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Not A Chance a Problem Gambling Prevention Program | Alison Donoho & Emma Bowen

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Shane Cook: Welcome to Wager Danger. I’m your host, Shane Cook. Gambling Disorder program director at Gateway Foundation. Our guests today are Alison Donoho Donohoe and Emma Bowen Bowen from Chestnut Health Systems, a mental health service provider located in Granite City, Illinois, with offices located throughout the state. We discuss their curriculum entitled Not A Chance a Problem Gambling Prevention Program that’s being introduced to high schoolers throughout Illinois.

Educating high schoolers about gaming and gambling can be a challenging endeavor, and making a lasting impression requires thoughtful and continuous improvement. Alison Donoho and Emma Bowen discuss how not a chance integrates social-emotional learning strategies to increase the students engagement throughout the learning process rather than a just say no approach. They focus on creating positive experiences and connections, highlighting life skills with interactive teaching methods and changing behavior by exploring shifting attitudes as a result of healthy dialog.

Shane Cook: It’s great to have Alison Donoho and Emma Bowen join us today. Welcome to the show.

Emma Bowen: Thanks for having us. We’re glad to be here.

Shane Cook: Well, Alison Donoho, why don’t why don’t you give us kind of a background on Chestnut Health services? Let us know what what it is you do for them. And, Emma Bowen, we’ll hear from you as well.

Alison Donoho: All right. Thank you for having us. I am the lead and friends prevention services coordinator here at Chestnut Health Systems. Emma Bowen and I are located in our great city location, which is in the metro east area of St Louis. But we have facilities all around the state in some in Missouri, and Chester itself is behavioral health care and primary health care.

We focus on addiction services for adolescents and adults, mental health services, primary health care and prevention and community education, which is the department that Emma Bowen and I work with.

Shane Cook: Okay. Emma Bowen.

Emma Bowen: Hi. So I am a community health specialist at Chestnut and I am entirely on the gambling project. So that is both the curriculum. And then we also have outreach that we do. So that is my role.

Shane Cook: Okay, perfect. Well, we had I had an opportunity to be sitting in on a meeting that you all were a part of. And you introduced this new program at the what’s called. Not a chance, a problem gambling prevention program. And as we as you all were leading us through that conversation and through the discussion about the program, I thought, hey, this would be a great topic for wager danger.

So am I reached out to you? We got it set up and in relatively short order. And here we are. So it really appreciate your taking some time out today and leading us through and leading the listeners through a little background on this gambling prevention program. So if you would, could you just one of you at least tell us a little bit about the program to get started?

Again, it’s called Not a Chance How you got to this, Why it’s important, things like that.

Alison Donoho: All right. Yes. Thank you for having us. We’re excited to be able to share what we have been working on for a couple of years. So we have several grants through the Illinois Department of Human Services. So in 2021, they approached us about a need for a curriculum aiming to prevent problem gambling and youth. So chestnut health systems provides youth prevention education for a lots of different topics.

And so they asked us to kind of take a lead and through our research, we decided to develop our own curriculum, which is called Not a Chance Our Problem Gambling Prevention curriculum, which is a mouthful. But we researched, surveyed, developed and piloted, and now we have a six session curriculum. And this program works for students and early high school.

o freshmen or sophomores is what we’re aiming for. And we piloted this program in three high schools so far.

Shane Cook: Okay. So you’ve piloted this program up to this point. You’ve gone back and we’ll get into this a little bit more in detail later on. But you’ve made some adjustments for the program and now you’re going to be rolling out the second installment of this over the course of the next year.

Alison Donoho: Yes.

Shane Cook: Okay. So, Emma Bowen, what is your involvement in this program?

Emma Bowen: Oh, well, so it all started with getting hired on to the gambling program for me. So from the beginning was getting hired into this writing and researching role. So I will say I didn’t have a background in gambling specifically, not that I don’t love any topic, but my draw to the role was prevention. That’s always been my goal and I kind of fell into this position because it was a really interesting opportunity.

And so I’m researching writing, also helping implement and pilot. So little bit of all of it.

Shane Cook: Okay, So, so you’re both just headlong into this program and doing whatever it takes to get it up and running. And just to clarify, Alison, you mentioned the funding for this, and that’s coming through the Illinois Department of Human Services, right? Yes. And the Division of Substance Use, Prevention and Recovery. Yes. Oh, yep. All right. So in in planning the curriculum, you are targeting this program to high schoolers in particular.

What’s unique about this particular age group and demographic? How is it affecting how you’re developing the program? Things like that? Because we all know that’s that’s a tough I’m going to I’m going to use a bit of a play on words here. That’s tough nut to crack. CHESTNUT Not true.

Alison Donoho: Oh, there you go.

Shane Cook: But, you know, it’s a tough group to get their attention to, get buy in from them, for them to listen, so on and so forth. I mean, or take it seriously, I guess, is probably a better way to put it.

Emma Bowen: So like you mentioned, we are working with teenagers, which is a tough age, a generally all around, lots of expectations, lots of things going on. So we really do have to make sure we’re playing to our audience. I mean, even Alison came from a role where she was teaching middle schoolers more so. And just the difference of just teaching middle schoolers to high schoolers, there’s so much difference whenever we’re talking about teenagers.

Emma Bowen: So we’re always trying to play to our audience there and get as much buy in as we can because that will make or break the experience. So we try to make that as engaging as possible. We start each session with an activity that leads into the larger theme of the day, and as we work through the topic, they’re given different kinds of opportunities to engage and apply the materials.

Emma Bowen: So like listening and then games and activities, different ways to engage with it, we also give them places to doodle and color in the workbook so they have something to do with their hands really playing to the attention kind of thing that we’re seeing with high schoolers and plus times kind of giving them something to do with their hands.

Emma Bowen: But most of all, we try to impart skills that are tangible and applicable to their lives as soon as possible. So dealing with feelings, decision making, finding balance and being financially stable are skills that they will want to learn if they can see how it will help them and when it will help them.

Shane Cook: Okay, So and I want to dive into the curriculum a little bit more as as we progress. But there are other programs out there that attack this group. Right. Or this demographic, I should say. How does this differ from some of the other programs that are out there?

Emma Bowen: Well, our.

Alison Donoho: Audience is the universal population, which means we target all of the certain grade, like if it’s all the freshmen or all the sophomores with this curriculum and not just an indicator population that might be more at risk. We focus on primary prevention.

Shane Cook: Okay, let’s explore that. Why is that important to cover that entire population rather than zero in on students that are at a higher risk, maybe for problem gambling? What’s what’s the difference there?

Alison Donoho: Well, first of all, I think that all the youth are at risk because of their brain development and their brains not being fully developed. They’re just more at risk for problem behaviors. They’re more at risk at taking risks because that part of their brain, they’re prefrontal cortex, doesn’t quite completely develop. So their decision making is not lacking. They’re more impulsive.

Alison Donoho: And since we’re not just talking about gambling now, as we go into the curriculum a little bit more, it’s about life skills. And everyone can use these kind of life skills that will help them not only to make good decisions regarding gambling, but also any other riskier behaviors that they might be challenged with. So, yeah, so we you know what, primary prevention we do the analogy of the river where we have people down river that can fish people out of the river of the river being problem gambling.

Alison Donoho: But what we do in primary prevention is put those guardrails in place before they get into the river and everyone, every student can benefit from that.

Shane Cook: Okay, so maybe State stated a different way. This program is is comprehensive in that you’re building lifelong coping skills and it just happens that gambling or problem gambling is a vehicle during this process.

Emma Bowen: I’ve got one thing to add on that why the universal population. So it also this going for a universal population also goes towards our list of goals that we’ll be talking about later. But one of the things that we know about change is that when we can talk to all of the students in a grade, it is a lot more likely to create environmental change rather than if we just talk to the people who are indicated to be gambling or indicated to be at risk for whatever reason to start gambling.

Emma Bowen: We’re just taking a chunk and we’re just changing their minds. Whereas if we can have the entire freshman class for each year, by the end of four years, the whole high school has had the program and had a chance to play with those ideas. Think about what that means for them, and that leads to environmental change in the whole school.

Emma Bowen: So that’s the the real drive of universal population programs.

Shane Cook: Okay. All right. And then in terms of the theory, theoretical backing for this program, what are what were some of the important factors that you looked at? Were you focus on? Were there certain things from a theoretical perspective that you thought, hey, this is very important here when we’re thinking about this program?

Emma Bowen: Absolutely. I think that I can speak safely for both of us and saying that we started by researching everything on problem gambling in youth, but we also had to take that step back and say, okay, we need to understand gambling and how we’ve gotten here and where it’s going. And we also need to understand problem gambling and what that looks like.

Emma Bowen: And we need to understand prevention programs and curriculums and not just teaching them. We need to understand what it means to write one and to develop the parts that go along with it. So the first thing that we did was really try to learn everything we could about each of these subtopics before we started our approach. And that kind of led us naturally to these theoretical backings that we have based the curriculum on.

Emma Bowen: So I’ll go ahead and list them and give you a bare minimum one ish sentence on those theories.

Shane Cook: So perfect.

Emma Bowen: First, we have the social emotional learning which asks us to work with them as whole people rather than just sharing new information with them. So this means we work to learn communication skills not just to them, but helping them learn how to communicate with each other as well as regulation, emotions, decision making, all of these pieces. As for humans, they need those skills.

Emma Bowen: And they’re not just students in a health class and that they’re involved in the process. So then we also have positive youth development theory, which tells us that providing positive experiences and connections rather than trying to predict or stop negative ones can be very effective in making youth more resilient. Then we have the life skills approach, which aims to combine didactic learning traditional like lecture learning with skill development and interactive teaching methods to really help them work that into their brain.

Emma Bowen: Not just hear it, but hear it, think about it, process it, apply it, really understand the whole topic. And then we have theory of planned behavior, which basically tells us that if we can change their attitude, we can change their plans, and then eventually that will change their behaviors. And then our favorite theory and the most unofficial, of course, is goes into our conversation earlier as the we work with high schoolers theory.

Emma Bowen: So you will never hear us say this is how it works. This is and this is what you should think. Don’t ever because it will work. We’re talking to teenagers, Right. Are in that brain development process and they want to think about those things and they want to form their own opinions on them. And our job is to help them facilitate that learning with facts and doing what we can to approach the things where they have cognitive dissonance or where they don’t know the things that we know and helping them figure it out for themselves.

Emma Bowen: So that’s our we don’t make decisions for them. We help them guide internal assessment on their own to make those changes themselves. So that’s all the backings that we have that we use to guide how we would write the program.

Shane Cook: Okay. And so I want to jump into the curriculum itself and kind of look at a little bit more closely. But since you’ve gone through it and run a pilot through here now, have you confirmed your approach? I mean, on some level, I think you’ve probably received enough feedback to say, Yeah, this was the right strategy for us.

Shane Cook: We picked the right areas to focus on. Or did you have to make some adjustments?

Emma Bowen: Yeah, well, we can talk about this even more in-depth when we get to evaluations later. But we really we saw with our first pilot the things that we wanted to see. We saw more negative expectations after gambling, lowered intentions to gamble and higher knowledge around gambling and gambling terms. So these are all things that we want to see.

Emma Bowen: But we also asked them themselves about what didn’t make sense to them and what they would like to see more of and where did Netflix for them. So we used all of that to kind of come together. Ultimately, the biggest change was adding another lesson because we just felt like we needed a little bit more time to bring it all together.

Emma Bowen: But we’re going through it with those changes. And I think this next implementation cycle in the spring and post that it’s going to be a lot more tweaks. So we’re like, we’re getting closer and closer.

Shane Cook: Okay. So continuous improvement is part of the plan here, which I think is always important. And you’re taking direct feedback from the students. And I suspect that that’s going to pay big dividends as you roll through roll through and roll this out again in the spring. So let’s go ahead and dive right in and talk and start talking about the curriculum itself.

Emma Bowen: So one thing I’ll say before we move into the curriculum is what we’ve base it around and just kind of get one thing on the table. So we use that resource that we did to compile a list of risk factors and protective factors.

Shane Cook: Right?

Emma Bowen: Yeah. Yes.

Shane Cook: Thank you.

Emma Bowen: No problem. We use these to build a list of goals. So we took the the changeable risk and protective factor. So there are some things that are outside of their control. But we took the things that we could have control over. So, for example, like income, status and gender, those are risk factors we can’t change for them. So we took the things that we could change or that we felt we could have some power in helping them be more protected and facing less risk.

Emma Bowen: So that was really how we decided every single thing that would go in here was we found a risk factor, wrote a bowl to correct it, and then went from there. So an example is increasing self-regulation. So if they have self-regulation skills in place, they’re less likely to struggle from problem gambling in the future. So we have written in opportunities to learn and engage with self-regulation tools, coping skills, those kinds of things.

Emma Bowen: So that’s kind of the baseline of everything. We decided, even if at the moment we’re not saying gambling is when you even if that’s not necessarily the sentence that we’re saying, all of the topics and the things that we’re learning are rooted in the risk factors and protective factors of gambling. So that’s kind of how we knew where to go.

Shane Cook: Okay. All right.

Alison Donoho: Yeah. So we’ll go ahead and dive into, like, the kind of the overview of the lesson.

Shane Cook: Yeah, absolutely.

Alison Donoho: Let’s do it. So lesson one is all about gambling, because one of the risk factors is that students don’t know what gambling is or some of the fallacies that come along with gambling. But it also is a foundation of the the lessons. And so and that’s first lesson we do some get to know you things we have them do name tense because we want to be able to get to know the students by name, call on them by name.

Alison Donoho: We also do a class agreement and that’s part of it, of we want to treat them as adults. We want them to be included. It’s not something that we are going to tell them what the rules are. So we come with a class agreement together so that they feel like this is their class and not just somebody coming in talking to them or teaching them.

Shane Cook: And I suspect that’s a good way to get them to begin to open up and really have real dialog where you’re creating a safe environment to have these discussions.

Emma Bowen: And this is rather that social-emotional learning, this is where all of that comes in and how well we treat each other.

Shane Cook: Okay.

Alison Donoho: Yeah. So Ethan included an environment where they feel like they can share. We do talk about confidentiality and it’s, you know, better to say I know someone than to talk about their brother or something like that. So yeah, that’s all a part of kind of setting the stage that we’re going to be for the not a chance curriculum.

Alison Donoho: And then maybe it’s just talking about gambling and we start talking about like what is when you think about gambling, what do you think about? And we write some things down and then we have like, what do you think about this definition? Do you agree with this definition? And then we talk about the three R’s of gambling where in order for something to be gambling, it has to have risk reward and random.

Alison Donoho: And then we play this game called Weights. Is that gambling? And then we have a little spinning wheel and it lands on some different things. And some of them are very obvious, like slot machines or casinos. Yes, that’s definitely Emily. But then we get to things that may be a little bit borderline of like a 5050 ticket for charity.

Alison Donoho: And so sometimes people think we also introduced this saying called Sway, which stands for some people think this, other people think this. You need to decide for yourself and so for those kind of things we talk about like, you know, we know what I think about 50, 50 drawings, even if it’s for charity. But some people might think it is gambling.

Alison Donoho: Other people don’t think it’s gambling because it’s charity. You need to decide on your own what you think. So we let the students decide on those things. Then we get a little bit more iffy with like claw machines and like, you know, carnival games and things like that.

Shane Cook: Now, how robust is that discussion? Because I can imagine there’s a lot of competing ideas that come out during that discussion about what is gambling, what is not.

Alison Donoho: And what when. We also something that we introduce in this first lesson is that we give them a handout that talks about respectful sentenced partners. And so you can disagree or agree with somebody and still be respectful. So even if you disagree with somebody about something, you can say it in a respectful way, which is something we all need to learn how to do.

Alison Donoho: So we what we let everyone have their, you know, their say and we talk. And if somebody is kind of be a little bit disrespectful, we’ll come like, okay, remember, first of all, our agreement is that we’re going to be respectful to each other. And is there a way you could start that sentence that would be a bit more respectful way?

Alison Donoho: But I think that mostly what I see is just eye-opening to a lot of students that were like, I never thought about that big gambling, even like loot boxes and games. No, I don’t think that’s gambling. A lot of them think it’s not gambling because they do get something at the end. It may not be what they want, but they think of that, Well, we do get some reward.

Alison Donoho: They keep talking about the loot boxes. We get something for those. So therefore they think it’s not gambling. And I’m like, okay, you know what? But what happens whenever you don’t get what you want? Are you wanting to buy it again? And so we talk about that a little bit more than I really it’s just to get them to think a little bit more about what they do, think about gambling.

Shane Cook: Right.

Emma Bowen: And with the three R’s, it helps us to ground, like we said, it’s risk reward and some amount of random chance it helps us go through. So Spinning wheel says stock market. And what do you guys think? Gambling, Not gambling. And they kind of share their thoughts. And really the takeaway isn’t just is it gambling? Is it not gambling, it’s what’s the danger level?

Emma Bowen: And the thing that I’m doing, being able to know when you’re gambling is the first step in knowing if you’re at risk. But we could fight all day about if a 5050 raffle is gambling or the stock market is or not. The point is, and the grounding feature is always if you’re doing it and it’s causing risk. So when we’re talking about a 5050 raffle where most of the time the winner donates the money back to the cause, that’s a low risk situation.

Emma Bowen: But if we’re talking about parlay betting on sports, that’s a high-risk kind of thing to do. So kind of getting them to not just say is it gambling, is it not gambling? How do we know and how do we know the risk involved, too?

Shane Cook: Right. Very interesting. I got to imagine that this to kick off the curriculum here, this has got to be just a maddening at times discussion. But also a very rewarding one because I believe this starts to set everything else in motion. Right? The light bulbs are coming on your audience or this group of students is, you know, you’re changing their perceptions of what they may have thought were absolute truths.

Shane Cook: Right? The oh, no, that’s not gambling. But hey, wait a minute. There is an element of risk involved in this. And I got to believe that’s somewhat rewarding standing there and having that conversation with them. So then what comes next after that?

Alison Donoho: So then we.

Shane Cook: You’ve equipped them with some with the ability to start recognizing these. And then on the heels of that, you go into, okay, how do I make better decisions?

Emma Bowen: Yes. So let me take you as called decision making. 101. And the theme of lesson two is to help them become more thoughtful decision-makers. And we’re very careful not to say good or bad decisions. It’s always careful, thoughtful, low-risk decisions, maybe less impulsive. That’s something we try to talk about as well. But we’re trying to help them become more thoughtful decision-makers from start to finish.

Emma Bowen: So in this lesson, we talk about brain development throughout the teen years and those things that we talked about. Now, the prefrontal cortex is still cooking. So is the logic isn’t always 100% there to hold that knowledge of my brain. Is that fully developed that so that means I’m more at risk. But we really try to talk about it a lot and explain it in different ways, how their brain being underdeveloped can affect the way that they react to things, can affect the ways that they make decisions more impulsively, and then we give them tools, first kind of tools that are more grounding, like, okay, let’s take some deep breaths, let’s box breathe, let’s do something

Emma Bowen: grounding to get my emotions and my brain in the same place and try to make a really thoughtful decision here. And then we work them through something that’s a step-by-step decision model. And so helping them make a process where, okay, I need to know when I’m making a decision, when I’m making that decision, I need to be prepared for it.

Emma Bowen: And here’s the steps that I’m going to take, whether that decision is what I’m going to have for breakfast, because what you have for breakfast impacts your day. Or if that decision is where will I go to college, will I go to college? What do I want to be when I grow up? All these decisions we’re making, we’re making a skill of decision making.

Emma Bowen: And if you practice it a lot and all of these little thoughtful decisions throughout your day, whenever you go to make those big ones, you’ll be ready. So we work them through that step-by-step model in a group setting. So we do a group decision where we all kind of work through an example and then they get to take a moment to practice on their own, a decision that they’re going to make in the coming weeks and work through that step-by-step method for themselves.

Shane Cook: Okay. And is is that individual activity then? Do they come back and share that or is it does it stay personal to them that they can take with them? Carry it?

Emma Bowen: You’ve stumbled upon one of my favorite topics, which is voice and voice. So there are always opportunities to share and there are students who do like to share, even when it’s more personal things. But it’s always, especially I know when I will get into the next lesson. It’s more feelings related. So they also have an individual activity where they do a check-in with themselves.

Emma Bowen: And whenever I say, does anybody want to share, I also say, I know this is a more private experience. So if you don’t want to know pressure, does anybody want to share their experience with this? Does anybody want to share their decision that they’ve made and the thought process that went behind it? And I find that whenever you come at it from that approach, people are more likely to share, even if it is more private.

Emma Bowen: But it’s never like you.

Shane Cook: Tell me, Oh no, that you would be you would breach the trust that you had established the previous week and the previous lesson to do that. That’s why I was curious if if there are individuals who are willing to share some of those more personal things that they’ve written down when it comes to decision-making, because that’s a brave soul at that age that can get up and talk about something as personal as that, whatever it may be.

Emma Bowen: And never underestimate the power of sharing on your own to encourage someone else to do it. So something that I do, we have games where they can volunteer, but we have backups. If nobody wants to volunteer, I can be in this role the whole time. But even in the shire classes where, oh, they don’t want to volunteer for this game, how about I go first and just show you how it works and then you keep asking in between if nobody wants to, you keep going, but you’ll find that the more you do it, the more comfortable they feel doing it, because not everybody gets the role to a thing.

Emma Bowen: Whenever you just hear it out loud. Some people need to see it. Some people need to build their confidence a little bit on how it’s going to go. So never underestimate the power of like sharing a little bit on your own. Like today, I’m feeling exhausted because I’ve had like three presentations this week and I am still happy to be here with you, but I’m tired or something like that, you know?

Emma Bowen: Right, Right. Like we’re all human together and that helps them feel more comfortable to share.

Shane Cook: All right, Good point. Good point. So then what comes next after decision making?

Alison Donoho: So then we get into talking about feelings and we do a game that’s about gassing different feelings, which is really difficult because we all experience feelings differently, react to feelings differently, and we want the students to understand that however you’re feeling is fine. You know, you don’t. Your feelings are your feelings. And if you cry when you’re mad, that’s okay.

Alison Donoho: If you cry when you’re sad that’s okay. Your feelings are your feelings and we just need to be able to kind of understand them in case it’s to those intense feelings where you are changing your behavior or reacting differently. So we talk a lot about feelings and naming your feelings, but we also talk about how to deal with intense feelings such as sadness and anger and anxiety.

Alison Donoho: And we go through, well, how have you seen other people deal with this, whether it’s, you know, in person or on social media or you’ve seen it on movies, and then what would be a healthy way to deal with these emotions? And then we also do a guided reflection story about a fictional student who was gambling to deal with their emotions.

Alison Donoho: And then through that, we stop every once in a while and they answer some questions on their own about how they would be feeling if they were in this situation or if you were her friend, what would you be doing? So that’s also a good time to do some reflection, but also talk a little bit how people gamble to deal with their feelings.

Shane Cook: Okay. Yeah. I noticed in the outline that you all had provided prior to the show, there was there was a point here on dealing with feelings called the Vibe Check. Did it that interested me. What is the vibe check?

Emma Bowen: So the vibe check is just an opportunity for them to check in with how they’re feeling that day. Okay, things we’ve mentioned, one thing we’ve mentioned is trying to give them creative outlets, or this is one of the changes from our first pilot. We kind of look through the worksheets to see like, where are people confused? What can we learn from this?

Emma Bowen: And we saw that. I mean, more than anyone. Like if six people said gambling, the first thing they thought it was money, 17 people doodled on that page. So we really found that there was this like artistic, creative need and something to do with their hands. So they have a little emoji opportunity to like draw with their mom.

Emma Bowen: Their mood is that day, try to name that feeling and explain where those feelings are coming from.

Shane Cook: Okay. Do you find it that the students are more willing to approach it that way rather than just kind of going around the room? How are you feeling today? How are you feeling? How are you feeling about this? Which almost seems like it could be a little aggressive? Yeah, In that scenario. Whereas if they’re if they’re kind of using the emoji check, that’s a feeling, a safe feeling that that then kind of gives them the opportunity to open up and talk a little bit more.

Emma Bowen: Yeah. And they have the opportunity to keep all these worksheets after. So that’s never something that any one of their teachers or peers would get a hold of. It’s for them. And if they choose not to share, it’s private. So it gives that kind of effect of a journal, a journal entry.

Shane Cook: Okay. Yeah. I like. Yeah.

Alison Donoho: I also think the vibe check is an opportunity for them to, like, reflect like, oh, you know, some of them I think will just put, Oh, I’m feeling some people’s like I’m feeling neutral, I’m not feeling sad or happy or whatever, but some of them like I’m like, try to get a little deeper than sad or a little deeper than happy.

And it might be, you know, I’m anxious about this test coming up or something more a little bit deeper than just some of those general emotions. But what is causing those emotions as well and then be able to help you in a healthy way deal with those emotions? Because we know if we don’t deal with the emotions, that those can cause risky behaviors, right?

Whether it be like, you know, yelling at your friend or something like that or other risky things like you know, using substances or something else to make yourself feel happy.

Shane Cook: Yeah. All right. Good stuff. So after you go through the feelings discussion, then, where do you head from there? Because this all sounds like it’s all lay and foundation.

Emma Bowen: Yes. So lesson four comes as probably our most conceptual of all of the lessons and this lesson roots back to problem gambling being a process addiction. And I’ll just touch on that for just a second. Gambling being a process addiction, we don’t see a lot of prevention programs for process addictions. We at the most generous we could say sex and kind of sexual health, relational health, those kinds of things get kind of close to a process addiction prevention program.

But really, when we talk about prevention programs, we think of substance prevention programs and the way that a substance functions versus the way that a process addiction functions is very different. And the way that we approach those two things, yes, there’s a lot in common, but there is this fundamental difference of it’s in their brain and it doesn’t take any kind of outside substance for it to be triggered.

So this lesson tries to kind of broach that. How do we know? Like a process, Addiction usually has something that can be used at a normal level. So like a shopping addiction or something to that degree, you can’t get rid of shopping forever. If you’re experiencing addiction to shopping. You can’t just nix that and just knock your groceries anymore.

We’re not there for a process. Addiction. It’s not just abstinence. And we have to ask that question of how do we teach them how to make decisions about processes that can become harmful but can also be healthy, regular behaviors for adults, for adults.

Shane Cook: Right.

Alison Donoho: Yeah.

Emma Bowen: So let’s kind of give it an idea lesson or is called a balancing act. And we talk about the balance in your life and how to know when you’re out of balance. So we all know what it feels like to wear multiple hats or B multiple things to other people or to yourself, like a student, a sibling, an athlete, a best friend, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, whatever your roles are, managing all of them is also a role.

And knowing whenever you’re out of balance is also one of those roles. You’re the keeper of your balance and you have to be aware of when you’re out of balance. So what we do to try and teach them how to do that is we talk about what it means to do things in your free time, why we do those things, and then we talk about how do we know when something we’ve done in our free time has gone from something that can help us do, something that can harm.

And an example that we give is we can probably all agree that reading is a pretty. This is an audio recording, but Air quotes says air quotes healthy thing to do. Reading is safe and healthy. However, if you’re staying up all night reading, skipping work, skipping school, not doing your homework, it is very obvious that something that’s healthy air quotes safe has become hurtful or harmful.

And so how do we know when that’s happening? How do we try to teach them to do that is we give them the opportunity to make a list of their goals and a list of their priorities. And then we kind of do this thing where we’re like, okay, is this thing I’m doing in my free time? Getting in the way of my goals is this thing I’m doing in my free time, stopping me from achieving my priorities or priorities, doing the things that I want to get done first.

And if the answer is yes, you might be out of balance. And then we try to teach them how they can restore that. So we get into this conversation about limits and boundaries and we give them examples to kind of think about. So we say, for example, and this is based on my own life, so not lying when I say it, but I find that I scroll at the end of the night because I’m kind of like reclaiming my time and then I want to go to bed, but I want to scroll a little bit longer.

So I find that I don’t get as good sleep those nights. So what can I do? And that’s what we ask them. What could I do to help myself get set up for success to not because I’ve identified that I want to use my phone less at night. How do I make that happen? What are some ideas? We could charge your phone on the other side of the room.

You could put screen time limits on your phone. You could do not disturb. You could put a bedtime of when you’re going to use your phone. And then we kind of work through other examples, even one that’s like, I’ve done too many sports. I’ve signed up for too many sports. I’m in soccer and baseball and wrestling and swimming, and now I’m exhausted.

And like we said, that’s a healthy thing to do is participate in sports. But now you’ve done too many and you don’t have time to be a person. So whenever you make that list of goals in your list of priorities, if soccer doesn’t make the list, maybe we need to let soccer go. Or maybe we need to set limits with those friends who are causing drama in our lives.

Or maybe we need to set limits on our electronic use or our social media behaviors. And that’s what we kind of try to teach them how to do in this lesson.

Shane Cook: Yeah, well, man, this has got to be, I think all the lessons are great. This has got to be one that really starts to hit home because I think a lot of us today and and I would I would take that all the way down to probably even grade school kids. Seems like everybody’s over scheduled to do a lot of different things today.

So this is this has got to be a good topic of discussion, especially with this age group. Just all the pressure is outside pressure to perform at a high level in so many different areas and to take a step back and start to realize, hey, you know, I’ve got all this stuff going on and without writing it down, you probably don’t even recognize how much you’ve got going on.

So light bulbs have got to be popping off during this lesson, too, and beginning how to identify that risk. How does how does is is gambling discussed during this time or during this lesson, how it how it could be pulling them away from what their true goal is for where they want to get to.

Emma Bowen: So we actually end the lesson for similar to lesson three, how we had a guided reflection story where we read a little bit the questions we have that as well for lesson four and then lesson four it’s a fictional freshman. First moving to a college a couple of hours from their hometown, and this person is facing a big change.

They don’t know where their friends are. Their friends are going different places and they are they’re no longer playing football, which was they’re kind of like youth hobby. And now they’re on a campus where they don’t know anybody and they’ve decided to join a fantasy league to get connected with people in the area, which turns to sports betting, which turns to problem gambling.

So we kind of give them an example of what this can look like just generally as as a base level phone use. And then we go, okay, what about a little more complicated? Add a little complexity to it, and then we take it home to gambling. Once they’re really comfortable with the base level skill, we take it to that and let them think about where are they following on the problem gambling continuum?

We asked the question, are there sports betting behaviors getting in the way of their goals? Because their goal was to be a sports commentator. So if they’re not making it to their classes, which they’re not and they’ve been dropped from their classes, then sports gambling is getting in the way of their goal. So giving them a chance to practice that balance on a fictional character as well.

Shane Cook: Okay. All right. I also noticed that kind of kicking off this, you start with the telephone game or a version of the telephone game. Yes. What how does that how does that get set up? So and is it the same idea where you whisper it to one person and then by the end, it’s something totally different.

Emma Bowen: So last year we had just such a huge success. And this speaks to playing to our audience. It’s one of the things we brought up then. But our decision making lesson, it kicked off with a would you rather game and there was a couple in there that are like, Would you rather have $1,000 every month forever or $10,000 right now?

So kind of this gambling ask decision. Okay. But it was one of their because we started with would you rather they don’t know why we’re doing it and then we get into the category and they’re like, oh, decision making. And it was really their favorite part. So that’s how we came to this kind of okay, they really like it when we have kind of like a teaser game at the beginning that leads them into the ultimate point of the day.

And so how this one works, and we’re still kind of workshopping it to make it as as good as it can be. Again, this is the most conceptual lesson, so it’s very hard to even find an example of anything like it. But it’s the telephone game classic. We put them into teams by Rose either way, and then there are three rounds.

So the first round has like just like a phrase, so like they’re all tongue twisters and it’s like bright blue sky or something like that is the first round and they have to get right blue sky from one end to the other. And then the second round is something like the Swift Swans swam swiftly or something like that.

It’s a little bit longer and it’s harder to get it from one piece to the other, to try to try and carry that whole message all the way to the end. Things start getting lost, and then whenever we get to the third round, it’s a full sentence. So the Risky rascals ran by the rugged rocks, I think is one of the sentences.

So it’s a whole sentence that’s a tongue twister. And once it starts trying to carry down the line, we lose pieces. And that’s just kind of leading into the topic of once we start adding too much to our plate, we lose pieces of the thing that we want to do. Yeah, we’re working on getting it connecting as best as possible, but that’s that’s the outline and they do, they do understand it and they I think that they just really like having a fun way to bring in what we’re going to talk about and start our class with high energy and involvement because it’s all games where they are all involved.

Nobody is left out. It’s not like one person doing something like the whole class is playing the whole time. So just a really good, engaging way to start things off.

Shane Cook: Okay, great idea.

Alison Donoho: I had students during that time, like all I said was a telephone game, so I had students that I saw write down and I just let them write it down. Or I had other students who were like, Oh, can you repeat that? Let them repeat it. And then as the lesson gone, I was like, you know, and you have a lot of things to do.

Sometimes you have to write things down and sometimes that helps you to remember. And so that was fine that you wrote things down. I didn’t say you couldn’t write things down, but that helped you to remember it so that that’s what you have to do when you have a lot of things going on in your life. Yeah. Or you might have to ask somebody to repeat what you thought they were saying because you didn’t get it all the first time.

And that’s just being responsible and making sure that you understand what they’re wanting from you. So there was other like learning moments during that game as well, rather than just the it’s difficult when you have a lot of things going on. Things.

Shane Cook: Right. Right. All right. So then your final lesson is planning your future. Yes. Is that how I understand it?

Alison Donoho: Yes. So this is our fifth lesson we actually have. This is not our last lesson. We have one after this one. But this fifth lesson is one of the favorites of the students. And it’s one of my nice favorite, which is really surprising because it’s all about budgeting. But we found that the students really like it because they real life things that they know that they’re going to have to use in the near future.

And so basically we have them search a career on a on a website. And, you know, we only give them a little bit of time, but we give them at least the tools that they can come back to this website and do a little bit more research if they want, but they get to pick two that they might be interested in.

And on there it tells you what the median income would be like. What is the year that you have to be in school, those kind of things. So then we use that annual salary to make a budget and we give them very minimal selections. On some of them, we don’t. We make them pay our savings, we make them have some savings.

They get to choose how much to save, but we do make them have some savings, but then we give them some options between some housing, food, transportation. So they make this budget and so then they fill it all out and we, you know, do all of it with them because it looks like a very complicated worksheet. And then at the end, it just basically, how much money do you have left?

And then we have this discussion about once versus needs. And if there are things we then talk about like, you know, we didn’t talk about getting clothes, we didn’t talk about getting furniture. What about if you have pets, What if you have medication that you need to have? So you need also like a account for those things as well.

But what are some things that you could do to save money? So we talked about maybe having a roommate. Maybe you’re going to have to move in with mom and dad, right after you get out of college because that’s the makes the most sense. Maybe you’re going to have to, you know, use public transportation or maybe you’re going to have to use you get a used car, whatever it is.

So they talk about like ways that they can save money. Also, we talk about other ways that they could save more money and for, you know, retirement as well. And then we always end it like, okay, so with this money, how much money are you willing to give up for a chance and willing to give to gambling? And, you know, some of them will say $20.

And I’m like, okay, well, that’s a good limit to say that you’re going to spend $20 a month on the gambling. Yeah. Oh, or in some of them, like, I don’t even know how my parents do it. Like, how do they pay all the bills? Then I’m like, Well, maybe you should ask them and see how that, you know, because when it’s fixed, when it’s not their money, even though this is like fictional money, also, when it’s not their money, they can easily standard.

And like, you know, you know, it doesn’t mean anything to them. But when it’s like their money, even though it’s fictional money, they’re more like apt to like, hold on to it. Like, no, I’m not going. I’m just for entertainment. I’m going to go to the library, get free books like, okay, great. They have free movies there too.

My great go the library then, you know. So it’s a very everyone can use this information and I don’t know that they get to use that as much. And it’s also like treating them as adults. They like to be treated as adults. And this is an adult thing, even though they’re not quite adults yet.

Shane Cook: Right. Yeah, it’s it’s crazy, isn’t it, that this isn’t baked in more frequently into curriculum.

Emma Bowen: Yes.

Shane Cook: Everybody goes through. So I’m glad you all touched on this because it’s an important life skill that not many people get. And they have to, you know, unfortunately, go out on their own and they’re forced to deal with it at some point without having that formal mortgage that you all are applying in this situation. So I think that’s a great one.

What what is that? What’s the following session? And then to planning for your future, What’s what’s the additive?

Emma Bowen: Lesson six So our last lesson is called putting it all together. It’s kind of our review lesson, but not really just a review. It’s got some more to it. We kind of com all of that we’ve learned so far into this day. And we start by recapping all the things that we’ve done so far going lesson by lesson, like, Hey, what do you remember?

emember our dice game? You remember our weight? Is that gambling and kind of going through refreshing, reengaging with that content, reinstalling it in their memory. And then we have them do a hoop game and they work through questions of some of them. Our reviews of topics we covered, some of them are more like, how many people do you think are at risk of gambling in Illinois and these kinds of like community based questions.

And then finally, we lead in with some questions about advertising and that kind of how we close is looking at a couple of advertisements, but really just content pieces from the Internet. They’re obviously mock ups because we can’t use real versions, but we look at a print ad and break down who is making this ad, What are they trying to get you to do and how are they trying to convince you to do it?

And then we take that and we also apply it to a mock kind of like an article that you would see that was like top ten tips to gamble your way to $1,000,000, something like that. That’s one of the articles that we kind of mocked up to look at. And we break down who made this ad, who paid for it?

What are they trying to get you to do, and why do they want you to do it? Because it culminates that decision making piece. It culminates our emotions, our decision making, and how we balance our lives and knowing whenever something’s become a problem, it all kind of comes in together there. And then we thank them for learning with us because it’s an awesome experience.

Shane Cook: Right? Right. So throughout the throughout the curriculum that that you all have delivered during the pilot, what what’s been the most surprising thing that you’ve come across or what did you what did you take away from it from the pilot series and you thought. I didn’t think about that from the beginning, but this was really cool. What happened?

Emma Bowen: I think what we mentioned earlier, the biggest changes we needed one more lesson and then the activities that we mentioned, like having that like fun engaging style of starting with the game, that was one of the big pick ups from the first pilot. And then I’d say the last piece was the success of the fifth lesson really helped us go back and that’s the life skills approach was recently added in.

We kind of did the lesson and realized, Hey, why do they love that lesson so much? Because it was so applicable and tangible to their life. So then we kind of went backwards, not when we added in like, okay, so we have the decision making model now. They need a chance to use it and apply it to their life.

And so that was a guiding piece to give them the information, let them apply it in like a group setting and then let them apply it to their own lives in an individual setting. And that has, I think, gotten us a lot more success and a lot more stick ability in their brains. Like they more likely to remember that lesson because of the.

Would you rather leading into the decision making are that.

Shane Cook: Right.

Emma Bowen: Now you know all of those like fun pieces help them re remember the content and the overall lessons and it helps it reengage too.

Alison Donoho: Yeah I think one of the biggest takeaway is that I have is the varying degrees of what students know about gambling. And that’s okay. And because there are some that, you know, we do not go, you know, we do not ask anyone if they’re gambling, but they buy how they answer some of the questions. You’re like, I’m pretty sure that you have done something to people.

Be like, This is not at all a problem. This is not a problem. And I’m like, okay, well, and then I started talking about like, do you see these sports betting, you know, FanDuel and those kind of ads on TV? Oh, wait, that’s gambling. Yep, that’s gambling. Or even some of the things that happened on video games and where it’s different between when we’re talking about substance use is that students usually overestimate how many students are using substances because people are talking about it so much and they think that everyone is doing it.

But I think they underestimate how many people are gambling, because I don’t think it’s as obvious that the students are doing gambling. I don’t think it’s talked about as much among the friends. I don’t it’s not you can’t see it. You can’t you don’t hear talk. People talking about what they did on the weekend while they you know, that they were gambling on the video game.

You don’t hear people talking about that versus them using substances.

Emma Bowen: And why? Because they might not use the word gambling to describe the activity that they’re doing. They aren’t going to call a loot box gambling. But after they’ve spent $300 trying to get one skin and a box for whatever game they’re playing, Mike, might you get a little closer to the word gambling we might need to re discuss then.

That’s why we do the what weight is that gambling in the 3 hours? Because in the chart this is something I don’t think we really got into. But this is another way that this program is unique is that we are designing it specifically for the changing landscape of gambling nationally, but also specifically in Illinois. So those pieces of sports betting, legalization, advertising, the numbers that we use for the budgeting activity are all based on averages.

In Illinois, I used real numbers from Illinois, statistics to use all that. It’s all specifically tailored to Illinois and also the ways that gaming and the convergence of gaming and gambling and sports betting, legalization and all these changing pieces. That is one of the ways that it is unique as well, because we look to those things and those changes as they go along and try to really write those in.

Because like you, like we’ve said, you might not see that as gambling because they’re they’re young and they don’t they haven’t been to gambling and the app isn’t going to tell them they’re gambling because they know what gambling is. Whenever we say what’s gambling, they write death, they write sad, they write money, no money in loss and those kinds of things.

But they don’t know that the things that they might be doing are gaming and they’re actually gambling because of that purposeful divergence of the words and the language of gaming versus gambling. So that’s one of the things that’s really influential.

Alison Donoho: To.

Shane Cook: Yeah, I think that’s what a great distinction there, because on one hand you’re having this discussion with people that are obviously or with this age demographic that are not all of them, but that there’s a fair amount that are engaging in gambling behavior without really understanding it. So having this process to go through all the lessons and start to click the light bulbs on in their heads, hey, this is I’d never really thought about this as gambling.

What a great life lesson for them, number one. And in terms of prevention, you know, you’ve cracked the code to get in there and get to first base with them. So from here on out, it’s it’s an opportunity for them to have that recognition going forward. This lesson is tailored towards the freshman class, right. The incoming class each year are there check points with the previous class at or do you have, I guess, a better way to state this?

Do you have plans to check in with the previous class to see how it’s going for them? Does that make sense? Because you’re because you’re starting at each new freshman class, right? And you’re having this curriculum on. But I would think you’d probably want some follow up with them along the road. You’ve got you’ve got three more years that they’re going to be there and then they’re lost to the wind, so to speak.

Right. Be hard to corral.

Alison Donoho: Yes. So we’re working with Lighthouse Institute, which is our research department of Chestnut. Do all the evaluation work. Okay. So in following the students throughout the high school is one of the things that we have talked about or we did do one group of students and, well, the whole semester of students last semester. So that might be something that we are looking to follow up, but it might be more with this group that we just started because it’s somewhat of a different it’s somewhat different than what we did last spring.

It might be the group that we are going to be following, and we had some issues trying to find evaluation tools that would work and be actually our tool to to study what we’re wanting to them to learn about and not so much about gambling, but also more about regular their emotions and those kind of things that we are more interested in talking about and evaluating.

Shane Cook: All right, perfect. So your curriculum is primarily targeted to in classroom, right? So I’m curious if you have any plans to expand the scope of this and look for opportunities to reach outside the classroom, to reengage with students.

Emma Bowen: So like we mentioned previously, that environment change is a really big piece of the success of prevention programs. So we do try to build and things outside of the lesson. So for example, we have optional home learning opportunities. So they’re also game based, but their educational game centered to those topics that they can explore those topics further in their free time if they want to.

We also have newsletters that go out to the parents because the parents having education about gambling and problem gambling is also one of those protective factors. So connecting the entire environment and trying to reach parents, reach the teachers in the schools, change their environment and not just talk to them in classes. We try to build those pieces and as much as we can.

Shane Cook: Okay, great. And then ultimately, let’s let’s think long term here for this curriculum. What’s the overall vision on once you once you’ve gone through your second round with the curriculum, what is the vision to, you know, ultimately get this in every high school in Illinois and how do you achieve that?

Emma Bowen: So for our short term right now, after this implementation cycle, we want to do we want to finish and evaluate this implementation cycle. And we hope to see the trends that we mentioned for last implementation. So those expectations of negative experiences when gambling and lower intentions of gambling, we hope to see these hold and increase. And we also want to get evidence based evidentiary classification, which is a whole long process that, you know, it goes into that we want to check back in four years and make sure this is holding in eight years, make sure that we can’t say that this is evidence based until we can say that we can confirm that it holds up over the long term. So that’s one of our goals as soon as possible. And then immediately at the end of this implementation cycle, we’re going to have something prepared to train and equip other agencies to implement the curriculum in their service areas so we can start getting more data. And that’s, I think, what we’ll start building in that long term evaluation piece now that we’ve got the content down and then we can start exploring, we’ll get a lot more data when it’s not just the two of us running this.

So that’s our short term than Alison’s. Our long.

Alison Donoho: Term, yes. So after this fiscal year or after June, we’ll have something to share with other agencies that we will be a part of our research as well. So Emma Bowen and I need to figure out how we train other people to think like we’ve been thinking about this, to be able to put on paper how to implement the curriculum.

And so then we’ll be able to help with training other agencies, our schools around the state to do it. Then also we would like to do a virtual version of the program because we know there is some inequities in some rural areas that maybe don’t have services, that there are ways that we could maybe virtually do this program as well and then maybe actually end up more audiences, maybe a middle school, maybe college.

We would like to also do we know as a comprehensive primary prevention focus is to have more than just the curriculum, but also have a communication campaign that would be talking about with posters and other ways of getting messages out and then also getting parents involved as well to have more of a environmental change going on and then also have maybe an alternative experience for Spanish speaking students as well.

So that’s long term.

Shane Cook: Long term, yeah. But and I appreciate that. I think that I love the curriculum the way it’s the way it’s designed, the way you explained it. It sounds like it’s very impactful. It’s I mean, you’re having an effect on an age group that you can really start to make a difference with. Right? You’re at the front edge, so to speak, of the next wave.

So anything I think that we can do this brings about a great deal of change just in the thought process overall, not just to gambling, but to a lot of different things where these lessons can be applied. So I appreciate that. What has been I’m curious, though, what has been the response from you? This is a two part question, actually.

One, who do you target at the schools to get this implemented? And I guess the follow up to that is what has been their feedback on the the pilot that’s been done and this current iteration.

Alison Donoho: Yes. So one of the things that we talked about early when we were doing this curriculum is like, we can write this great curriculum, but if schools don’t want us and it doesn’t make any difference. So we brought schools in right away to be like, what can what can we do to make this something that you would give up five or six sessions of year of your day?

And so we aligned our lessons to the Illinois State standards so that we can help them to reach their standards as well. But we did, as we have, we went to schools that we had relationships with, that we’ve already been doing substance use prevention and just asked them if they would be willing for us to come in. And usually we’ve been going into their health classes and so we kind of reached some of those standards that they have for that.

And I mean, I right away when we started talking about it, they, you know, we had teachers say, oh, yeah, we need we need this. We I had a principal, you know, say, Oh, yeah, we just caught some kids that were doing some gambling. And so, you know, this is something that’s topic that we that needs to be talk about.

They don’t and they don’t understand how it can be so harmful to them. And then I think afterwards the teachers are very receptive and thinks that is a great program. I think it’s one of those things that like to your kids that a lot of adults don’t think this is a problem, does it doesn’t see it as a of youth having a problem.

I will admit that before I started talking about this or learning about this, I was like, I don’t even understand. Like, how do they how do they get access to gambling? And then realizing how much of it online? It’s like, Oh, okay, yeah, yeah, yeah, I get it. I understand now. So, you know, we’ll a lot of what we’re doing too, is educating even our own coworkers that are in the substance use prevention field to be like how this is an issue as well.

So we do we talk a lot about it. So because it’s, you know, something that we’ve passionate about and think that a lot of people don’t know about. So we’re excited that we’re able to put this curriculum together. We put a lot time and effort into it, and I think we probably have it at a good place right now.

It’s always we can always improve. We’re always making improvements.

Shane Cook: Absolutely. And it will, right? And you will. I have no doubt about that. And at some point, you just got to go, Right? Right. You got to go. And then feedback loop and continuous improvement from there. So really appreciate the work that you all are doing out in the communities and and trying to trying to take it one person at a time.

That’s right. Is often what it takes. Any final thoughts from you, Alison or Emma Bowen give you each an opportunity to have a final thought here.

Alison Donoho: Yeah, I don’t really have anything. I just want to say that thank you to both Shane and Emma Bowen. Emma Bowen’s in such an amazing job with all of this stuff. She’s done so well, and I just think this is a fascinating topic. I hope that there are, you know, schools and adults out there that see the need and know able to have a discussion about gambling and just have more awareness of what their students are or children are doing.

So hopefully this is something that will give some light to all of that.

Shane Cook: Yeah, Emma Bowen.

Emma Bowen: I’d say the same thing, just very happy to be able to get the word out and have something we’re so proud of to share and be able to talk about it in this detail and that other people are finding it as interesting as we are. We really tried to make sure that every single thing went into it was something that maybe like I would of in high school really like to have known or to have been taught.

And I think that guiding Light has been the main thing for us, and we’ll just keep doing that and keep trying to make it better and better for the students that we’re talking to. First and foremost. So thank you for letting me share.

Shane Cook: Absolutely. I have no doubt that it’s going to be wildly successful and I look forward to hearing all the progress as as you go through and perhaps maybe even at some point having the opportunity to pick up the curriculum and implement it myself. Yeah.

Alison Donoho: That’d be great.

Shane Cook: That would be a lot of fun. So yeah, not a chance. A problem. Gambling prevention program. Alison, Emma Bowen, thank you so much for joining us today and walking us through the curriculum and and the program. It’s great work that you all are doing there. Chestnut And it’s really great having you on the show.

Alison Donoho: Thank you for having us.

Emma Bowen: Thank you.

Shane Cook: We love hearing from you. So please take a moment to, like, share and comment on our podcast. You can reach out to us directly via email at Ouija Danger at Gateway Foundation dot org. Look for us on Facebook and Twitter at Recovery Gateway on LinkedIn, at Gateway Dash Foundation, or through our website at Gateway Foundation. Dawg Wager Danger is supported through funding in whole or in part through a grant from the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Division of Substance Abuse Prevention and Recovery.

And remember, recovery is a lifelong process. If you are a family member struggling with a gambling problem, call Gateway at 8449753663 and speak with one of our counselors for a confidential assessment.

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