Focus On Including Gambling Addiction and Recovery in the National Conversation
Washington, DC – The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) is participating in National Recovery Month this September to make sure gambling addiction and recovery are included in this national conversation. Tune into our webinar National Recovery Month, Gambling Addiction and 12-Step Programs tomorrow (September 14) at 1:00 pm, which you can still register for here. NCPG is also utilizing social media to highlight the treatment section of their website for anyone struggling with gambling addiction. The most significant resource is the confidential, free National Problem Gambling Helpline: 1-800-522-4200 (call or text); www.ncpgambling.org/chat.
“National Recovery Month is a celebration of everyone in recovery,” said Keith Whyte, NCPG Executive Director. “They have found the strength to seek help and are now on a continuing journey of renewal and repair. We hope those in recovery from gambling addiction serve as an inspiration for those who have not yet reached out for help.”
Whyte added, “However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that none of the more than $7 billion in yearly Federal gambling tax dollars goes to prevent and treat gambling problems. With more than 30 states legalizing sports betting since 2018, the number of Americans who bet on sports has grown 30% since 2018. We believe the rate and severity of problem gambling will likely increase as well. Right now, the burden of help falls on cash-strapped state governments. The federal government must use some of its gambling tax revenue to help states build comprehensive prevention, education, treatment, enforcement, research and recovery services.”
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) launched National Recovery Month in 1989 for two reasons: to increase awareness around mental health and substance abuse, and to celebrate the success stories to illustrate that living in recovery is possible.
NCPG supports this yearly initiative, in part because gambling addiction is not an isolated problem. About half of the people suffering from gambling addiction also struggle with substance abuse and other mental disorders. Furthermore, about one-third of people with substance abuse problems meet current or lifetime criteria for gambling problems. As a result, NCPG believes recovery efforts would be more effective if different mental health and addiction fields worked in a more collaborative fashion. Government officials should also remove any roadblocks that could undermine those efforts.
About the National Council on Problem Gambling
Based in Washington DC, the National Council on Problem Gambling is the only national nonprofit organization that seeks to minimize the economic and social costs associated with gambling addiction by working with all stakeholders. NCPG is neutral on legalized gambling. If gambling becomes a problem, NCPG urges people who gamble, as well as their loved ones, to contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline, which offers hope and help without judgment or shame. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call or text 1-800-522-4700 or visit www.ncpgambling.org/chat. Help is available 24/7 – it is free, anonymous and confidential.
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September 13, 2021