GALLIPOLIS — For the fifteenth year, Gallia Citizens for Prevention and Recovery, in collaboration with the National Council on Problem Gambling, dedicates March to helping people have the conversation about problem gambling.
Approximately two million, one percent of U.S. adults are estimated to meet criteria for pathological gambling, another four to six million, two to three percent, would be considered problem gamblers; yet for many, gambling remains a hidden addiction.
Problem Gambling Awareness Month is designed to help raise awareness of the prevention, treatment and recovery services available for those adversely affected by gambling. The grassroots campaign brings together a wide range of stakeholders – public health organizations, advocacy groups and gambling operators, who work collaboratively to let people know that hope and help exist.
“Across Ohio, groups hold conferences, host screening and training days, run media campaigns, and conduct outreach to people who can make a difference in ensuring that problem gambling services are widely available and accessible,” said Catherine Glass, prevention specialist at Health Recovery Services.
As March Madness reaches a crescendo with an estimated $10 billion in bets placed on the NCAA basketball championship games, calls to the National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-522-4700) spike an average of 30% during the month
The Gallia Citizens for Prevention and Recovery coalition supports any efforts for recovery from any form of addiction, including gambling. In the area, popular forms of gambling are bingo games, raffles, lottery and card games. During March Madness, bracket pools also become very popular. The chances of having a perfect bracket are one in 9.2 quintillion (9,200,000,000,000,000,000) according to the NCAA. Gallia CPR and our partner organizations encourage you to “Get Set Before You Bet” and make sure you have certain limits in place before you gamble. These include setting limits on gambling spending, balancing gambling with other recreational activities, know what is legal, know when to stop, and never mix gambling with alcohol or other substances. For more tips and a quiz about your own gambling, visit www.beforeyoubet.org.
To get help for a gambling problem for you or a loved one, call 1-800-522-4700. The call is free and confidential. . In Ohio, you can reach out to the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio Helpline at 1.800.589.9966. For more information about problem gambling and how to have the conversation, go to www.ncpgambling.org/pgam or www.pgnohio.org.
Gallia CPR is a local coalition focused on providing prevention and recovery efforts for addiction in Gallia County. We are comprised of community members as well as members of local organizations who share the common goal of putting an end to addiction. We meet the 2nd Monday of the Month at Noon in the French 500 room at Holzer Medical Center-Gallia.
NCPG is the national advocate for problem gamblers and their families. NCPG is neutral on legalized gambling and works with all stakeholders to promote responsible gaming. For more information on the 32nd National Conference on Problem Gambling, visit www.ncpgambling.org/conference.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call or text the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at 1-800-522-4700 or visit www.ncpg.org/chat for confidential help.