SAID ABOUT SVENSKA SPEL

“A step in the right direction is including gambling addiction in the Social Services Act.”

Sandra Mittjas, Association for Gambling Addicts, Stockholm

What was behind your decision to start working with these issues?
“In 2009, when I was 18, I found out that a family member had a gambling problem, huge gambling debts and had lost their job. This affected our family and initially I was extremely angry. Contact with the Association for Gambling Addiction was established and after a while I started attending meetings too. I took my first course to become a support person in 2013.”

Can you explain how the Association for Gambling Addiction works?
“Someone opens with a topic that can range from news in the media to new research that has been presented. Then we split into groups – those with gambling addiction in one group and relatives in another. After we've introduced ourselves, the floor is open to everyone. The most constructive meetings are those where the participants have done most of the talking and I, as meeting leader, just lend support.”

From your perspective – what needs to be done better for those with a gambling addiction?
“A step in the right direction is including gambling addiction in the Social Services Act. The waiting period for treatment today is unreasonably long.”