March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month ~ The National Council On Problem Gambling
Do you or a loved one struggle with problem gambling or gambling addiction?
Most of us maintaining recovery from addicted gambling know the consequences associated with this real addiction and disease.
Here is what the National Council on Problem Gambling shares about problem gambling:
Problem gambling–or gambling addiction–includes all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits. The symptoms include increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences. In extreme cases, problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family, or even suicide.
ISN’T Problem Gambling Just a Money or Financial Problem? NO…Problem gambling is an emotional problem that has financial consequences. If you pay all the debts of a person affected by problem gambling, the person still has a gambling problem or gambling disorder. The real issue is that they have an uncontrollable obsession with gambling. Those who are at risk can be anyone who gambles can develop problems.
This is why it is important to be aware of the risks and to gamble in a responsible way, if you choose to gamble. When gambling behavior interferes with finances, relationships and the workplace, a serious problem already exists. Not one such venue of gambling options like casinos or state lotteries is responsible for who may become addicted. The cause of a gambling problem is the individual’s inability to control their gambling.
This may be due in part to a person’s genetic tendency to develop an addiction, their ability to cope with normal life stress and even their social upbringing and moral attitudes about gambling. The casino or lottery provides the opportunity for the person to gamble. It does not, in and of itself, create the problem any more than a liquor store would create alcohol problems, however, the national council feels as I do that everyone who provides gambling opportunities has a responsibility to develop policies and programs to address underage and problem gambling issues.
One of the BIGGEST MYTHS about addicted or problem gambling I hear all the time is? HOW Can a person become addicted to something that isn’t a SUBSTANCE? Here is what NCPG says: “Although no substance is ingested, someone with a gambling problem gets the same effect from gambling as one might get from taking a drug or drinking alcohol. But just as tolerance develops to drugs or alcohol, a person with gambling problems finds that it takes more and more of the gambling experience to achieve the same emotional effect as before. This creates an increased urge for the activity and the person finds they have less and less able to resist as the craving grows in intensity and frequency.
This year I will be blogging all month to SUPPORT the team from The National Council on Problem Gambling to continue to shatter the stigma and raise more awareness of an addiction that requires no substances, GAMBLING ADDICTION. I know recovery works and is possible as I have maintained my recovery for 13-yrs, 2 months. I still keep mind how hopeless I was and two failed suicide attempts later, I knew I was in a fight for LIFE.
I will be sharing just what it took form to reach long-term recovery all month and much more. The NCPG has partnered this year with Cambridge Health Alliance – Division on Addiction to do screening for those who may feel they have a gambling disorder across the country.
The information is below and can help those who want to know if they do have a real problem with gambling. I hope those who visit me here will share this valuable information and to there is HOPE and HELP in your STATE by visiting The NCPG website and search by your state here https://www.ncpgambling.org/help-treatment/help-by-state/ or you may call the Hotline at 1-800-522-4700 … Advocate/Author, Catherine Lyon
Why Screen for Gambling Disorder?
COURTESY OF Cambridge Health Alliance – Division on Addiction
- Gambling Disorder leads to financial, emotional, social, occupational, and physical harms.
- Gambling Disorder affects about 1% of the general population, and subclinical past year gambling-related problems affect 2 – 3% of the general population.
- As much as 10% of primary care patients report lifetime Gambling Disorder, and an additional 5% report lifetime subclinical problems.
- People with gambling-related problems are more likely to smoke, consume excessive amounts of caffeine, have more emergency department visits, and be obese.
- Although nearly 50% of people who have gambling problems are in treatment for “something,” national studies have failed to identify anyone who currently reports being in treatment specifically for gambling-related problems.
- Many cases of Gambling Disorder go undetected, due to limited assessment for this problem.
Who Should Screen for Gambling Disorder?
- Addiction service providers
- Mental health service providers
- Physicians (e.g., primary care and emergency medicine)
- Youth community leaders
- Employee Assistance Plan service providers
- Veterans groups
What Should Happen at Gambling Disorder Screening?
- Complete a brief Gambling Disorder screen
- Discuss the results of a positive screen with a health provider
- Learn where to go for additional help and to access other resources, if necessary
- Receive educational materials on Gambling DisorderThe goals of this national campaign are:
To increase public awareness of problem gambling and the availability of prevention, treatment & recovery services.
To encourage healthcare providers to screen clients for problem gambling. Call today as there is NO SHAME in doing so!