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24/07/2024

Green Crescent Addiction Prevention Practitioner Training Program was held for Country Green Crescents!

The International Federation of Green Crescent hosted an online training session regarding the Green Crescent Addiction Prevention Practitioner Training Program for Country Green Crescents from July 24-26. Expert volunteers from 19 countries, including Austria, Azerbaijan, Botswana, Palestine, Gambia, South Africa, Kyrgyzstan, TRNC, North Macedonia, Malaysia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Serbia, Somalia, Tanzania, Greece and Zimbabwe, participated in the training program. By the end of the program, 50 participants earned certification as Green Crescent Addiction Prevention Training Program practitioners.

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GAMBLING ADDICTION

Gambling addiction is an uncontrollable urge to continue gambling despite its negative impact on a person's life. The International Federation of Green Crescent collaborates with Country Green Crescents to effectively prevent gambling addiction. Awareness campaigns, capacity-building programs, advocacy and prevention activities are among the primary areas of focus in this issue.

What is Gambling Addiction?

Gambling is defined as putting money or valuables at stake on an event, with the goal of correctly predicting the outcome to gain additional money or material possessions and the uncertainty of the outcome. Gambling addiction is driven by an overstimulation of the brain's reward system, similar to other types of addictions.

While gambling may initially seem like a fun and skill-based activity for individuals, it can lead to psychosocial and economic problems for individuals, families and society, eventually turning into an addiction. Gambling addiction is the most common impulse control disorder worldwide.

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The International Federation of Green Crescent collaborates with Country Green Crescents worldwide to raise awareness, organize training programs and develop effective strategies to prevent the negative effects of gambling. The federation continues its efforts with the vision of creating a collective awareness against the harms of gambling, aiming to improve the health and well-being of communities.

In the past, the psychiatric community viewed gambling more as a compulsion than an addiction, motivated by an intense urge rather than a physical necessity. However, research over time has revealed that gambling addiction closely resembles alcoholism and drug addiction more than initially thought.

Symptoms of Gambling Addiction:

The defining characteristic of gambling addiction is the complete immersion in gambling, being unable to quit despite negative consequences. Common symptoms include:

  • Engaging obsessively in gambling.
  • Needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money to experience the same excitement.
  • Unsuccessfully trying to control, reduce or stop gambling.
  • Feeling restless or irritable when unable to gamble.
  • Gambling to escape problems or alleviate feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety or depression.
  • Attempting to recoup lost money by further gambling.
  • Jeopardizing significant relationships or school/work opportunities due to gambling.
  • Resorting to theft or fraud to fund gambling.

People with gambling addiction cannot stop themselves from playing or set a loss limit when they lose; they feel compelled to continue playing to try to recover their money. In most cases, individuals end up losing more than intended, blame themselves for the amount of money lost and then try to compensate for the losses by playing more, leading to further financial losses. This destructive cycle results in many negative consequences.

Effects of Gambling Addiction:

Gambling addiction has a comprehensive impact, not only harming the individual but also affecting their family and society negatively. The effects include:

For the Individual:

  • Psychological issues.
  • Increased susceptibility to other addictions.
  • Becoming selfish and opportunistic in the pursuit of winning.
  • Neglecting responsibilities due to gambling obsession.
  • Involvement in a complex web of relationships that can lead to physical harm.
  • Financial losses.

For the Family:

  • Loss of trust within the family.
  • Financial losses.
  • Emotional losses.
  • Negative impact on family relationships due to relationships formed to finance gambling.

For Society:

  • Legitimizing ill-gotten gains, making easy money an ideal for new generations.
  • Illegal structures gaining power and wealth through these means.
  • Erosion of foundational societal concepts like hard work, justice and legality.
  • Damage to societal morals.
  • Manifestation of self-interest and the desire to win in social relationships.
  • Erosion of peace and trust in society.

What to Do:

To address gambling addiction, individuals should:

  • Stay away from places where gambling occurs, including online gambling sites.
  • Distance themselves from triggers that prompt thoughts of gambling (such as horse racing programs, casino advertisements, lottery tickets, etc.).
  • Avoid individuals associated with gambling.
  • Refrain from engaging in discussions about gambling.
  • Carry only the amount of money needed for daily necessities and avoid using credit cards and ATMs beyond necessity.
  • Change lifestyle, replacing negative habits with positive behaviors.
  • Seek support, reaching out to a trusted friend or family member for assistance.
  • Engage in other activities to redirect focus, such as housework, exercise, reading or spending time with family.

How Can We Help?

To prevent gambling and potential relapses, consider:

  • Setting financial limits and taking on financial responsibility within the family to prevent both gambling and relapses.
  • Preparing in advance for requests for money using begging, threats or accusations from the individual with gambling addiction and developing strategies to handle them.
  • Encouraging both yourself and the individual with gambling addiction to seek therapy for more effective coping with the problem.

Treatment Approach:

Given the profound impact of this destructive habit on communities and families, treating pathological gambling as a public health issue is crucial. Successful treatment is possible by implementing a treatment model often used for substance addiction. Individuals with gambling addiction should be directed to the addiction treatment departments of hospitals.

To achieve success in a treatment program tailored to the individual, it is essential for the individual to first acknowledge that gambling addiction is a pathological disorder.

Green Crescent Counseling Center (YEDAM) Support for Gambling Addiction:

The Green Crescent Counseling Center (YEDAM) provides free psychosocial support for individuals with gambling addiction. This service, offered by the Turkish Green Crescent Society, aims to create motivation for quitting, prevent relapses and help individuals cope with the desire to gamble. Expert psychologists provide support for mental health issues that may arise after quitting gambling. In meetings with families, activities are conducted on topics such as money management, family relationships and parenting attitudes and skills. This valuable service seeks to establish an effective support network in preventing gambling addiction, aiming to improve the quality of life for individuals and increase societal awareness in addiction prevention.

More Latest News

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The International Federation of Green Crescent recently held its inaugural webinar, titled "The Art of Fundraising," as part of its Capacity Building Program. This initiative aims to help Country Green Crescents more effectively access international and regional funding sources. The webinar, held on December 21, 2023, brought together 55 representatives from 24 countries and featured insights from five distinguished speakers across two sessions. The first session, "Fundraising Strategies and Opportunities for NGOs", included presentations by Matej Kosir from UTRIP and Jan Peloza from Impact Hub. The second session, "Empowering Fundraising Capacity in NGOs," featured a presentation by Dr. Mohammed Tariq Sonnan from UNODC. This was followed by exchanging experience from Dr. Ahmed Fairuz Bin Mohamed, President of Green Crescent Malaysia; Dr. Tajudeen Abiola, Secretary General of Green Crescent Nigeria; and Dr. Mousa Daoud, President of Green Crescent Jordan. In a poignant moment during the program, we honored Dr. Omar Farwana, President of Green Crescent Palestine, who tragically lost his life along with his family during the Gaza attacks on October 15. A commemoration speech and a short film were presented in his memory. The International Federation of Green Crescent will continue its webinar series under the Capacity Building Program, aiming to guide and support Country Green Crescents in effectively utilizing international and regional funding sources and enhancing their overall capacities.

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