion, ban all the commercials that I see on TV that advertise for gambling sites. It seems like every single break they have some commercial promoting how cool and awesome their gambling site is.

Knock those off and you're a 1/4 the way there!
16:51 October 23, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
When do have a gambling problem?

When you lose or when you win?

If you win the government gets taxes from you.

When you lose the government gets your wager money.

19:21 October 23, 2011 by Douglas Garner
I would love to see on-line gambling banned. Government sponsered lottery sites and ticket sales do not bother me as players know that the odds are very limited.

I admit that I have a low tolerance to even carnival games... anything where persons can be lured into thinking that their skill will give them a significant advantage over the house... when most of us know the only sure winner IS the HOUSE.

Perhaps treatment programs could be tied into the collections process for persons with a "losing" problem.
19:27 October 23, 2011 by StuartM
Ironic that Svenska Spel is a state company. Obviously the government think they can make more money getting people addicting to gambling than they lose in having to deal with all the social costs. A cynical and pathetic calculation if you ask me. Let's just ban gambling full stop, block access to all the foreign sites and have a much better, healthier society as a result.
22:39 October 23, 2011 by johan rebel
Abolish Folkhälsoinstitutet!

Like almost all Swedish myndigheter, they have an irrepressible desire to expand.The more people they can designate sick or deviant, the more money and time they can waste on devising cures and solutions. If nobody stops them, soon 100% of the population will officially be diagnosed with some disorder or anomaly that requires intervention or treatment. This being Sweden, there is of course not a single person in the country capable of taking care of himself. The nanny state has to help all these poor people suck their thumbs and hug their security blankets..
00:50 October 24, 2011 by mslancelot
The person sitting next to you in church, the man in line at the grocery store, or one of your co-workers; any one of these could be involved with a gambling problem. Imagine your grandmother committing a crime to support her gambling addiction. I am a recovering alcoholic, gambler, and have recovered from other addictive behaviors. I published a book, Gripped by Gambling, where the readers can follow the destructive path of the compulsive gambler, a prison sentence, and then on to the recovery road.

I recently published a second book, Switching Addictions, describing additional issues that confront the recovering addict. If a person who has an addictive personality, doesn't admit to at least two addictions, he's not being honest. These are two books you might consider adding to your library. I also publish a free online newsletter, Women Helping Women, which has been on-line for more than ten years and is read by hundreds of women (and men) from around the world. (www.femalegamblers.info). I have been interviewed many times, and appeared on the 60 Minutes show in January 2011, which was moderated by Leslie Stahl.


Marilyn Lancelot
22:45 October 24, 2011 by arnie41068
About 20 years ago my wife and i went to Malmo Sweden to train an help set up a treatment center 2 treat gambling addicts


arnie wexler


Compulsive Gambling Addiction Help | Recovery from Compulsive Gambling by Arnie Wexler
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