March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month
Decatur, IL – Heritage Behavioral Health Center, in collaboration with the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), dedicates March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM). 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of Problem Gambling Awareness Month.
Problem gambling is defined as “all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits”. Approximately 2 million U.S. adults (1% of the population) are estimated to meet criteria for severe problem gambling. Another 4-6 million (2-3%) meet the criteria for mild or moderate problem gambling.
During March 2023 as a part of Problem Gambling Awareness Month, Heritage Behavioral Health Center will provide counselor trainings, host health screening days, engage in social media campaigns and other activities in an effort increase public awareness of problem gambling and the availability of prevention, treatment and recovery services within our community. For more information check out Heritage’s website at https://www.heritagenet.org/ or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Heritage-Behavioral-Health-Center-283751148735.
Problem Gambling Awareness Month is designed to coincide each year with March Madness, during which Americans are expected to wager over $3 billion. For the majority of adults, gambling can be a fun and entertaining experience, but there are risks involved. Sports bettors are at particularly high-risk for developing a gambling problem. According to the National Survey on Gambling Attitudes and Gambling Experiences 2.0, four out of five sports bettors reported often needing to gamble more for the same feeling of excitement.
“Across Central Illinois during Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and throughout the year, Heritage is committed to raising public awareness about understanding problem gambling, and most importantly, the resources that are available to get help,” said Mary Garrison, President and CEO of Heritage Behavioral Health Center. “Often, problem gambling is the addiction not talked about and this is because it often goes unseen until it’s too late. By providing outreach and awareness of available help, we can spread hope that recovery is possible,” said Teagan Shull the Problem Gambling Coordinator at Heritage.
For more information about problem gambling and how to increase awareness of problem gambling, go to www.ncpgambling.org/faq and https://illinoisproblemgambling.org/.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call or text the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at 1-800-GAMBLER or visit www.1800gamblerchat.org. Help is available 24/7/365 – it is free and confidential. Other helpful resources related to problem gambling include:
- Text: “ILGAMB” to 53342
- Gamblers Anonymous: http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/