Problem Gambling Prevention: The Facts, Using Public Health Models, and Integrating Programming with Substance Misuse Prevention
Heather Eshleman, M.P.H.
March 24, 2021, 1-2 PM EST
March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month. With the legalization of sports betting in mid-Atlantic states as well as increased internet gambling due to COVID-19 restrictions, gambling has never been more accessible to youth and adults. Basic facts on youth and adult gambling will be discussed with emphasis on data from MD, DC, WV, DE, PA, and VA. Public health models will be used to show how problem gambling can be prevented and integrated with alcohol and substance misuse prevention programming.
- To learn problem gambling facts and the basics of problem gambling prevention.
- To examine how public health models can be used to prevent problem gambling in youth and adults.
- To explore how to integrate problem gambling prevention strategies with the work of alcohol and substance misuse prevention and mental health promotion.
Heather Eshleman, M.P.H., is the Prevention Manager at the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling. She works collaboratively with community organizations, schools, and government agencies to prevent underage and problem gambling as well as oversee special population and youth grants. She currently leads the Center’s efforts in compiling an underage and problem gambling prevention needs assessment to provide baseline data to guide future prevention strategies. She served as the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Supervisor at the Anne Arundel County Department of Health from 2006-2019, overseeing the Substance Abuse Prevention coalitions, the Opioid Misuse Prevention Program, the Strengthening Families Program, the Fatal Overdose Review Team, and Coordination of the Students Against Destructive Decisions Chapters. Before becoming Supervisor, from 2002-2006, Heather was a Grants Administrator at Anne Arundel County Department of Health. Heather received her Masters in Public Health from the University at Albany School of Public Health and her Bachelor’s degree in School and Community Health Education from Towson University. Heather served in the United States Peace Corps in Morocco, North Africa, as a Maternal and Child Health volunteer, working on hygiene promotion and pre-natal care for two years.