For Treatment Providers

Information is provided below for treatment providers and behavior health professions which includes recommended screen time guidelines and video gaming addiction, and how to obtain RGANM resources for your office.

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Screen Time Guidelines

Children today are surrounded by video games, tablets and cell phones, television, and other digital devices. The American Academy of Pediatricians says that any benefit of media for children under two years is very limited, and there is evidence excessive digital media use can be harmful to a child under two.

From two to five years of age, just 30 minutes or less of screen time should be allowed, and then with a parent who can reteach the content. From age five to 12, 30 minutes is still the recommended maximum screen time, as children should be engaged in activities that encourage physical, emotional and educational development. Over the age of 12, two hours is the maximum; some studies suggest that four hours or more per day causes harm to the child’s developing brain.

Helpful Links:

Printable Screen Time Guideline Chart: https://www.eyepromise.com/blog/screen-time-chart/

World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/24-04-2019-to-grow-up-healthy-children-need-to-sit-less-and-play-more

American Academy of Pediatrics:

https://healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/Pages/Healthy-Digital-Media-Use-Habits-for-Babies-Toddlers-Preschoolers.aspx

Guide to Screen Addictions and Responsible Digital Use:

https://www.comparethemarket.com/broadband/content/screen-usage-guide/

Screen Time Guidelines:

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/screentime-preschool.html

Video Gaming Addiction

The following is a summary of information provided by Cam Adair, who describes himself as a video game addict for more than a decade. He founded www.gamequitters.com to provide help to others; it serves 75,000 members monthly from 95 countries. Please visit his site for additional information.

Video game addiction, recognized by the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization, is characterized by impaired control over gaming, having gaming take precedence over other activities, and a continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

A gaming disorder test is available here. http://www.do-i-play-too-much-videogames.com/

Male adolescents are most at risk for video game addiction. Thirty hours a week spent video gaming should be considered a red flag; 70 hours a week or more indicates a likely problem. Games use behavioral psychology to keep players immersed; the hyper-stimulation provides a release of dopamine, the pleasure-inducing chemical neurotransmitter that plays a part in addictions.

Adair cautions about so-called educational games marketed for children. He encourages parents to monitor the game, looking for situations where not spending money in the game play is considered wrong or shameful, or that include manipulative advertising targeted to kids within the game. Games with loot boxes, in which the contents of the surprise box are not revealed until after the player’s purchase, are psychologically similar to gambling.

If you have allowed your child to purchase loot boxes or allow micro-transactions within the games, be sure to set spending notifications so there are no surprises on credit card statements.

GameQuitters.com offers a masterclass for treatment providers, https://gamequitters.com/masterclass/, a training guide for parents and family members https://gamequitters.com/reclaim/, and a guide for gamers. https://gamequitters.com/respawn/

Online Gamers Anonymous, https://www.olganon.org/home, also offers online support groups and assistance. Game Quitters offers Facebook pages for youth: https://www.facebook.com/GameQuitters/ and a group that parents can join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/234660037000181/

More Helpful Links

World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/features/qa/gaming-disorder/en/

American Psychiatric Association: https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/internet-gaming

American Academy of Pediatrics: https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Pages/Media-and-Children.aspx

Materials for Your Office

The Responsible Gaming Association of New Mexico offers materials that may be of interest to behavioral health providers related to the prevention and treatment of problem gambling.

Materials include small posters for display, wallet cards with online and 24/7 telephone helpline, and brochures relevant to young people, seniors, and everyone who engages in gambling activities. For information on ordering materials, please email president@rganm.org.

Some of our video materials may also be helpful. They can be found on our home page video player.

We also encourage treatment providers to access the National Council on Problem Gambling and their helpful screening tools. https://www.ncpgambling.org/help-treatment/screening-tools/

2022 Webinars

Learn about our upcoming webinars and CEUs for New Mexico treatment providers.

View Schedule

Conference Info

The Responsible Gaming Association invites treatment providers to join our newsletter list in order to receive updates about future problem gambling conferences planned for 2022. Scroll down and enter your information below.

Watch our 30-minute documentary on RGANM and the compulsive gambling resources that are available. 

Gambling Help Line

(888) 696-2440

Available 24/7

There Is Hope

“If you are dealing with addiction issues, if you’re dealing with gambling issues, I want to let you know that there is hope. First of all there are people, programs, resources that will allow you to share what you are dealing with; what you are going through. There are so many resources. Try them all and find something that works.”

~ JJ Otero

Responsible Gambling Tips

Remember to follow these tips in order to be safe when gambling:

 

  1. Gambling is paid entertainment that you are paying for, so treat the money you lose as the cost of your entertainment
  2. Don’t think of gambling as a way to make money
  3. Set a money limit
  4. Set a time limit & take regular breaks
  5. Only bring the cash you are willing to lose and leave ATM and credit cards at home
  6. Don’t leave credit cards or ATM cards in the car
  7. Expect to lose
  8. Don’t gamble when you are depressed or upset
  9. Balance gambling with other activities
  10. Gambling and alcohol are proven to not be a good combination
  11. Don’t chase losses
  12. Avoid becoming too superstitious
  13. Never fall for the gambler’s fallacy
  14. Learn the rules and odds of the games
  15. Educate yourself about problem gambling
  16. Don’t play with money you don’t have
  17. Don’t use your credit card to gamble
  18. Don’t increase your betting to make up for money you lost
  19. Don’t use gambling as a way to cope with stress, loneliness, or depression
  20. Never gamble with important money such as rent money
  21. If you are thinking about gambling all day long, get help
  22. If you are lying to others about your gambling, get help
  23. Never borrow money from others just to gamble
  24. Do not gamble to escape your problems or to ignore your responsibilities
  25. Gambling to pay off a gambling debt does not work
  26. It’s a sign of a problem if you are quitting your job or favorite hobbies to gamble

Treatment Providers: Join our E-mail List to Receive Updates

Counselors, join our mailing list to receive the latest news from our Problem Gambling Conferences


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