Tribal Economic Impact 2018 - Page 12

addiction, we could treat more people.” About 31 percent of Oklahomans were actively playing with one to three criteria for gambling addiction, according to a 2015-2016 study Harwell’s group did surveying 1,200 people. The state’s prevalence rate for people who meet the definition of having a gambling addiction is 3.2 percent, nearly twice the national average. “It is mind-boggling,” Harwell said. “They are playing and they have a problem; we call them at-risk. The numbers start to look startling.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition defines gambling disorder as behavior that meets at least five of 10 criteria in 12 months, including: needing more money to get excitement; feels restless or irritable when trying to cut down gambling; has made repeated, unsuccessful attempts to quit or cut back; is preoccupied with gambling; gambles when feeling upset; chases one’s losses the following day after losing; lies to cover up their behavior; has jeopardized a relationship or job for gambling or relies on others for money to relieve the financial situation created by gambling. Harwell said gambling addiction is a combination of brain chemical triggers; dopamine triggers serotonin, which triggers norepinephrine. About 96 percent of the population can gamble and not get addicted. People who have gambling addiction typically have one or more other mental health 1 2 T R I B A L E C O N O M I C I M PA C T • J U LY 2 0 1 8 “Count the billboards on I-40 from Oklahoma City to Shawnee (where the Grand Casino is). There are 14 to 17 going one way to advertise casinos and not one billboard to promote the gambling help line. Those are the things we need: prevention and awareness.” ~ Wiley Harwell Executive Director, Oklahoma Association for Problem and Compulsive Gambling