In May 2022, Elizabeth Thielen, Senior Director at Nicasa Behavioral Health Services in Round Lake, IL met with the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science 2022 Graduating Class of Physicians Assistants about the impact of disordered gambling on health. Part of her discussion was to encourage the screening of gambling disorder in the primary care setting. She handed out BBGS magnets to the graduates to help them screen for gambling disorder. The ICRG makes available BBGS magnets for free. Contact Noelle Mancini for more information (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Clinicians face many challenges when treating clients with a gambling disorder, including the fact that there is no standard for behavioral treatment or FDA-approved medication for gambling disorder. Nonetheless, there are ways to strengthen your practice:
Screen for Gambling Disorder
The National Comorbidity Survey Replication study of nearly 10,000 Americans found that treatment-seeking for gambling problems was rare but that a substantial number of individuals in treatment for substance use disorder met diagnostic criteria for gambling disorder. This means that it makes sense to screen all clients for gambling disorder. The ICRG funded the development of the Brief BioSocial Gambling Screen (BBGS), a three question screen based on the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). You can access the screen online at the website of the Division on Addiction https://www.divisiononaddiction.org/outreach-resources/bbgs-e-screener/ or request free magnets imprinted with the BBGS questions (contact Noelle Mancini email@example.com).
Stay Up to Date on Gambling Research
• Attend the annual ICRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction which offers a special track for treatment providers. The ICRG offers scholarships for those without the budget to attend the conference. It’s a great opportunity to network with treatment providers, researchers and others concerned about gambling disorder.
• Take advantage of the ICRG’s free webinar series held annually in the winter and spring. Many of the topics relate directly to patient care.
• All ICRG educational activities offer continuing education hours for treatment providers. The ICRG is approved by the following to offer continuing education; NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals; NBCC, the National Board for Certified Counselors; and the American Psychological Association.
• Check out the resources on the website which focus on translating scientific research on gambling disorder.