Bellvitge Hospital and ANNE Foundation promote a project to prevent online gambling disorders among adolescents

- Research

This initiative responds to a growing demand for the misuse and abuse of screens and the danger of them resulting in various pathologies.

The profile of the teenager who bets online is that of a boy, aged 14 to 17, who started using the internet before 10 and who on average spends between 2 and 3.5 hours a day.

Bellvitge University Hospital, through the Pathological Gambling and Other Behavioral Addictions Unit of the Psychiatric Service, and ANNE Fundació, a medical and psychological center that cares for children and adolescents with developmental problems, have signed an agreement to collaboration to prevent and reduce Play Disorder in adolescents. Both entities will develop actions aimed at promoting research into gambling disorders in adolescents and their prevention.

Therefore, they will carry out a global study of uses and perceptions of risk among adolescents, followed by the dissemination of information and awareness of public opinion on this issue as well as the exchange of information for prevention. of this pathology.

In order to promote this project, a monitoring committee will be set up, made up of representatives from each of the two entities. In the words of Dr. Susana Jiménez Murcia, head of the Pathological Gambling Unit at Bellvitge University Hospital, “these addictions often have their origin in childhood and adolescence, stages of life in which the learning of 'healthy habits in relation to the use of new technologies or other leisure activities'. Recent studies show that more than 37% of adults with gambling problems have started playing before the legal age and that, at the same time, the age of onset of these behaviors is a risk factor. key in the development of a future disorder. The same goes for the use of video games or other activities over the Internet, most of which are not a problem but in a minority of young people and not so young, they become pathologies with serious clinical consequences. “That is why it is necessary to establish synergies with different groups of professionals and from various institutions, in order to be able to carry out research studies on the identification of vulnerability factors at a very early age, the design of preventive actions and the implementation of education programs in the healthy use of ICT, as well as in other activities that can potentially be at risk ”, concludes Dra. Jimenez.

Cesc Gummà, director of ANNE Fundació, states that "our goal is to provide an answer, prevent and raise awareness of the psychological and behavioral consequences of the misuse of screens".

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