March is Problem Gambling Awareness Week: Have the Conversation! Posted On

Over the past decade the availability of gambling has skyrocketed but acceptance of gambling addiction as a serious public health concern has lagged.  It is estimated that six to eight million Americans meet the criteria for gambling addiction, and that 8-10 people are affected by one individual’s gambling problem. Problem gambling impacts relationships, families, businesses and communities.

The 2015 Problem Gambling Awareness Month theme is “Have the Conversation,” so what better time to have the conversation with someone in your life?

Family members and friends…

…can have the conversation with those who show signs of gambling disorders.  Warning signs include: argumentative and defensive about gambling behavior, preoccupation with gambling, loss of interest in other activities, lying to loved ones about gambling, and going without basic needs to gamble.


…who find that gambling is causing negative consequences in their life can take the first step toward change and have the conversation with loved ones or their healthcare providers.  Negative consequences of problem gambling include physical and mental health problems, a higher risk of suicide, domestic violence, bankruptcy and work performance issues.


…can call the NYS HOPEline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have the conversation with a trained clinician and get more information about support services in your area.

If you’d like more information about Problem Gambling Awareness Week you can visit or for more information about what problem gambling is, click HERE.

Gambling disorders are too devastating to individuals and society to allow to go unnoticed and unattended. So we all need to have the conversation.