Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) Secretary of Pennsylvania Jennifer Smith has kick-started the activities that marked March as the Gambling Awareness Month. Inaugurating the event, she said: “We come together today to promote awareness of problem gambling and highlight community resources for individuals in need,” said.
“As legalized gambling expands and becomes more prevalent around the commonwealth, we urge individuals and their loved ones to recognize when a recreational hobby becomes a more serious problem. Understanding that treatment and resources are available can help in having conversations with loved ones in need.”
This is the 15th anniversary of National Problem Gambling Awareness Month as recognised by the National Council on Problem Gambling. To commemorate, this year’s theme is Awareness + Action.
The goals of the national campaign are to raise public awareness of problem gambling and the availability of treatment and recovery services, and to encourage health care providers to screen clients for problem gambling.
DDAP was joined by Pennsylvania’s Gaming Control Board and the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania. Together, the agencies fund and operate the Pennsylvania Problem Gambling 24 hour a day, 365 days a year confidential helpline, 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426- 2537).
More resources, including a 24-hour chat services, are also available at www.pacouncil.com. Gambling, even though legal avenues, becomes a problem when individuals begin to develop strained relationships with loved ones, borrow money to gamble, gamble to see a high or feeling, miss work, school, or other activities and obligations in order to gamble.