Gambling Addiction and You Training @ MDC Juvenile Detention

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ribenitez
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Miami
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Gambling Addiction and You Training @ MDC Juvenile Detention

Post by ribenitez » Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:15 pm

This past Friday, I had the opportunity to facilitate a problem compulsive gambling addiction training at the Miami-Dade County Juvenile Justice Detention Center.

Most of the youths were repeat offenders and had multiple incidents in their life where they engaged in gambling and other forms of addiction such as substance abuse. I made it a point to explain to the kids who problem gambling and other risky behaviors go hand in hand and their actions may have led them to their stay behind bars.

Asking the kids what kind of Gambling they have traditionally been involved in I was not surprised to here instances of dice throwing and card gaming. Of note, I heard a few admissions of online Gambling.

Afterwards, I asked the youths to break up into smaller groups of 5-4 and talk about their struggles with addiction and how Compulsive Gambling could have been involved in their stories.

One thing I stressed to the kids is the importance of staying focused and sharp much like a sword. Everyday is a challenge, a war if you will. These kids need to go into battle sharp and battling addiction numbs your focus and leaves you dull. My audience seemed to understand the analogy and I saw some have a light bulb moment.

Overall, it was a worthwhile training that was made possible through our organizations support of Empowered Youth (EY). EY is an non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of at-risk youth. They offer inspiration, support and resources to these youth so they can create positive lives and lasting transformation in their communities. Since 2006 they have been going into the Miami-Dade Juvenile Justice Detention Center facility trying to help these youth who are in need.
Richard Benitez
Special Projects Liaison
Compulsive Gambling Specialist
The Miami Coalition for A Safe, Healthy and Drug-Free Community
2490 Coral Way, #400
Miami, FL 33145
OFC. 305-854-4515
CEL. 305-215-9418

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