Zepf Center News

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month - Have the Conversation!

Published Tuesday, March 1, 2016

To many Ohioans, March means basketball playoffs, hockey playoffs, and the start of warm weather sports like golf, tennis, and baseball – and gambling. No sooner is football over than other sports begin, and with many opportunities to gamble in the palms of our hands, nearly three-fourths of adults wager money.

Whether people gamble online, in casinos, on the lottery, or in the church hall, it helps to keep gambling in perspective. Governor John R. Kasich has declared March 2016 as Ohio Problem Gambling Awareness Month to coincide with the national observance.

Zepf Center provides services geared toward prevention of problem gambling and counseling for people with gambling disorder. Do you think that you or someone you love could have a problem with gambling? Consider these behaviors of a problem gambler:

  • Frequently borrows money to gamble.
  • Gambles to escape boredom, pain or loneliness.
  • Lies to loved ones about gambling.
  • Tries to win back money lost.
  • Has lost interest in other activities.
  • Is argumentative and defensive about gambling behavior.
  • Has unexplained absences for long periods of time.

Anyone who gambles can develop a problem. Groups at higher levels of risk include seniors, adolescents, college students, athletes, veterans, and racial and ethnic minorities, including Asian-Americans. If untreated, gambling addiction can lead to serious consequences such as health concerns, the destruction of relationships, bankruptcy, divorce, domestic violence, depression and even suicide.

In Ohio, 95 percent of adults who gamble do it responsibly. This means that they:

  • Set a limit on how much money and time will be spent gambling.
  • Spend only what they can afford to lose.
  • Know that gambling will not solve money concerns.
  • Gamble for fun, not to avoid being depressed or upset.

Ohio’s behavioral health service providers and Ohio for Responsible Gambling (ORG) – the Ohio Casino Control Commission, Ohio Lottery Commission, Ohio Racing Commission and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services – join forces to ensure that gambling remains a fun pastime for those who want to take part, and that quality prevention and treatment services are available for Ohioans with problem gambling behaviors.

To learn more or get help for yourself or a loved one, visit WWW.HOWDOYOUPLAY.INFO/, http://attcniatx.blogspot.com/2016/03/gambling-disorder-and-women-does-gender.html#more, http://www.ncrg.org/  or WWW.THE95PERCENT.ORG.  You can also or call 1-800-589-9966, the statewide Problem Gambling Helpline or for local help contact Zepf Center at 419-841-7701.

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