March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Problem gambling is a serious issue that affects millions of people in the United States. An estimated two million people can be classified as having a gambling addiction and an additional four to six million people can be said to have a problem with gambling. Uncontrolled gambling can ruin families, finances, and careers.

The National Council on Problem Gambling began a campaign 16 years ago in order to raise awareness and to suggest ways that these people can be helped. There are three main goals of this campaign:

  • Increase public awareness of problem gambling
  • Increase awareness of the resources to aid with problem gambling
  • Encourage medical providers to screen for gambling problems

Some of the criteria for defining problem gambling include:

  • Patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage family or work
  • Preoccupation with gambling and the need to bet money
  • Restlessness or becoming irritable when attempting to quit
  • Continuing to chase the big payoff

Compulsive gambling can be described as having the same effect on certain people as using drugs or alcohol. They build up a tolerance to it and are always in need of more in order to satisfy their urges.

A person who feels that they have a gambling issue should contact their physician to see about getting help. You can also go to the website of Gamblers Anonymous for referrals in your community.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.