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Why focus on prevention?

It has been estimated that for every prevention dollar spent, approximately ten dollars is saved in treatment-related costs.  Preventing underage alcohol and drug use improves every aspect of our community.

What prevention efforts exist in Harney County?

Symmetry Care employs the County Prevention Coordinator.  Programs, education, media messages, youth involvement, and strategic planning are all possible through coordinated efforts with community partners including: The Drug Free Community (DFC) Grant, Harney Partners for Kids and Families, the School Districts, Harney County Juvenile Department, Law Enforcement, DHS, the Health Department and multiple community volunteers.  Agencies within our community are committed to reducing youth alcohol and drug use in Harney County.  Some examples of upcoming prevention activities are Red Ribbon Week and Bonfire, implementing evidence-based alcohol and drug curriculum in all the schools, high school and middle school newsletters, high school and middle school youth prevention groups, and reassessment of county statistics to better plan for the future.

Problem Gambling Prevention

Gambling addiction is not as openly discussed as other addictions for several possible reasons: there are no outward physical signs, gambling for fun is socially acceptable, and problem gamblers purposely hid the amount they gamble.  Youth can become addicted to gambling more readily than adults, and youth who begin gambling at a young age are much more likely to develop a gambling problem.  Youth gambling often involves betting items they value (food, possessions, or money) on sporting games or internet gambling.  It is important to recognize signs of a problem gambler in an adult or youth and offer them help; gambling addiction can be just as devastating and addicting as any other type of addiction.


  • In Oregon, 1 in 25 youth meets the criteria for a problem gambler
  • Oregon data show that most youth who gamble, even as early as 6th grade, have much higher rates of alcohol use than those who do not gamble
  • Free gambling sites on the internet are designed for the player to win and think they have luck or skill.  This strategy is used to entice people to play on sites with money
  • The odds of winning or sharing a Powerball Jackpot are 1 in 146 million

Signs that gambling is a problem

  • Spending too much time gambling
  • Feeling like gambling is the most exciting thing to do
  • Missing school or work in order to gamble
  • Lying about how much is bet or lost
  • Borrowing or stealing money to gamble
  • Getting upset when not able to gamble
  • Feeling sad or guilty about gambling

Where to find help

  • Free, confidential help/counseling/information is available for a gambler and his or her family members and friends from the statewide Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-877-MY-LIMIT or
  • For a local number call Symmetry Care at 541-573-8376


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