Welcome to the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs

Problem Gambling

For most people, gambling is recreational. For others, gambling leads to debilitating problems that negatively affect their lives. Problem gambling means participation in any form of gambling activity that creates a negative consequence for the gambler, their family, workplace, or community. Pathological gambling is a progressive mental disorder meeting the diagnostic criteria set forth by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition.

Problem and pathological gamblers can experience a range of difficulties:

anxiety depression guilt
attempted suicide abuse of alcohol and drugs hypertension
heart disease lying and stealing personal relationship failures
poor work performance loss of employment credit card debt
unpaid creditors impoverishment  

Family members of problem gamblers also experience substantial financial, physical, and psychological difficulties as a direct result of problem gambling behavior.

The California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, Office of Problem Gambling (OPG) is responsible for developing statewide programs that address problem and pathological gambling issues (under Section 4369 of the Welfare and Institutions Code). Please explore this website for additional information and resources about problem gambling for yourself or someone you care about.



California Problem Gambling Training Summit

OPG held its first annual California Problem Gambling Training Summit on March 10-11, 2010 in Sacramento. The summit enhanced public awareness and professional development regarding national innovation and collaboration for expanding the understanding of problem and pathological gambling.

The summit also expanded knowledge on the impacts of problem gambling on communities, businesses, families, and individuals, including resources for those seeking help.

The Viejas Tribal Casino, Mr. Jerome Horton, and Dr. Richard Rosenthal received the “Achieving Success One Step at a Time ” award honoring them as successful partners in responsible gambling, government/legislature, and treatment services, and acknowledged their continued support to mitigate problem gambling.

California Problem Gambling Treatment Services Program

OPG, in partnership with the UCLA Gambling Studies Program (UGSP), proudly announces the availability of free residential problem gambling treatment services!

For more information please contact:

Beit T’Shuvah
8831 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Phone: 1-310-204-5200
Fax: 1-310-204-8908

Contact: Kathy Marks 1-310-204-5200
Email: kathym@beitshuvahla.org

OPG, in partnership with UGSP, is currently recruiting licensed therapists to participate in the California Problem Gambling Treatment Service Program (CPGTSP).

To become an authorized provider in the CPGTSP, therapists are required to attend state funded training focusing on the treatment of problem and pathological gamblers. Training will consist of four eight-hour training days, with the opportunity to obtain up to 30 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for MFTs and LCSWs.

Therapists who meet the eligibility criteria may submit an application to UGSP for admittance into training. Due to limited space, admittance into the training will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

After completion of the training, therapists who meet the criteria to become an authorized provider will be eligible to receive fee-for-service reimbursement from the state.

Problem Gambling Public Service Announcements

On YouTube

Radio interview on problem gambling with ADP Director, Renee Zito; Deputy Director of the Office of Problem Gambling, Terri Sue Canale; and Co-Director of the UCLA Gambling Studies, Dr. Tim Fong. (27 minutes and 12 Mb Mp3 file)




Problem Gambling HELP

thumbnailFreedom from Problem Gambling
This self-help workbook for problem gamblers, developed by the UCLA Gambling Studies Program, is a tool for assisting people who are motivated to stop gambling or reduce their problems associated with gambling. The workbook is under evaluation for effectiveness and is NOT a substitute for professional help.

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