GAMBLING PROBLEMS AND THE MILITARY
WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 20, 2012 – Gambling problems are more prevalent among military veterans than in the general public. The National Council on Problem Gambling urges veterans, their loved ones and healthcare providers to be particularly aware of gambling addiction. Warning signs include preoccupation with gambling, chasing losses and financial harm. Problem gambling is associated with substance abuse, depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
That is why the National Council on Problem Gambling has selected to highlight veterans as one population especially at-risk for developing a problem with gambling during its 10th annual “National Problem Gambling Awareness Week” March 4-10. The purpose of this grass roots campaign is to raise public awareness of problem gambling and educate healthcare providers about resources available for help.
The National Council believes that, to combat problem gambling among military personnel and veterans, one must first understand the unique circumstances facing this societal group. While the military acknowledges and addresses several addiction and mental health issues, as well as problems associated with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, interventions and treatment for problem and pathological gambling have not yet been integrated into the system. Minimizing the harmful consequences of gambling among veterans and military personnel will require improved awareness and targeted efforts.
During National Problem Gambling Awareness Week groups from across the country will be reaching out to veterans to offer information and answer questions about the disorder. For more information, please email Jeff Beck at email@example.com or visit www.npgaw.org.
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