Research shows 1 in 50 Adults has a Gambling Problem
Release from Problem Gamblers Help Network of West Virginia:
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — March is National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and a statewide problem gambling treatment group is urging anyone who feels their gambling activity may be crossing a line to get a free, anonymous screening.
The Problem Gamblers Help Network of West Virginia, which operates the 1-800-GAMBLER helpline, says information and help are available 24/7 by calling their helpline or chatting on their website.
Signs that gambling activity is no longer recreational include:
- You’ve tried unsuccessfully to cut back or quit
- After losing money, you return as soon as possible to get even
- You lie to family members or friends about your gambling
- You need to bet more and more money each time you gamble
- Gambling helps you escape your problems
- Others have provided you with a bailout
- You think about gambling often
- Gambling has jeopardized relationships and/or opportunities
- You feel restless or irritable when you quit
Although the helpline has taken more than 14,000 calls from West Virginians seeking help, Communications Director Sheila Moran says there are far more people who need help but are not asking for it.“
According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, one of every fifty adults struggle with problem gambling. Each of those people has someone in their life – a husband, wife, parent, child – who are affected by their loved one’s gambling addiction. We have treatment that is very effective, but many people are embarrassed to ask for help. We want to let people know that this is a problem that affects many people here in West Virginia.”
Callers to 1-800-GAMBLER speak with a helpline counselor based in Charleston, and they are referred to one of the network’s 60+ specially trained gambling addiction counselors and/or a support group. They receive a free two-hour consultation. Funds are available for those who do not have insurance to pay for additional treatment. Follow-up studies with helpline callers show that the majority of callers are able to stop gambling within six months of entering treatment.
More information is available by calling 1-800-GAMBLER or visiting www.1800gambler.net.