Problem Gambling Awareness Month Posted On
This March we are celebrating 20 years of Problem Gambling Awareness. While we always work to raise awareness about what problem gambling is, this month is the time set aside to educate, and celebrate the strides we have made in awareness, treatment, and recovery.
Why talk about problem gambling?
Gambling disorder affects men and women, young and old, of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and lifestyles. People gamble for various reasons, and they do so in many ways. Some gamble for thrill, and others seek an escape. Many gamble socially, while others gamble in isolation. It’s important to talk about what problem gambling is because it can affect so many people.
What is problem gambling?
Problem Gambling is anytime gambling is causing problems in your life. These can range from financial problems, problems with your relationships, or stress and health problems. Anyone can be at risk for developing a gambling problem. It does not discriminate based on age, gender, ethnicity or background. However, there can be some risk factors to developing a gambling problem:
- Easy access or proximity to gambling opportunities
- Early success (“Beginner’s luck”) that distorts an individual’s understanding of the extremely low odds of winning
- Boredom or loneliness
- Pre-existing mental health problems, such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Schizophrenia, depression and anxiety
- Desperate financial issues a “big win” would solve
- Traumatic experiences or abusive upbringings of which the distraction of gambling would provide an escape
- Coexisting addictive behaviors, such as drug or alcohol abuse
What to do if you think gambling is affecting your life?
Gambling may be affecting your life if you are starting to experience problems because of it. This can include:
- Gambling to escape boredom, trouble, or worry
- Disruption of your sleeping and eating habits
- Gambling to ignore arguments, disappointment and frustration
- Personality changes caused by frequent gambling
- Self – destructive thoughts caused by gambling’s consequences
Overcoming a gambling addiction isn’t easy, but there are programs available to help. Problem gambling issues are faced by hundreds of thousands of New York State residents every year. We encourage you to take advantage of the many resources dedicated to aiding both gamblers and their family and friends through steps in recovery.
What Resources Are Available
Know the Odds has many resources to educate yourself and your family members about what problem gambling is, where to get help, and how to stay safe in recovery.
Our eBooks have been written to help individuals like you learn more about disordered gambling. By raising awareness of this addiction within our communities, we can help prevent the problem gambling of future generations and more quickly be able to help people who need support right now.
We encourage you to view our infographics to learn more about problem gambling, including its risks, its warning signs and how to find help and seek recovery. By educating yourself, you can help teach others and prevent addiction from affecting children and adults in your community.
Know The Odds has created a variety of videos shown online and as PSAs throughout New York State. These videos will help you to learn more about problem gambling, and to help educate family, friends and your community members about the risks associated with being addicted to gambling.
Where to Get Help
In New York State there are Problem Gambling Resource Centers (PGRC’s). The PGRC’s work to get you connected to care in your area and find support as you are on the pathway to your recovery. If you are looking to get connected visit NYProblemGamblingHELP.org to find your local PGRC.