Free addiction prevention program available for high school health classes

May 15, 2013

The Delaware Council on Gambling Problems has developed a powerful addiction prevention program that is now available free of charge to public and private high school health teachers in Delaware.

This prevention program has a two-pronged approach: a classroom presentation by DCGP staff titled Addiction: Gambling with Your Future and a teacher-led prepared unit, Should I Take a Chance? Although the presentation and the addiction unit can each stand on their own, teachers are encouraged to use them together for maximum impact on students.

The classroom presentation has been available to Delaware high school health teachers and their classes for the past three years. DCGP provides students with a general overview of addiction as a brain disease and then demonstrates how problem gambling fits into the current model of addiction. Independent analysis of pretest and posttest data collected during classroom presentations has indicated they are effective in increasing student knowledge about addiction.

Should I Take a Chance? provides all the materials necessary for health teachers to conduct a five-lesson unit on substance addictions and problem gambling. The teacher handbook contains background information and detailed lesson plans necessary to conduct the unit. The student workbook contains all of the classroom exercises and once completed becomes a permanent addiction resource for each student. DCGP provides free copies of the teacher handbook and student workbooks to high school health teachers upon request.

It’s estimated that 2 percent to 3 percent of the U.S. adult population suffers from gambling addiction; however, current estimates indicate that youth are three times more likely than adults to develop this problem. It can affect anyone of any age, race, religion or socioeconomic status. Prevention efforts for youth aim to increase understanding that for some people, gambling becomes an addiction, and that underage gambling is not only against the law, it increases the likelihood of developing a gambling problem.

The Delaware Council on Gambling Problems is gambling neutral. The organization is a private, nonprofit health agency. The council’s mission is to raise public awareness that compulsive gambling is a treatable disorder, and to facilitate the development of a network of services for compulsive gamblers and their families in Delaware.

For more information about prevention services for youth at Delaware Council on Gambling Problems, call Judy McCormick at 302-655-3261 or email