Youth Gaming and Gambling, Is It a Problem? (Webinar Recording)

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Youth Gaming and Gambling, Is It a Problem?
Heather Eshleman, MPH, and Kenneth Crawford, CPRS

March 5, 2024, 1:00pm-2:30pm EST


With the expansion of gaming and gambling activities in communities and on-line, how will it impact youth and young adults? This population is affected by gaming, gambling, and activities that include a mix of both in their daily lives. Discuss youth gaming, gambling, and the warning signs of problems with these activities. An overview of strategies to prevent youth problem gaming and gambling behaviors that have been adapted from alcohol and substance misuse prevention will be presented. Hear a story of recovery and learn of resources for help.


  • Increase your knowledge of youth gaming and signs of gaming problems in youth.
  • Discuss youth gambling and signs of gambling problems in youth.
  • Examine how youth gaming and gambling behaviors connect.
  • Review prevention strategies that have worked to prevent alcohol and substance misuse that could work to prevent youth problem gaming and gambling behaviors.
  • Learn about gambling recovery and resources for help.


Heather EshlemanHeather Eshleman, MPH, 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.


Kenneth CrawfordKenneth (Kenny) Crawford is a Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist with the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling (the Center). As a Peer for the Center, Kenny assists individuals within Maryland struggling with problem gambling and gambling addiction to navigate recovery treatment resources and helps remove any barriers to recovery. He has dedicated his life to helping others with gambling problems by sharing his story of recovery. Kenny has a great passion for the outdoor life, boating, fishing, hiking, and can capture the tranquility of nature thru his photography. For him, this is a great form of meditation and has helped him thru his recovery process and he would be happy to share his techniques on meditation. Kenny comes from a background in Carpentry and is grateful to help others achieve a balanced life through his extensive training in Peer Recovery Support training.



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