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March Is Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Saturday, March 6, 2021 @ 12:03 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

Screenshot at Mar 06 12-32-49CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – As March Madness reaches a crescendo this month with an estimated $10 billion in bets placed on the NCAA basketball championship games each year, calls to the National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-522-4700) spike an average of 30 percent during the month.

For the nineteenth year, Armstrong Indiana Clarion Drug & Alcohol Commission (AICDAC), in collaboration with the National Council on Problem Gambling, dedicates the month of March to help people. The campaign theme “Awareness + Action” is all about taking specific action and having conversations about problem gambling issues and directing people to the help they may need.

Approximately 2 million U.S. adults (1 percent of the population) are estimated to meet the criteria for gambling disorder. Another 4-6 million (2-3 percent) are considered to meet the criteria for problem gambling. And yet for many residents of the US, gambling remains a hidden addiction.

Using the tagline #AwarenessPlusAction, Problem Gambling Awareness Month (#PGAM2021) is designed to help raise awareness of the prevention, treatment, and recovery services available for those adversely affected by gambling. This grassroots campaign brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including public health organizations, treatment providers, advocacy groups, and gambling operators. They work collaboratively to let people know that hope and help exist.

“Across Pennsylvania, groups hold conferences, host screening and training days, run media campaigns, and conduct awareness initiatives to reach people who can make a difference in ensuring that problem gambling services are widely available and accessible,” said a representative from AICDAC.

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, the top four signs of problem gambling include, feeling restlessness or irritability due to inability to gamble, lying to hide gambling activities, spending larger amounts of money to reach the same level of excitement that you once reached at a lower level, and relying on other individuals to pay gambling debts and/or bills.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call or text the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at 1-800-522-4700 for confidential help.

For more information about problem gambling and how to increase awareness and action on problem gambling, go to www.ncpgambling.org/pgam or visit the Clarion Drug Free Coalition Facebook page, www.facebook.com/clariondrugfree for more resources.

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