Gambling Addiction Awareness Promotion this month in NJ

by Jim Hall

The Council on Compulsive Gambling in New Jersey is using the month of March to bring awareness to the community of problem gambling.

Every land based gambling facility in the United States has to offer some form of promotion for problem gambling assistance. Not only is this a requirement but many facilities have made it a priority. Players need access to hotlines or counseling for problem gambling in order to break free of the addiction. In New Jersey, one group is using the month of March as a way to promote events taking place in the problem gambling treatment industry.

Awareness Month

Council on Compulsive Gambling of New JerseyThe Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey is using the month of March to bring awareness to residents of the state on problem gambling. There are two major events taking place this month involving the problem gambling treatment community and the CCGNJ wants the public to be aware.

To begin, March is known as the National Problem Gambling Awareness Month. The month is also the time when one of the biggest sporting events of the year, March Madness, takes place. Millions of dollars are wagered each year, legally and illegal on the NCAA tournament events, so it is quite ironic that the two coexist in the same month.

The National Problem Gambling Awareness Month for March is themed as “Have the Conversation”. For this year, the CCGNJ has partnered with public agencies as well as private groups in the state to create outreach activities, host lectures and awareness programs as well as special events to help raise awareness to the subject of problem gambling.

The goal is to start conversations among health care professionals, problem gamblers and the public in general. The outreach strategy will be used to encourage problem gamblers to seek treatment without being in fear of judgement, able to start on the path to recovery with ease.

Enter March Madness

Because the National Problem Gambling Awareness Month takes place at the same time as March Madness, awareness needs to be brought to the attention of the public as to how gambling, including sports betting, can be addicting. While many view the March Madness basketball events as fun and exciting entertainment, others see the games as a minefield that they must avoid.

Individuals who are suffering from disordered gambling can be challenged this month due to the frenzy and excitement of basketball games taking place. Office pools or friends may want to place bets that can put those who struggle with a gambling addiction at risk. The widely-publicized sporting events put the recovering gamblers at risk as they may place wagers, returning to gambling and making their addiction even worse.

The hope of this month for awareness is that prevention will occur. With the public becoming aware of how problem gambling can affect others, choices can be made that will help those who may be struggling from a gaming addiction.

In general, it is never too late to start the recovery process. Such groups as the CCGNJ can assist individuals who are seeking a way out of gambling addiction. The CCGNJ Executive Director, Neva Pryor, commented that it is never too early or too late to start the recovery process for gambling addiction. The Council is available 24 hours a day seven days a week for support as well as treatment.

The Council provides hope for problem gamblers as well as their families. According to Pryor, the process begins with having the conversation with loved ones and deciding to seek help for a gambling addiction. Once recovery begins, staying on the path to wellness will help in the overall process of avoiding gambling addiction.