Introduction to Prevention and Treatment for Youth Problem Gambling and Gaming

Gambling Phone AppThis training provides child and adolescent mental health therapists and school-based therapists with: an introduction to youth problem gambling; screening tools and treatment pathways for problem gambling; information on co-occurring disorders including the gaming and gambling convergence; and basic information on gaming addiction. The individual modules which compose this package are as follows:

Module 1: An introduction to Youth Problem Gambling
Module 2: Adolescence and Young Adulthood: Vulnerable Time for Addiction
Module 3: Leveling Up in How We Understand and Address Youth Gaming and Gambling
Module 4: Treating Youth with Gambling Problems
Module 5: Video Game Addiction Master Class

This intermediate level training is for child and adolescent mental health therapists and school-based therapists.

Module 1: An Introduction to Youth Problem Gambling

Participants will learn about youth gambling activities, prevalence rates of youth problem gambling, how gambling works, co-occurring disorders associated with disordered gambling, behaviors of youth experiencing problem gambling, risk factors, and protective factors that can help prevent the development of problem gambling.

Learning Objectives - participants will be able to:

  1. Describe how early interventions such as treatment play a role in the prevention of problem gambling
  2. Explain how risk and protective factors play a role in developing or preventing problem gambling and other high-risk behaviors
  3. Identify behaviors of someone experiencing problem gambling
  4. Describe youth gambling and youth problem gambling
  5. Define house edge and how gambling works

Alison DrainInstructor: Alison Drain
Alison Drain, MSW, MPA
NC Problem Gambling Program Youth Prevention and Treatment Specialist
Morneau Shepell 
MH, DD, SAS NC Department of Health and Human Services

Alison Drain has over 20 years of experience working with government and nonprofit agencies at the local, state, national, and international levels. She has become a seasoned professional in managing grant programs and educating professionals across the country on problem gambling outreach, education, and prevention evidence-based practices. Alison enjoys assisting organizations on how to evaluate and expand programs, increase awareness, and impact. She is the North Carolina Problem Gambling Program Prevention Coordinator with Morneau Shepell and manages over 60 statewide prevention grants, speaks at conferences and webinars to educate attendees on problem gambling prevalence rates and best practices in prevention, outreach, and education, and trains and provides technical support to school staff and prevention coordinators on, Stacked Deck, an evidence-based prevention curriculum. Alison holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a Master’s Degree in Public Administrator from West Virginia University.

Self-paced online module. Part One is 47 mins and Part Two is 53 mins plus 20 mins of videos.

Part One:
Introduction and overview of NC education, outreach, prevention and treatment
Definition of gambling, types of gambling, prevalence of gambling
Prevalence of teen gambling
How games have changed/how gambling works
Prevalence of gambling in adults
Gambling disorders

Part Two:
Video demonstration
Problem gambling prevention
Risk and protective factors
Problem gambling and co-occurring disorders
Prevention and intervention

Module 2: Adolescence and Young Adulthood: Vulnerable Time for Addiction

Gambling disorder tends to start in adolescence and young adulthood. This module will discuss the developmental biology that makes young people at risk for developing addictions, it will present the idea of gambling and now gaming as clinical problems, discuss co-occurring issues for young people and how to address a range of impulsive behaviors.

Learning Objectives - participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the developmental biology of addiction
  2. Explain the co-occurrence of other impulsive behaviors in this age group
  3. Assess the evidence base for interventions for gambling addiction

Jon E. GrantInstructor: Dr. Grant
Jon E. Grant is a Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago where he directs a clinic and research lab on addictive, compulsive and impulsive disorders. Dr. Grant is the author of over 350 peer-reviewed scientific articles and is the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Gambling Studies.

Self-paced online module of 1 hour
Common core qualities of addictions
Causes of addiction: biological, development, neurobiology
Role of stress & trauma
ADHD’s role
Intervention & treatment

Module 3: Leveling Up in How We Understand and Address Youth Gaming and Gambling

We have seen the convergence of video gaming and gambling for some time now, notably with things like loot boxes and social casino games. What is the latest research on these and other trends? How has COVID-19 catalyzed this convergence with growing digital consumption and increased esports betting? In this module, we will cover ground on key things you need to know, specific risk factors for youth and what we can do to help address –and leverage-- these increasingly important issues.

Learning Objectives - participants will be able to: 

  1. Name three specific trends that are contributing to the convergence of gaming and gambling, with special focus on connecting COVID-19
  2. Understand the latest research and youth risk factors in problem gaming and gambling
  3. Describe at least three programmatic tools that can be used to address gaming and gambling with populations served.

Instructor: Julie Hynes
Julie Hynes is Executive Director of the Oregon Council on Problem Gambling. She has focused her work in the problem gambling field since 2002, with roles as the Director of Responsible Gambling with the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, coordinator of PreventionLane’s problem gambling prevention program, instructor at University of Oregon, co-investigator of the 2016 problem gambling services survey in the U.S., and providing training and technical assistance consultation across the U.S. In 2012, Julie was honored with the NCPG Wuelfing Prevention Award. She is currently Secretary of the NCPG Board of Directors and a Certified Prevention Specialist.

Self-paced online module of 43 mins
Trends in gaming
COVID-19 impacts on gaming trends
Convergence of esports, gaming & gambling
Risk factors
What to do

Module 4: Treating Youth with Gambling Problems

Gambling remains a popular activity among youth as well as adults. As new forms of gambling continue to evolve, more and more adolescents and young adults are engaging in a wide variety of different gambling activities, with some experiencing multiple gambling-related harms. This module will help identify the profile of young problem gamblers and strategies and screening tools used to help minimize gambling-related problems.  

Learning Objectives - participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the profile of youth with gambling problems.
  2. Examine the impact of excessive gambling upon young people’s social, emotional, and psychological development.
  3. Articulate successful intervention strategies for youth problem gamblers.

Dr. Jeffrey DerevenskyInstructor: Dr. Jeffrey Derevensky
Jeffrey L. Derevensky, Ph.D., is James McGill Professor and Director of Clinical Training in School/Applied Child Psychology and Professor, Department of Psychiatry at McGill University. He is a clinical consultant to numerous hospitals, school boards, government agencies and corporations. Dr. Derevensky has published widely in the field of gambling, adolescence, and developmental psychopathology and is on the editorial board of multiple journals. He is the author of more than 250 peer-reviewed journal articles, 60 book chapters and 4 books related to gambling disorders and behavioral addictions as well as being on the editorial board of multiple journals. Dr. Derevensky is the Director of the McGill University Youth Gambling Research and Treatment Clinic and the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors. Dr. Derevensky and his team have helped governments establish research priorities and have been instrumental in the development of responsible practices, the development of treatment centers, prevention programs and social policy recommendations. He is a child psychologist, has testified before governmental bodies in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia and Australasia and is considered an expert in the field of youth gambling and behavioral addictions.

Self-paced online module of 1 hour
Characteristics of behavioral addictions
Adolescent development and addiction
Adolescent problem gambler
General therapeutic approaches
Pathways Model
The McGill Model
Screening & assessment
Essential therapeutic goals
Therapeutic tools
Case studies

Module 5: Video Game Addiction Masterclass

In this masterclass, Cam Adair shares his personal journey of overcoming his addiction to the gaming world and offers key insights into how gaming is designed to keep people hooked. He also takes an evidence-based approach to help you identify those at-risk, communicate effectively and implement practical prevention strategies to help clients succeed in recovery. 

Learning Objectives - participants will be able to:

  1. Distinguish gaming disorder from recreational gaming
  2. Describe the four motivations to play games
  3. Recognize three strategies to prevent gaming problems

Cam AdairInstructor: Cam Adair
Cam Adair is the founder of Game Quitters, the world’s largest support community for video game addiction, serving members in 94 countries. Named one of Canada’s top 150 leaders in Mental Health, his work has been published in Psychiatry Research, and featured in two TEDx talks, Forbes, BBC, the New York Times, NPR, CNN, and ABC 20/20, amongst others. He’s an internationally recognized speaker, entrepreneur, and You Tuber with over 2M views. Born in Canada, he currently lives in California.

Self-paced online module of 1 hour
Gaming disorder: screening, warning signs
Problem gamer profile and prevalence
Alarming trends
Prevention & recovery goals


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6642.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified.  The UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. The successful completion of this online course qualifies for 6 contact hours.

Social workers completing this course received 6 hours of continuing education credits approved by NASW-NC.  Approval #A-363-132022

This course was approved by NCASPPB for 6 SS Hours. Approval #22-220-S


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