To the Editor:
March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month and this month many came together to spread awareness about problem gambling. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, 2 million U.S. adults are estimated to meet criteria for severe gambling problems in a given year. Gambling can become an issue for anyone, even teens, and when someone experiences problem gambling the impact extends well beyond them, affecting family members, friends and more.
With gambling opportunities ever increasing in our area, it is imperative that we raise awareness about problem gambling and educate on ways individuals can help prevent gambling from turning from a fun pastime into an addiction. Some ways communities can help are by prohibiting or reducing gambling fundraisers, making information available about support services, and educating yourself about problem gambling and sharing that information with your loved ones.
As Problem Gambling Awareness Month comes to a close, BRiDGES wants to remind you that recovery is possible. If you or a loved one are struggling with problem gambling, please reach out to us at 315.697.3947 and our staff can connect you with local resources. You can also visit our website BridgesCouncil.org to find resources and self-screening tools.
There is hope.
Prevention Education Specialist Julie Hengst, BRiDGES Madison County Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc.