Alcohol and other drugs and gambling resource

June 2015


Other Collaborators: 

Odyssey House Victoria

South Australian Network of Drug and Alcohol Services (SANDAS)

Project description: 

There is growing recognition of the co-occurrence of AOD problems and problematic gambling. Gambling disorders are now included in the same category as substance use (Addiction and Related Disorders) in the DSM-5. It is therefore opportune to explore the differences and similarities between gambling and AOD use. The skills required to work with both issues are based on the same treatment modalities such as cognitive behaviour therapies (CBT), relapse prevention, harm reduction and motivational interviewing.

NCETA, in collaboration with Odyssey House Victoria and the South Australian Network of Drug and Alcohol Services (SANDAS), is developing a series of resources aimed at enhancing AOD workers’ skills and knowledge about gambling and how to address it with clients who present for AOD treatment.

The project, funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, is:

  • Identifying the similarities and interactions between problem gambling and AOD use
  • Examining the relationship between alcohol and gambling and the parallels in the development of the addictive behaviours, the reward mechanisms that perpetuate the behaviours, and treatment options.

The following resources are being developed by NCETA, Odyssey House Victoria and SANDAS:

  • An AOD worker gambling resource summarising the issues and providing workers with evidence-based options to address problematic gambling among their clients. The completed resource will be available for download from the NCETA and Odyssey House Victoria websites.
  • A client flyer designed to assist AOD clients and/or family members seek help for their problematic gambling. Copies of the flyer will be made available to AOD services for placement in their waiting areas.
  • A poster, complementing the client flyer, and encouraging AOD clients to access gambling help services will be made available to AOD services for placement in their waiting areas.

The project is due for completion in August 2015 at which time the suite of resources from this project will be launched and made publicly available.