Local NPR for the Cape, Coast & Islands 90.1 91.1 94.3
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Local public health officials address overlap between problem gambling and substance use

Mobile sports betting is now legal in Massachusetts
S Junker
Mobile sports betting is now legal in Massachusetts

With mobile sports betting now legal in Massachusetts, local public health experts are addressing the overlap between problem gambling and other conditions.

Barnstable County’s Substance Use Prevention Program Manager Kate Lena said there is some possible overlap between substance use disorder and problem gambling.

“It is an important topic, and while it’s not a substance, we do know that one person can have many addictions,” she said.

Lena said steps can be taken to look out for co-occurring issues in people with substance use disorder.

“Whenever there are ways to incorporate questions on problem gambling on intakes, we need to make sure we’re addressing multiple addictions together as one thing.”

Mobile sports betting apps are required to include contact information for the state’s problem gambling helpline.

Massachusetts debuted as the fifth busiest state for online betting during its recent debut. More than 8 million transactions took place over the March 10 weekend.

Brian Engles is an author, a Cape Cod local, and a producer for Morning Edition.