Barnes GM, Welte JW, Hoffman JH, Tidwell MC.
Research Institute on Addictions, University at Buffalo, 1021 Main Street, Buffalo, New York 14203.
J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2009 Jan;70(1):134-42.
Objective: Problem gambling has been linked with substance misuse among youth in a number of regional studies, yet there have been no large representative U.S. surveys of gambling behaviors and substance use among youth. The present study is designed to compare the patterns and co-occurrence of gambling and alcohol and other substance use among youth in the United States.
Method: A random telephone survey was conducted with 2,274 youth ages 14-21 years old living in households in every area of the United States.
Results: Problem gambling and substance misuse are prevalent among young people. For instance, 17% of youth reported gambling 52 or more times in the past year, and the same percentage of youth drank five or more drinks on 12 or more days in the past year. Ten percent of youth reported having three or more gambling problems in the past year, and 15% of young people reported having three or more alcohol problems. Controlling for gender, age, and socioeconomic status, black youth have a significantly increased probability of frequent gambling compared with other racial/ethnic groups, yet they have a significantly decreased probability of heavy drinking. Alcohol problems and gambling problems show high co-occurrence, especially for male youth and black youth.
Conclusions: Population subgroups with a high co-occurrence of alcohol and gambling problems are important for targeted prevention and intervention strategies. (J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs 70: 134-142, 2009).